One-person Business Ideas

Embarking on a solo business venture can be both thrilling and rewarding, especially with these profitable ideas designed for individual entrepreneurs.

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One-person business ideas offer numerous advantages for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own ventures. A solo business is a great option for the introvert who still wants to run their own business. And there are lots of perks, too: you get full control of the business, receive all the profits, and more. You can also keep costs quite low since you can operate from home, your favorite coffee shop, or even the local library.
Whether you’re looking to turn a passion into a profession or seek a flexible career path, one-person business ideas provide the perfect opportunity to achieve your entrepreneurial goals with greater ease and profitability. In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of our favorite solo business ideas.

What is a solopreneur?

A solopreneur is an entrepreneur who manages and runs their business entirely on their own. This means that all aspects of the business, from planning and marketing to execution and customer service, are handled by a single individual. While solopreneurs operate independently, they can still outsource specific tasks like bookkeeping, marketing, or graphic design to freelancers or specialized service providers. This allows them to focus on core activities while getting third-party help to manage other areas of their business.

When starting a one-person business, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. First, it’s crucial to check local zoning laws to ensure that your business complies with regulations, especially if you plan to operate from home. Additionally, you should explore potential incorporation options for your business, such as forming a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation. These structures can help protect you from liability, but there are tax implications that are important to consider for each type.

✔ Learn about the 10 archetypes of solopreneurs and determine if you belong to any of them here →

Benefits of a One-Person Business

Starting a one-person business and being your own boss offer several compelling benefits, making it an attractive business type for aspiring entrepreneurs. One of the most significant advantages is the lower startup costs. Without the need to hire employees or rent extensive office space, you can keep your initial expenses minimal, reducing financial risk and allowing for more sustainable growth. Additionally, the simplicity and flexibility of running a solo operation allow you to set your own schedule, work from anywhere, and pivot quickly in response to market changes.

Another key benefit is having full control over decisions and profits. As the sole decision-maker, you can implement your vision and strategies without needing approval from partners or investors, enabling you to run your business exactly how you want. Furthermore, you keep all the profits generated by your business, maximizing your financial rewards. This autonomy and financial independence make one-person businesses an appealing choice for individuals seeking independence, flexibility, and significant personal and financial fulfillment. 

Best Solopreneur Business Ideas

No matter what you’re passionate about or what your skills are, there’s a business idea you can transform into your own solopreneur business. Let’s take a look at our favorite one-person business ideas: 

  • Digital and Online Business Services
  • Creative and Artistic Services
  • Home and Personal Services
  • Consulting and Coaching
  • Retail and Sales
  • Technology and IT Services
  • Educational and Instructional Services
  • Financial Services

Let’s get started. 

Digital and Online Services

Web Design Business

A web design business involves designing and building websites for clients, offering a creative and technical service that is in high demand. With startup costs ranging from $100 to $500, you can invest in essential software and marketing to attract clients. 

As a web designer and developer, you will create visually appealing and functional websites that meet your clients’ needs. This business allows you to work remotely, set your own schedule, and build a diverse portfolio. By providing high-quality web design services, you can establish a strong reputation and secure ongoing projects from various industries.

Freelance Writing Service

Starting a freelance writing service involves creating content for blogs, websites, and other publications. The typical startup costs range between $0-$100 to join freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr or buy software to help your work. 

As a writer and content creator, you can offer your services to businesses, magazines, and online platforms that need engaging and well-written content. This business allows you to work from anywhere, set your own hours, and choose projects that interest you. By delivering high-quality writing and meeting deadlines, you can build a loyal client base and grow your freelance writing business.

Data Entry Business

A data entry business involves entering and managing data for various clients, providing a valuable service that requires attention to detail and accuracy. You primarily need a computer and internet connection to get started, so startup costs can be just $100 or less depending on your current tech setup.

As a data entry clerk, you can offer your services to businesses, researchers, and organizations that need efficient data management. This business allows you to work remotely, offering flexibility and the potential for steady income. By providing reliable and accurate data entry services, you can attract repeat clients and build a successful solo business.

Social Media Consultant

A social media consultant manages social media accounts for businesses, helping them enhance their online presence and engage with their audience. As a social media manager, you will develop content strategies, create posts, and analyze engagement metrics to improve your clients’ social media performance. This business offers the flexibility to work from home and set your own schedule. 

To get started, you’ll need to build a professional website and invest in marketing to attract clients. You might also get software like Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud to help you develop artistic content, meaning the typical startup costs will range between $50-$150. With good marketing and staying updated on social media trends, you can build a reputable and thriving social media consultancy. 

Virtual Assistant Business

If you’re attentive to detail, you can consider starting a virtual assistant business, providing remote administrative support to clients, offering services such as email management, scheduling, data entry, and more. To get started, you’ll probably need to invest around $75 to build a professional website, get business cards, and do some preliminary marketing to attract clients. 

As a virtual assistant, you can work from home, set your own hours, and manage your workload according to your preferences. This business allows you to offer flexible and valuable support to busy professionals and entrepreneurs, building a steady client base through reliable and efficient service.

Ecommerce Seller

Becoming an ecommerce seller involves selling products online through platforms like eBay, Amazon, or Etsy. With startup costs between $100 and $500, you can invest in initial inventory and create a website to showcase your products. 

As an online retailer, you can choose to sell handmade items, vintage goods, or other products that interest you. This business allows you to operate from home, reach a global customer base, and manage your own schedule. By providing high-quality products and excellent customer service, you can grow your ecommerce business and generate consistent revenue.

Affiliate Marketing Blog

Creating an affiliate marketing blog involves writing content and earning commissions by promoting products or services through affiliate links. With startup costs ranging from $50 to $100, you can cover the expenses of a domain name and website hosting. 

As a blogger and affiliate marketer, you can focus on a niche that interests you and build an audience by providing valuable and engaging content. This business allows you to work from anywhere, set your own schedule, and earn passive income through affiliate marketing. By consistently producing high-quality blog posts and effectively promoting affiliate products, you can build a successful and profitable blog.

Mobile App Development

Starting a mobile app development business involves creating and selling mobile applications, catering to the growing demand for innovative and useful apps. On average, you’ll need to invest $100-$500 to invest in development software and some marketing efforts so you can promote your services and build apps. With startup costs between $100 and $500, you can invest in development software and marketing to promote your apps. 

As an app developer, you can design, code, and launch apps that solve problems for business owners or entertain users. This business allows you to work from home, set your own hours, and scale your operations as you gain experience and success. By developing high-quality and user-friendly apps, you can attract a loyal user base and generate significant income through app sales and in-app purchases.

Creative and Artistic Services

Graphic Design and Illustration

Starting a graphic design and illustration business involves creating digital art and graphics for various clients, including businesses, publishers, and individuals. With an upfront investment of roughly $100-$300, you can invest in professional design software and basic marketing to promote your services. 

As a graphic designer and illustrator, you can work on a variety of projects such as logos, advertisements, book covers, and custom illustrations. This business allows you to work from home, set your own hours, and utilize your creative talents to build a diverse portfolio. By delivering high-quality designs and meeting client deadlines, you can establish a strong reputation and attract repeat business.

Photography

Offering photography services for events and portraits is a fulfilling and creative one-person business idea. If you don’t already have a camera, you’ll probably need to invest in one for about $500. If you have one already, you’ll need closer to $100 to pay for some basic marketing to attract clients. 

As a photographer, you can specialize in capturing memorable moments for graduations, family gatherings, corporate events, or individual portrait sessions. This business allows you to work on location, set flexible hours, and build a portfolio that showcases your unique style. By providing exceptional photography and outstanding customer service, you can grow your client base and generate consistent income.

Event Photography and Videography

Providing event photography and videography services involves capturing high-quality photos and videos for various events such as weddings, parties, and corporate functions. With startup costs ranging from $100 to $500, you can purchase a reliable camera and invest in marketing to promote your services. 

As an event photographer and videographer, you can use traditional cameras or even drone photography to offer clients comprehensive coverage of their special occasions, delivering professionally edited photos and videos. This business allows you to work on location, often during weekends or evenings, giving you the flexibility to manage your schedule. By creating memorable and visually stunning content, you can build a strong reputation and secure ongoing referrals and repeat business.

Home and Personal Services

Home Repair Business

Starting a home repair business involves offering a range of repair and maintenance services to homeowners. If you already have an arsenal of tools, your startup investment of about $50 can cover marketing materials like business cards and preliminary ads. If you need tools, you’ll probably spend closer to $100.

As a handyman, you can handle various tasks such as fixing leaks, repairing furniture, and performing general maintenance. This business allows you to work flexibly, taking on projects that fit your skill set and schedule. By providing reliable and high-quality repair services, you can build a loyal customer base and enjoy a steady stream of work through word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business.

Personal Organizing Business

A personal organizing business involves helping clients declutter and organize their homes or offices, creating more efficient and enjoyable spaces. With startup costs ranging from $50 to $150, you can purchase marketing materials and basic organizing supplies. 

As an organizer, you can offer services such as closet organization, office setup, and space planning. This business allows you to work closely with clients, tailoring your services to their specific needs and preferences. By delivering effective and personalized organizing solutions, you can attract clients who value your expertise and build a successful business through satisfied customer recommendations.

Tutoring Business

If you’re passionate about an in-demand subject, you can start a tutoring business for students of all ages. To get started, you’ll probably need to invest somewhere between $0-$100 in marketing efforts like business cards and advertisements. 

There are many opportunities to tackle different subjects or offer one-on-one sessions and group lessons at different price points, helping students improve their academic performance. This business allows you to work flexible hours, often accommodating students’ schedules. By delivering personalized and effective tutoring services, you can build a reputation for excellence and attract a steady stream of clients through positive word-of-mouth and referrals.

Pet Sitting

If you’re a pet lover, offering pet sitting services can be a low-cost and rewarding business idea. To get started, you’ll need to invest roughly $50 (potentially less) for marketing efforts to attract clients. 

As a pet sitter, you can provide care for pets while their owners are away, including feeding, walking, and companionship. This business allows you to work from home or visit clients’ homes, offering flexible scheduling options. By providing reliable and loving care for pets, you can build a loyal client base and enjoy a fulfilling business that combines your passion for animals with a steady income.

Dog Walking Service

Starting a dog walking service is a simple and enjoyable one-person business idea for animal lovers. Startup costs are low for this business: $50 should get you some basic marketing (and if you want, a spare leash and waste bags to have on hand just in case). 

As a dog walker, you provide daily exercise and companionship for dogs, ensuring their well-being while their owners are busy or away. This business allows for flexible scheduling, as you can arrange walks based on your availability and clients’ needs. By offering reliable and caring service, you can quickly build a loyal client base through word-of-mouth referrals and positive reviews.

Dog Grooming Business

A dog grooming business involves providing grooming services for pets, such as baths, haircuts, nail trims, and more. With startup costs between $100 and $300, you can invest in grooming tools and marketing to promote your services. 

As a pet groomer, you can work from your home or offer mobile grooming services, providing convenience for pet owners. This business requires skills in handling and grooming animals, as well as knowledge of different grooming techniques. By delivering high-quality grooming services, you can attract repeat clients and build a reputation for excellence in pet care.

Personal Chef

Starting a personal chef business involves preparing customized meals for clients in their homes. With startup costs ranging from $50 to $150, you can invest in marketing materials and basic cooking supplies. As a personal chef, you can offer meal prep services, cooking for special occasions, or weekly meal planning tailored to your clients’ dietary needs and preferences. 

This business allows you to work flexible hours and build a schedule that suits your lifestyle. By providing delicious and personalized meals, you can build a loyal client base and enjoy a fulfilling career in the culinary arts.

Consulting and Coaching

Business Consultant

Starting a business consultancy involves offering expert advice to businesses looking to improve their operations, strategies, and overall performance. With an upfront investment of roughly $100-$300, you can get a professional website and marketing to attract clients. As a business consultant, you can provide services such as strategic planning, financial analysis, marketing strategy, and operational improvements. 

This business allows you to work with a variety of clients, from small startups to established companies, providing tailored solutions to meet their specific needs. By providing your expertise and delivering valuable insights, you can build a reputable consultancy and attract a steady stream of clients.

Life Coach

A life coaching business involves offering guidance and support to individuals looking to achieve personal and professional goals. You’ll likely need a certification to establish some credibility, and then you’ll need to build a business website, so you can reasonably expect your startup costs to range between $50-$200. 

As a life coach, you can help clients with career transitions, personal development, relationship issues, and achieving work-life balance. This business allows for flexible scheduling and the opportunity to work with clients one on one, either in person or virtually. By providing empathetic and actionable advice, you can help clients unlock their potential and lead more fulfilling lives, building a loyal client base through positive referrals and successful outcomes.

Retail and Sales

Consignment Sales Store

Starting a consignment sales store involves selling items on behalf of others, earning a commission on each sale. You’ll need a startup investment of roughly $100-$300 so you can get initial inventory, start some marketing efforts, or set up a storefront or online shop. And of course, you’ll need a clever consignment store name.

As a store owner, you can sell a variety of items, including clothing, furniture, and collectibles, provided by consignors who want to sell their goods. This business allows you to operate with low overhead costs and no need for large upfront investments in inventory. By offering fair terms to consignors and providing excellent customer service, you can attract a steady stream of clients and build a successful consignment business.

Amazon Affiliate Business

An Amazon affiliate business involves promoting Amazon products and earning commissions on sales made through your affiliate links. With startup costs between $50 and $100, you can create a professional website and invest in marketing to drive traffic to your site. As an affiliate marketer, you can write product reviews, create engaging content, and utilize social media to promote products that align with your niche. 

This business allows you to work from anywhere, set your own schedule, and earn passive income through successful marketing efforts. By focusing on high-quality content and effective promotion strategies, you can build a profitable Amazon affiliate business.

Errand Service Business

Starting an errand service business involves running errands for busy individuals, such as grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, or delivering packages. This startup has minimal startup costs; you’ll probably need $50 or less to start some marketing efforts to attract your first clients. 

As an errand runner, you provide convenience and time-saving solutions for clients who have demanding schedules. This business allows you to operate with minimal overhead and flexible hours, catering to the specific needs of your clients. By offering reliable and efficient service, you can build a loyal customer base and generate consistent income through repeat business and referrals.

Grocery Delivery Service

A grocery delivery service involves purchasing and delivering groceries to customers who prefer the convenience of home delivery. With startup costs between $50 and $100, you can invest in marketing materials and basic supplies needed for grocery shopping and delivery. 

As a delivery driver, you can offer personalized shopping services, catering to clients’ specific preferences and dietary needs. This business allows you to work flexible hours and build relationships with regular customers. By providing reliable and timely deliveries, you can attract a steady stream of clients who value convenience and personalized service, growing your grocery delivery business through positive word of mouth.

Technology and IT Services

Software Developer

Starting a business as a software developer involves creating software solutions for clients or developing your own applications to sell. With startup costs ranging from $100 to $300, you can invest in essential development software, marketing materials, and online platforms to promote your services or products. As a developer, you can offer custom software development, mobile app creation, and web application design, catering to the specific needs of businesses and individuals. 

This business allows you to work from home, set your own hours, and choose projects that align with your expertise and interests. By delivering high-quality software solutions and staying updated with the latest technologies, you can attract a steady stream of clients and build a successful development business.

Podcaster

Creating and monetizing a podcast is an engaging and low-cost business idea for those passionate about sharing their knowledge and opinions on various topics. With an upfront investment of $50-$100, you can invest in a good-quality microphone, podcast hosting, and basic marketing to promote your show. 

As a podcaster, you can produce episodes on subjects that interest you, build an audience, and monetize your podcast through sponsorships, advertising, and listener support. This business allows you to work from home, set your own schedule, and connect with a global audience. By consistently producing high-quality content and engaging with your listeners, you can grow your podcast and generate a steady income.

Educational and Instructional Services

Teach Classes as a Business

Starting a business teaching classes involves offering instruction in various subjects or skills, from academic tutoring to hobbies like cooking or painting. You’ll need to invest roughly $50-$100 to get marketing materials and get any teaching supplies you need. 

As an instructor, you can teach in-person classes at community centers, schools, or even in clients’ homes. This business allows you to set your own schedule and focus on subjects you’re passionate about. By providing high-quality instruction and engaging learning experiences, you can build a loyal student base and grow your teaching business through positive referrals.

Online Courses

Creating and selling online courses is a profitable and scalable business idea for those with expertise in a particular field. You’ll probably need to spend $50-$100 to cover platform fees for online course portals along with marketing to attract students. With startup costs ranging from $50 to $100, you can cover course platform fees and basic marketing to attract students. 

As an online instructor, you can develop comprehensive courses that provide valuable knowledge and skills to learners worldwide. This business allows you to work from home and set your own pace, creating content that can generate passive income over time. By producing well-structured and engaging courses, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche and attract a large number of students.

Piano Tuning and Repair Business

Starting a piano tuning and repair business involves offering specialized services to maintain and restore pianos. If you don’t already have piano tuning equipment, you’ll need to spend roughly $50-$150 to get your tools and market your services. 

As a piano tuner, you can provide tuning, repairs, and maintenance for piano owners in your local area. This business requires a specific skill set and attention to detail, making it a niche but rewarding field. By delivering high-quality tuning and repair services, you can build a reputation for excellence and attract repeat customers and referrals from satisfied clients.

Financial Services

Bookkeeper Services

Starting a bookkeeping business involves providing essential financial record-keeping services for small businesses. You’ll need to run some initial marketing efforts and buy some bookkeeping software, so you’ll need to invest between $50-$200. 

As a bookkeeper, you can manage financial transactions, maintain accurate ledgers, prepare financial statements, and assist with budgeting. This business allows you to work from home and set your own schedule, catering to the needs of various small businesses. By delivering reliable and accurate bookkeeping services, you can build long-term relationships with clients and grow your business through referrals and repeat work.

Tax Preparation Business

A tax preparation business involves helping individuals and businesses prepare and file their taxes, ensuring compliance with tax regulations and maximizing returns. With startup funds between $50 and $200, you can invest in tax preparation software and marketing to attract clients. 

As a tax preparer, you can offer services such as filing returns, providing tax advice, and representing clients during audits. This business requires knowledge of tax laws and attention to detail. By providing thorough and accurate tax preparation services, you can build a loyal client base and establish a reputation for expertise and reliability in the tax preparation industry.

Choosing a One-Person Business Idea to Start

Selecting the right one-person business idea involves evaluating several key factors to ensure success and personal satisfaction. Start by considering your personal skills and expertise, as choosing a business that aligns with your strengths and passions will increase your chances of success and enjoyment. Next, assess market demand for the services or products you’ll offer. What will your local competition be like? How can you effectively make people realize that they need your business? 

Additionally, consider the startup costs and financial requirements of the business, opting for ideas that fit within your budget and offer the potential for profitability. By balancing these factors, you can choose a one-person business idea that suits your abilities, meets market needs, and is financially feasible.

Next Steps: How to Start a Business with No Employees

To effectively start a one-person business, begin by creating a detailed business plan. Make a to-do list, and figure out how much time each task will take. Get it done, or if it saves you time, hire a freelancer to tackle it for you. You can also use online learning platforms like Udemy and Skillshare to upskill yourself if you need to learn a new skill to be more effective in the long term. 

And, of course, be careful with your money. Don’t over-purchase equipment and materials, getting used equipment when necessary to avoid unnecessary debt. Get a dedicated business bank account so you can keep your business finances neat (and, more importantly, separate). Likewise, be sure to set a clear pricing strategy that balances the value of your good or service with the money you need to be profitable. 

Finally, find people that can help you succeed. Network through local associations and social media to gain industry contacts and mentors. When you need to, get support from family and friends — sometimes, having one person help you for a couple of hours can save you time and money.

Common Mistakes of Solopreneurs and How to Avoid Them

Starting a business can be tricky, so be sure to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes as the entrepreneurs who came before you. Avoid these missteps, and you’ll help ensure your business thrives:

  1. Lack of Dedicated Workspace: Ensure you have a specific location for your business, whether at home or another remote site, with adequate space to operate efficiently.
  2. Misframing Your Enterprise: Treat your venture as a business, not just a job. This mindset shift is crucial for long-term growth and success.
  3. Overcommitting to Clients: Avoid taking on too many clients simultaneously, as this can compromise the quality of your services. Some entrepreneurs take on too much and can’t separate their personal and professional lives.
  4. Neglecting Networking: Make networking with other local business owners a priority to build valuable connections and opportunities for your business.
  5. Attempting to Do Everything Alone: Recognize the value of consultants or subcontractors who can provide expertise and support, allowing you to focus on core activities. Even family members can help under the right circumstances. 
  6. Unrealistic Financial Expectations: Understand that revenue may not come as quickly or easily as anticipated. Be prepared for gradual growth, and if you get funding, be cautious when obtaining loans.
  7. Lack of Specific Goals: Set clear, measurable goals for your business to maintain focus and direction.
  8. Absence of an Exit Strategy: Plan for the future by having an exit strategy in place, guiding your long-term decision-making.
  9. Neglecting a Customer-Centric Focus: Center your business around your customers’ needs and preferences, rather than solely on yourself.
  10. Inadequate Pricing: Ensure your pricing reflects the value of your services. Avoid undervaluing your offerings.
  11. Compliance with Zoning Laws: Verify local zoning regulations to ensure you are permitted to conduct business in your chosen location, including from home.
  12. Limited Service Offering: Provide a diverse range of services to meet the needs of a broader customer base and maximize potential revenue.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a strong foundation for your business and achieve sustainable success.

Let us help you start a small business today!

Just because you’re starting a one-person company doesn’t mean that you have to do everything solo. In fact, some of the most successful business owners thrive because they delegate specific tasks to other people. That’s where ZenBusiness comes in. We specialize in handling the “red tape” side of business: LLC or corporation formation paperwork, maintaining a registered agent, and more. Let us help handle the paperwork so you can focus on what you love: running your solo business.

One-Person Business FAQs

  • The best successful businesses combine your skills and interests, have low startup costs, and meet a market demand. Examples include freelance writing, virtual assistance, web design, social media consulting, and tutoring services.

  • To start a one-person business with minimal investment, focus on services that require low overhead. Utilize free or inexpensive online tools for marketing, create a detailed business plan, and gradually reinvest your earnings into the business to grow.

  • Running a one-person business requires a range of skills, including time management, marketing, customer service, and basic financial management. Additionally, having expertise in the specific service or product you are offering is crucial.

  • Balancing multiple roles involves effective time management and organization. Prioritize tasks, use project management tools, and consider outsourcing or using freelancers for specialized tasks to focus on your core business activities.

  • Effective marketing for a one-person business includes building a professional website, using social media platforms, networking within your industry, and utilizing content marketing. Engaging with your target audience through various channels helps build brand awareness and attract clients.

  • Common challenges include isolation, managing workload, and inconsistent income. Overcome these by networking regularly, setting clear goals, maintaining a work-life balance, and building a financial cushion to manage income fluctuations.

  • Yes, registering your business ensures you comply with local laws and regulations. Depending on your location, you may need to register as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or other business entity. This also helps in establishing a professional identity.

  • Research your industry to understand standard rates and consider your expertise and costs. Ensure your pricing reflects the value you provide and allows for profitability. Regularly review and adjust your prices based on market trends and feedback.

  • Legal considerations include registering your business as an LLC or corporation to limit your personal liability, understanding tax obligations, securing any necessary licenses or permits, and protecting your intellectual property. Consulting with a legal professional can help you navigate these requirements.

  • To scale into a profitable one-person business, focus on improving efficiency, expanding your service offerings, and integrating technology. Consider automating routine tasks and gradually hiring subcontractors or freelancers to handle increased workload, allowing you to focus on strategic growth.

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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