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4 Profitable Self Employment Ideas

Updated on August 27, 2017

Self-Employed Business Ideas

Venturing into the world of self-employment can be unnerving and exciting at the same time. Although starting your own business isn't without its risks and uncertainties, the freedom you get from working for yourself is an attractive prospect for many people.

Not all self employment ideas come with big risks and start up costs. There are countless opportunities with low start-up expenses that pay well with some hard work.

House Painting Business

Painting isn't for everyone, but if you're willing to work, a painting business can be very profitable. You can operate a small painting business with one or two painters and still do well. House painting is always in demand.

The start up costs for a painting business are affordable. The main expenses are ladders and painting equipment, which only need to be purchased one time. Advertising is another expense, but the business can run largely from word of mouth if you're a good painter. Like any other business, your clientele is small in the beginning and grows over time. I have been self-employed with my own painting business for several years.

House Cleaning Business

House cleaning is often considered one of the best business start ups that costs next to nothing to start. A cleaner can charge $30 to $50 per hour and benefit from repeat business on a weekly basis year-round.

A house cleaner can work alone, or hire a crew. Most cleaning jobs take no more than one to two days tops. Like painting, a cleaning business can be operated from home.

The main start up expenses are cleaning equipment, liability insurance, website and advertising. Cleaning homes every day is hard work, but it can pay well. My friends wife is a self-employed house cleaner and does well with her business.

Dog Walking Business

A customer of mine started walking dogs as a side gig and eventually turned it into a full time business. Most people are very busy with work during the week and are happy to hire someone to take their dog out when no one else can. For those who love dogs, it's the perfect self-employment idea.

Other than advertising, fuel and some basic pet supplies, the start up costs are low. Most people, like my customer, run the business out of their home. Like house cleaning, most people will hire a dog walker on a repeat basis. Once business picks up, you can have a website designed to capture more local business. This business usually offers other services too like grooming and overnight dog sitting.

Virtual Assistant

Web-based self employment ideas like a virtual assistant business is in demand and costs very little money to start as a home-based business. A virtual assistant handles a multitude of online tasks for clients including article writing, search engine optimization, web design and graphic design.

If you look at job sites, you will find many ads posted by people looking to outsource their online tasks. An experienced VA can charge up to $50 per hour. A VA working for an attorney can earn as much as $100 per hour, depending on the service provided.

This is a self employment opportunity that can become a career, or a part time job for extra money on the side. It is always in demand.

Online Teaching

For those who want to work from home, online teaching is an opportunity that doesn't require a degree or even a license. There is a big demand for English language teachers, especially in foreign countries where people need to learn the language, but can't afford to hire a private teacher. Online teaching services are usually cheaper than offline services.

There are websites where you can sign up and offer your own private lessons through the site, or you can get your own job leads and set up your own teaching business through your own website. The start up costs are low, consisting mostly of Internet connection and office expenses.


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    • Casey Strouse profile image

      Casey Strouse 

      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I'm not a VA but I work for a company that provides VA services. It's not great for people who need regular full-time incomes but it can definitely get you a start as a freelancer.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      7 years ago from USA

      Hi Matt G,

      You have great ideas here. Online teaching is my favorite of the choices. Thanks for sharing.


      Journey *

    • MelloYelloMan profile image


      7 years ago

      Very insightful man! You are really helping me get a grasp on things, because I would like to stop painting and eventually work from home.


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