If you’re tempted by the freedom of freelancing, but don’t quite know where to begin, here is a list of 10 freelance business ideas to inspire you. The trick is to identify your skills and what service you can provide someone who is willing to pay for it. Consider what you enjoy as well as what you are good at. Could one of these be for you?
This is one of the cheapest ways to start an online business but most definitely not the easiest. To make money from a blog is becoming increasingly difficult in a very competitive market. But if you love writing, and have a strong fresh message, or a different angle on a well-loved topic, blogging can win you readers (and earn you cash).
- Social media manager
Most companies use social media to promote their brands. Small businesses don’t always have the manpower or money to spend time on Twitter and Facebook so rely on freelancers to manage their social media for them. If you enjoy digging out great viral content and have an eye for grammar this could be a lucrative freelance opportunity in an industry that is set to keep growing.
- Stock photography
If you’re handy with your camera, stock photography can provide a steady supplementary income. Be aware that for each download of one of your images you might receive as little as 20p. To boost your profile in this competitive market you need to find your niche. If you already have a hobby or a passion, besides photography, like a sport or baking, then consider combining the two.
- Dog care
If you love our four-legged friends then there are plenty of people who are willing to pay for grooming, walking, boarding and even training. There are courses in grooming and these would certainly add to your credentials while becoming established. To board a dog in your own home you can either advertise your own services locally or join an established dog-boarding agency.
- eBay seller
There is still opportunity to make money selling things on eBay. If you have a passion for something specific so much the better: if you love vintage dresses or you’re an avid collector of porcelain figurines, then work will often not feel like work at all. The margins are hit and miss and it is a juggling act to keep up with mailing items, photographing, correspondence and ensuring all listings are beautiful and accurate.
If you love to crunch numbers and are organised, freelance bookkeeping could keep your own bank balance healthy. There is plenty of work available but equally plenty of freelance bookkeepers competing for it. Visit www.bookkeepers.org.uk for information and access to courses and qualifications, which can help raise your profile and income.
- Laundry business
If you enjoy folding, ironing and washing and you have a decent machine and tumble dryer at home, you could earn some extra cash. There are plenty of people who detest the never-ending cycle of laundry and some are prepared to pay someone else to do it. There are companies in London who offer expensive versions of this service, charging upwards of £14 for one load of washing and drying.
While on the subject of fabrics, tailoring is a low-cost start up if you have skills with a needle and thread. Most people have clothes in their wardrobe that need some amendments – trousers that need taking up or even buttons that need stitching back on. Advertise locally, use the contacts you already have and if you do a good job at a reasonable price customers will return and recommend you.
- Tutoring locally
If you enjoy sharing your knowledge and have specialist knowledge, or are a graduate in a particular subject, tutoring can provide a good income. Competition for school places and universities is tough and parents are willing to pay for the advantages a tutor can bring to their children. Agencies can connect you with tutees or you could advertise locally.
- Online tutoring
There are many providers of online tutoring services where you can register as a tutor and be matched with tutees. This is a very popular side job for university students so you may be competing for work against young people with recent education and up-to-date knowledge of syllabus requirements, but your experience and depth of knowledge could also be considered an advantage. Visit www.thetutorsassociation.org.uk for information and industry news.