Guide: Work for Yourself with the Best Small Business Ideas


Are you fed up with working for someone else? Whether you are working for a smaller company or a massive corporation, it is easy to become frustrated with how things are shaping up.

Is your boss narcissistic or over-bearing? Do you often wish you could become your own boss? Thankfully, that can become a possibility.

You can become your own boss by opening a self-employed business. The idea might seem a bit scary at first, but new small businesses are popping up all over the country every single day.

The latest private establishment data from the Small Business Advocacy group shows rising establishment rates. This means that the market is ripe, and more small businesses are opening.

With many low-cost business ideas, it is very possible to open a business on your own.

The trick is choosing a low-cost start-up business from a list of low-investment business ideas. With so many low-cost business opportunities, it can be difficult to find one that is best suited for you.

When looking for low-investment business ideas, you might have many questions in your head, including:

  • Do I need a lot of money to open a self-employment business?
  • Can I maintain a full-time job with a self-employed business on the side?
  • What low-cost business opportunities pay the best?
  • What are the best start-up businesses?

Throughout this year’s guide, we will answer the questions you have surrounding low-cost business opportunities and why a self-employment business is the way to go. We will explain what a self-employed business can do for you and what to look for in low-investment business ideas. Finally, we will provide a detailed review of the six best self-employed businesses.

By the end of this article, you should have a better idea of what the best start-up businesses for you are.

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Top 6 Best Self-Employed Businesses | Brief Comparison

Self-Employed Businesses 

What They Do

How to Get Started

Requirements to Start a Self-Employed Business

Child Daycare ProviderProvide day care for children out of their home or separate locationResearch the requirements for your stateVaries by State, CPR
Freelance WriterWrite for blogs and businessesBuild a profile on online sites like Fiverr or Upwork to hunt for freelance jobsComputer, Internet Access, & Proper Grammar
Insurance AgentSell insurance through a major insurance providerBecome a licensed insurance agent by taking testsPass Required Tests, Computer, Phone, & Internet Access
Professional PhotographerPhotograph babies, weddings, engagements, and familiesGet your name out to family and friendsQuality Camera and Equipment & Editing Software
Social Media ManagerManage social media accounts for various companiesBuild a profile on online sites like Fiverr or Upwork to hunt for those needing social media assistanceComputer & Internet Access
Uber DriverDrive people around in their personal carVisit the website and apply to become a driverClean Driver’s License, Insurance, & Personal Vehicle

Table: Top 6 Best Small Business Ideas / Above list is sorted alphabetically



Detailed Overview: Why You Should Be Your Own Boss with a Low-Cost Start-Up Business  

Your alarm clock starts blaring again, reminding you that it’s time to pull yourself out of bed and get ready for work. The day drags on and between cups of coffee, trips to the bathroom and getting ordered around by your boss, you wonder if it’s possible to last until retirement at this rate.

The third time your boss comes into your office to complain about the formatting of an email you sent, you might be seriously contemplating some sort of low-budget business. Surely, anything is better than working nine to five for someone with a lower educational degree than you have.

Best Small Business Ideas

Image Source: AWAI

While the many low-cost business ideas circulating in your mind might seem like a pipedream, there are many reasons why you should seriously consider opening one of best self-employed businesses yourself.

For starters, you will generally be able to set your own schedule. With self-employed businesses, if you want to take some time off for a vacation, you can! Though it’s important to remember that you won’t necessarily be being paid during this time, you are not constrained with self-employed business ideas.

By taking up one of the best small business ideas and making it a reality, you will also be your own boss. The success of your self-employment business will rest solely on your shoulders. That’s too much responsibility for some people who just want a steady paycheck, but self-starters see the true value in self-employed business ideas.

Another reason that self-employed business ideas are so appealing is that they often allow you to make a hobby into an income stream. If you love children, opening a day care seems like a no brainer. Love writing? Freelance writing was made for people just like you!

The best small business ideas are ones that allow you more flexibility in your time and vacations that you feel passionate about. If you have a love of something that can generate income, it just makes sense!

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Detailed Review –Best Self-Employed Business Ideas

Below, please find the detailed review of each low-cost start-up business option on our list of best self-employed businesses. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these low-cost business opportunities to score so highly in our selection.



Child Daycare Provider

A Child Daycare Provider is someone who watches children while their parents away. This can be after work hours for someone looking for a babysitter or someone who needs their children supervised while they are away at work. For someone who loves children, this is one of the best self-employed businesses you could start.

While babysitting generally just requires some contacts, running a full-fledged daycare from your home will take a bit more work and financial resources. Requirements for self-employed businesses like these vary by location, but you will need to be CPR certified and have the necessary permits and certifications.

To get started, it might be a good idea to take babysitting jobs after hours. That way, you can save up some money to get legitimate permits, while also building up a client base. Often, the best small business ideas are ones that springboard off smaller ideas.

When looking at self-employed business ideas, it’s important to consider multiple alternatives to a business. An alternative to childcare would be dog sitting.

People pay anywhere from $15 to $30 a day to leave their furry friend at a doggy daycare. If adorable, slobbery pets are more your style than drooling babies, consider asking around for anyone looking for a dog sitter or walker.

Bottom Line

If you love children or pets and don’t mind putting in the research, opening a child or pet daycare can be a great option for you.



Freelance Writer

Freelance writer jobs enable you to take advantage of self-employed businesses. Freelance writers often write for small businesses or websites to draft press releases, website copy, blog posts, and even marketing materials. Jobs can range from hourly pay or a fixed budget to pay determined by article length.

It can be tough to come across jobs at first, but you can eventually make serious money from the comfort of your own home, while working no more than thirty hours a week. However, fast typing skills are generally a must if you want to make real money as a freelance writer.

There are sites called Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr that allow you to create profiles and bid for freelance writing jobs. Competition for these self-employed businesses can be a bit tough to start, but once you get some jobs and positive reviews under your belt, clients will start coming to you.

Bottom Line

If the idea of sitting at home in your pajamas working from behind the keyboard while eating a pint of ice cream sounds appealing, freelance writing might be for you!

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Insurance Agent

Many people would be turned off from the idea of selling insurance. However, becoming an insurance agent can pay very well. The pay is why this business makes our list of the six best small business ideas.

To get started becoming an insurance agent, you will have to take some tests. These will cost a bit of money upfront, but it can still be considered a low-budget business considering that otherwise you just need a computer, phone, and internet, which you likely already have. Overall, the tests and study materials can run you a few hundred dollars.

The great thing about becoming an insurance agent in your own self-employment business is that the job is truly what you make it. By partnering with independent insurance brokers, you will get a client list. The harder you work making calls, the more successful you will be.

Bottom Line

If you don’t mind putting some money upfront, an insurance agent is one low-cost start-up business that can see strong returns.



Professional Photographer

Many people have a passion for photography, but few are willing to take that step to make it a profession. However, by becoming a professional photographer, you can take advantage of one of the best small business ideas.

The great thing about opening a low-budget business like a photography company is that you can work as much or as little as you want. Photographing weddings can net you thousands in just one day. You’ll need to have some editing skills when taking on larger jobs like weddings and engagement shoots, but software platforms for editing aren’t incredibly expensive.

Self-employed businesses like photography companies work through word of mouth. If you can get a foot in the door by photographing friends and family members, chances are that they’ll pass your name along and drum up more business.

Bottom Line

Being able to take a hobby that you are passionate about and turn it into one of the budding self-employed businesses in your area is rewarding feat, both emotionally and financially. One tip is to invest in quality equipment from the get-go to keep the referrals pouring in.



Social Media Manager

A social media manager is someone who takes advantage of the growing world of social media. As Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat, and many other social media platforms continue to boom, there are self-employed businesses that need tech-savvy freelancers to run their social media accounts. The job includes managing social media ad campaigns, as well as posting relevant content to keep customers engaged.

Many small businesses, websites, and brands throughout the country and world are looking for those who are knowledgeable in the social media world. If that sounds like you, then consider making a profile on Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer to start hunting for social media manager jobs.

Want to know the best thing about this type of self-employed business? It is free to start! If you already have a computer and internet access, you have all you need to get started.

Bottom Line

Overall, social media manager jobs are great for millennials. Those who grew up on social media have the prowess to help other self-employed businesses while building up their own low-budget business.

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Uber Driver

Becoming an Uber driver makes our list of best small business ideas simply due to how easy it is to start. If you want to become an Uber driver, you just visit their website and sign up. They run a background check on you and ensure that you have a clean driving record. That’s it!

The great thing about Uber is that there is little training required. Technically, you’ve been training for this self-employment business since you obtained a driver’s license.

While you won’t get rich driving for Uber, it is certainly able to provide a livable income. As a bonus, you can work whatever hours you choose, simply by turning on your availability in the app.

Bottom Line

If you have a clean driving record and halfway decent car to shuffle people about town, becoming an Uber driver is one low-budget business idea to consider.


Conclusion – Top 6 Best Small Business Ideas

Breathing life into self-employed business ideas is no small task. It is also not for the faint of heart. Running self-employed businesses takes time, dedication and perseverance. Even the best small business ideas are not meant for everyone.

The best small business ideas for you, are ones that allow you to enjoy what you’re doing and take control of your career path.

Self-Employed Businesses

Image Source: Entrepreneur

It is important to choose self-employed business ideas that meet the following criteria:

  • Can generate sufficient income
  • Allow you to love what you do
  • Enable you to be your own boss

Self-employed business ideas take a lot of work to cultivate into the best start-up businesses. Be sure that you are passionate and committed to whatever your self-employment business will entail.

Take the time to consider a few of the best small business ideas listed here to see if any align with your passions and talents. With your career on the line, be sure to consider the self-employed business ideas carefully. Good luck!

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