Many entrepreneurs today are going into business alone. Such "solopreneurs" save money on startup costs and payroll expenses simply by doing most of the legwork themselves. While this isn't an ideal arrangement for everyone, it has its benefits. Here are 10 business ideas that don't require you to hire and maintain employees.
If you have a particular skill, be it writing, graphic design, coding or anything in between, building up an independent network and offering your services as a freelancer is a great way to translate a side hustle into a full-time business. Easily started on the side of a 9-to-5, these types of arrangements can quickly blossom into full, one-person operations once a solid network and reliable body of work develop. In a few short months, a freelancer can build up several regular clients.
Freelancers launching a full-time company often incorporate their business as an LLC, which is a pass-through entity. This means that income is taxed at a personal level, rather than the corporate level. The wage or salary the solopreneur takes, in other words, is subject to personal income tax. [Curious about freelance opportunities? Here are the fastest-growing freelance jobs right now.]
2. Commission-only sales
Though risky, a commission-based position can translate into big bucks if you're willing to put in the work. Essentially, your salary is determined based on your performance. If you're a motivated and passionate individual gifted in sales, you'll achieve success following this career path.
Podcasts are all the rage today, providing entertaining content catered to a specific audience. If you can identify a niche subject you're passionate about, and you enjoy speaking openly and connecting with others, consider starting your own podcast.
You can start a podcast about nearly anything. There's an audience for any topic you could think up. With engaging episodes and killer marketing tactics, you can gain a loyal following in no time. This will eventually bring in revenue in the form of paid sponsorships, advertisements and more.
4. Business coach
Are you business-savvy with years of experience and willing to pass that knowledge on to others? With the right marketing tactics, a strong personal network and a great website, you can become a business coach. Work with small business owners or startup hopefuls to craft business plans and advise those who need extra motivation. If you know you can be a good motivator and not just a "yes man," their investment in you will have great returns.
5. Virtual assistant
If you're a self-proclaimed Type A worker with a knack for organization, don't let your unique skills and attributions go to waste. Becoming a virtual assistant is a great opportunity for anyone who enjoys managing day-to-day business tasks from the comfort of their own home.
You can assume the many responsibilities of a typical business owner, like customer support and content creation, while allowing your client(s) to focus on their own skills and passions. Based on your interests and strengths, you'll find overwhelmed entrepreneurs searching for someone like you to take some weight off their shoulders – and for a good price.
6. Franchise owner
Some entrepreneurs are interested in the idea of running a business but aren't willing to assume the risks and responsibilities associated with the endeavor. Whether it's securing funding or finding the right marketing strategies, the process of starting a business can be overwhelming to even the most inspired individuals.
If you find yourself wanting to reap the benefits of entrepreneurship without the added stress, consider investing in a home-based franchise that doesn't require employees or warrant a risky startup process.
7. Chore/errand service for seniors
Anyone with aging loved ones knows how hard it can be to care for them without extra help. Elderly people living in their own homes need help with lots of routine chores like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and yardwork. Why not start a business that offers senior citizens and their families the help they need to maintain their households without breaking their budgets? With word-of-mouth endorsements and social media targeted at the demographic, you could get this business off the ground in no time.
Want to turn your love of beer into a viable occupation? Why not jump on the microbrewing bandwagon? With the popularity of craft beers on the rise in the U.S., the demand for innovative breweries is growing.
Start by focusing on branding and the distribution of your beverages. With some thirsty investors and a few barrels of persistence, you could have your brewery up and running faster than you can say "cheers!" Learn more about starting your own craft brewery in this Business News Daily guide.
9. Personal trainer
With employers and corporations looking to decrease healthcare costs and a greater awareness of diseases associated with obesity, America is looking to get fit. Freelance personal trainers make their own schedules and work for a diverse range of clients. If you're a fitness guru with a head for business, this might just be the right idea for you. Time to get moving!
10. Special deliveries
Whether it's a bouquet of flowers in celebration of a wedding anniversary or an ice cream cake delivery for a child's birthday, there's a need for businesses to carry out deliveries on behalf of many clients. With the right website and a PayPal account, you could start building your reputation as a "special delivery" courier today.
Launching a business with low startup costs
It's every entrepreneur's dream to start a business without breaking the bank. As an aspiring solopreneur, you can achieve this dream. Forget your limited funding and consider the above ideas for inspiration on which direction to take your career. Many of these 10 businesses can be started with $5,000 or less and managed entirely by one person.
Choosing to work on your own and without employees will help you reduce startup costs and allow you to dictate your own path. Forget the payroll expenses and limited budgeting; there are countless options available that won't drain your bank account. What better way to dive into entrepreneurship?
Don't be afraid to pursue your dream of working remotely and on your terms. Do your research, channel your passions and skills, and take that leap into your fantasy career. You'll be glad you did.
Additional reporting by Adam C. Uzialko, Shannon Gausepohl and Elizabeth Peterson.