Labor is one of the biggest costs of doing business. For most companies, labor eats up 20% to 25% of gross sales. But businesses in certain industries like the service sector may spend 50% or more of gross sales on payroll and employee onboarding.
When you’re a new entrepreneur, it’s important to stay lean and limit your business costs as much as possible. This is especially true if you don’t have a lot of startup capital to work with.
Luckily labor costs don’t have to take up a big chunk of your profits. You can reduce or even eliminate them if you run your business solo. Here are four profitable businesses that don’t need employees to give you some ideas.
Business That Don’t Need Employees
Become a Freelancer
Freelancers provide their services to clients on a contract basis, which means they don’t get benefits. But freelancing and working for yourself gives you much more flexibility than being an employee. You have the power to set your own hours and decide which projects you take on. So as long as you don’t pile too much work on your plate, you can run your freelance business completely solo.
Almost any skill can be turned into a successful freelance business. Depending on your professional background, you could work as a writer, graphic designer, career coach, bookkeeper, or virtual assistant. You can even make a career change and freelance in a new industry.
Run a Handyman Business
You don’t need to hire a team of people to start a handyman business. There are lots of jobs you can complete by yourself, such as painting rooms, power washing patios, and replacing fixtures. As your business becomes more successful, you have the option to scale and hire employees or remain a solopreneur.
Start An Online Store
If you’re crafty, you could start an online store selling handmade goods. It may be easier to generate sales and gain customers on an established platform like Etsy. However, Etsy takes a cut of every sale, so you’ll earn more by selling your wares on your own website.
If you don’t want to make your own products, you can try dropshipping, which involves getting a third-party supplier to fulfill your orders as they come in. You won’t have to buy any inventory upfront, which greatly reduces your risk. Dropshipping also make your store easier to operate by yourself because you don’t have to pack and ship orders.
Launch a Home Baking Business
If you love to bake, you can turn your cake-making skills into a profitable home-based business. Many states have cottage food laws that allow you to make shelf-stable foods like cake, cookies, and jam in your home kitchen and sell them locally. You’ll need to comply with food safety laws and your kitchen may need to be inspected to ensure it’s sanitary. You’ll also need to get liability insurance in case someone claims to get sick from your food.
Many home bakers sell their confections at farmers markets. You can also advertise your business online and take orders through your Facebook or Instagram page.
Are there any businesses that don’t need employees we didn’t cover? Drop your ideas in the comments section below!
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.