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9 Min. Read

One Person Business Ideas: 10 Startups You Can Run Yourself.

If you’re looking for a business you can run yourself, something that requires no help from others and where you receive 100% of the profits, then consult this list.

  1. Concierge
  2. Blogger
  3. Food Truck Operator
  4. Real Estate Agent
  5. Driver
  6. Home Inspector
  7. Painter
  8. Dog Walker
  9. Tutor
  10. Companion Caregiver

1. Concierge

A Concierge’s job is to find and arrange the delivery of products or services that a client simply does not have the time to do but is willing to pay for. Often, no two days are alike for a Concierge, who can work almost anywhere, as long as there’s access to a computer, tablet or mobile device. Last minute requests are often the norm in this job, which may require out of the box thinking.

Although there are companies that specialize in concierge services (outside of the hotel industry), there’s no reason you can’t go at this alone. If you are a lightning fast responder, able to solve problems in a creative and professional way, this may be an ideal occupation for you.

Start by building a website that outlines what you’re offering along with a pricing structure. Next, consider using the marketing services of LinkedIn and Facebook to get the word out about your business. Reach out to your contacts too. Building a client list will take time, but consider that you probably won’t need that many clients to stay busy.

Word of mouth and client satisfaction will keep your company going. Concierges can get paid very well as it’s an industry where tipping is not frowned upon.

2. Blogger

If you’re good at writing, understand the basics of computer software, and are creative, then blogging is something you can do yourself.

A blogger is a person who writes content for a website about a specific subject, on a regular basis. A blog is often very informal, and there are many that have gathered huge followings. Popular blog sites often find a solution to a web searcher’s problem, like “how do I shoot a video for YouTube?” or “what’s the best mobile phone?”, that sort of thing. If searchers find a site they like, often they will keep coming back because the subject matter interests them.

You’ll need to determine your subject matter and then find a web hosting service (these are companies that provide you with both a URL and a templated website to build your content off of). You then write about your subject in a way that stands out, followed by a process called “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO), which are techniques you implement on your blog that allow people to find you through search engines.

SEO is how you found this web page. You can get acquainted with SEO techniques here with a read of HubSpot’s free SEO starter pack and Steve Toth’s SEO Notebook. Proper SEO practices take time, and they should be put into place every time you update your blog.

Once you’ve done that and developed a following, the key to making this a cash generating business is advertising. Advertisers are always looking for opportunities to get their product in front of potential customers, if your blog is relevant and has a large following then maybe this is a way you can make your blog profitable.

Here are some ways you can make money on a blog:

  • Affiliate Programs. A link on your blog links through to an online retailer. A click-through that results in a sale earns you a commission.
  • Google AdSense or Other Website Advertising Programs. You allow text or displays ads (or both) from advertisers to be placed on your website. You decide exactly where these ads can appear. You get paid when the ads are seen (this is called “impressions”) or clicked on (called “pay-per-click”).

3. Food Truck Operator

You’re going to need some startup money for this, and a driver’s license, but there’s no reason you can’t run a food truck by yourself. The big charges are going to be finding and equipping the vehicle. The challenge will be getting a license and a permit that allows you to operate in an area where there’s enough potential customers.

Some cities are easier to deal with when it comes to state laws regarding food trucks, you’ll need to do a little advance research. You will also have to maintain the equipment, source fresh food every day and buy insurance. The benefits are you can set your own hours, and profits can be good for a sole proprietor of a food truck if managed properly.

The idea of running a food truck has proven so popular that the “Dummies” publishers have written a Running a Food Truck for Dummies Book. It’s on its second edition.

4. Real Estate Agent

Many real estate agents are private, meaning they don’t belong to an actual agency. They sell homes or buildings but work for themselves, and get 100% of the profits.

To become a real estate agent, you do need to obtain a license from the state you want to practice in. The requirements are different depending on the state, for instance in New York you must complete a course that is 75 hours in duration, whereas in California it’s 135 hours.

A real estate agent must work a lot of hours, as well as be able to respond last minute to client requests, but the pay is excellent.

5. Driver

With the explosion of Uber and Lyft in cities worldwide, driving has never been in more demand than it has been today. Depending on where you live, you may have your choice of driving for Uber or Lyft or both.

You must own or provide a car to drive and have a valid driver’s license, as well as a smartphone. The vehicle being used must go through a safety inspection. You may also be required to go through background check(s) and obtain a business license, but that depends on the service you’re working for and the city you live in.

You can set your own hours, choosing to work last minute if you want to. Estimates vary on the earnings you’ll make because of the wear and tear on your car, mileage, fuel and how much you’re actually driving. You’ll also have to pay Uber and Lyft a cut too.

According to CNET, Lyft has 1.4 million drivers in the US and Toronto, while Uber has 750,000 drivers in the United States.

6. Home Inspector

A Home Inspector provides a limited examination of a home to determine the condition of the structure, this inspection is often conducted as a condition of a home sale being completed. Often an inspector is working for the buyer, providing a detailed report so the client can better make decisions about the sale.

This is a job that pays well, and can be done by one person. Some states require that a home inspector be licensed while others do not. Should you be interested, you should have a good understanding or experience with electrical outlets, plumbing, fireplaces, roofs, structural integration and mold detection.

Often this business relies on referrals from real estate agents.

7. Painter

If you’re skilled with a brush, there’s no reason you can’t run a paint business by yourself. You’ll need to buy supplies, but you will be charging those costs back to the client. Consider if you will do both interiors and exteriors and if it’s residential only. You will need to quote per job. Always assume the job is going to take a little longer than you expect, and factor that into the quote.

You’ll want to get some insurance but the hours are up to you, depending on the jobs you take. You should create a website, and spread the word on Facebook. You can start with local jobs and work your way up from there.

8. Dog Walker

Dog Walking is an ideal situation for a one-person business, especially if you love dogs. You can make some money while getting plenty of exercise. A lot of clients don’t like leaving their beloved pet alone all day, especially if they work long hours.

There may not be much in the way of start-up costs, aside from insurance. You’ll want to be specific on what you’re offering and where – is this just a local service where you’ll go to a client’s home and walk their dog? Or would you consider driving across town? If you already live downtown, maybe there’s already more than enough business in your area.

If you’re keeping the service to your immediate neighbourhood, marketing via Facebook posts, word of mouth and even homemade flyers will help get the word out.

9. Tutor

Tutoring will require absolutely no money upfront, and often you are paid immediately. If you have a skill you can share, and the ability to teach, then tutoring is an excellent one-person business start-up you should consider.

The money is good and you’re not required to have a license. Often the hours are reasonable, as lessons are typically in short bursts and not late in the evening, as your pupil’s retention will be better right after school. Of course, adults also need tutoring in a variety of subjects, including languages and math.

Often word of mouth is enough to get some tutoring work in your area, but you can try your contacts on social media too, to spread the word.

10. Companion Caregiver

This is a growing field, where a caregiver gives non-medical assistance to seniors who want to stay in their homes. A Companion Caregiver provides assistance, depending on what’s needed. It could be picking up groceries, providing companionship, cooking a meal or helping with personal care. You may not require a license for this job, but you should check with your local or state governing body. It is advisable to know CPR and First Aid.

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