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4 Profitable Self Employment Ideas

Updated on March 5, 2020
Matt G. profile image

Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.

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. I have worked for myself for over ten years and wouldn't want it any other way.

Not all self employment ventures come with big risks and start up costs. There are some great opportunities with low start-up expenses that pay well with some hard work. In this article, I go over some lucrative business ideas with relatively low start up costs.

1. House Painting Business

I've owned a successful house painting business for over ten years, working mostly by myself, running my business from home. People are always in need of a good painter to do the painting projects they don't have time to do themselves.

Although business slows a little in the winter months, I usually work year round. If you like painting and working with your hands, it's an easy business to start with low start up costs. You can start off with one step ladder and some basic painting supplies. Buy more equipment and create a website to showcase your work as your business grows.

Painting pays well, depending on the service and job size. Specializing in a niche service like cabinet painting, or painting garage floors, can be very profitable and give your business the advantage over a competitor who might not offer the same service.

2. House Cleaning Business

House cleaning is one of the easiest business start ups that doesn't cost much to operate alone. You don't need any specialized skills, or even a license, to clean homes for money. A cleaner can charge $30 to $50 per hour, or more, and benefit from repeat business on a weekly basis year-round.

A house cleaner can work alone, or hire a crew, cleaning one or more homes per day. A cleaning business can be operated from home, requiring only a reliable vehicle for traveling to clients.

Start up expenses include cleaning equipment, liability insurance, website, and advertising. Having good insurance is a must-have. Cleaning homes every day is hard work, but having repeat clients on a weekly schedule means stable business. I have a friend who owns a cleaning business. She works alone and does very well cleaning the same homes in my town for many years.

3. Dog Walking Business

A customer of mine started walking dogs herself as a side gig and eventually turned her service into a full time business with an office and a team of employees. Personal pet services are always in demand. Busy pet owners with money are happy to pay someone to take their dog outside when no one else can.

You need to have good insurance and a vehicle to keep up with your weekly dog walking route, but other than those expenses, operating costs are low working alone. You can even advertise for free using social media.

Like house cleaning, most people hire a dog walker on a repeat basis every week, or even every day. As a private dog walker, you can charge $20 to $50 per walk and offer additional services like grooming, refilling food and water bowls, picking up dog poop, or overnight dog sitting. For those who love animals, it's an excellent self-employment opportunity.

4. Create Content Online

Creating content on the Internet, whether it's making Youtube videos, or writing articles, is a way to make money through advertising and affiliate marketing. Although creating online content isn't by any means a fast way to make money, it's something you can build up over time as a side gig, or even turn it into a full time gig.

Through your own Youtube videos, or articles, you can earn money through advertising and by selling affiliate products you personally use and recommend. For example, on Youtube, once you're eligible to monetize your video channel, you can earn money through page views and linked products that viewers buy through your channel.

For those who don't want to record videos, article writing can be very lucrative too. I've done article writing for many years, starting with my own blogs and various revenue-sharing sites on the Internet. Create a blog about your hobby, or your passion. Sell products through your blog.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Matt G.


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    • Casey Strouse profile image

      Casey Strouse 

      8 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 

      8 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


      8 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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