There are plenty of ways of setting up in business, and they don’t all involve running a cafe and/or bookshop – often the #1 ‘start-up’ day-dream scenario!

This blog explains the main 5 main ways you can work for yourself. Which would suit you best?

1. Freelancing

Typically freelancers will offer a business-to-business (B2B) service, selling to clients your skills in a more traditional area of business, such as:

  • Accountancy
  • Project Management
  • Marketing
  • HR
  • Web Design

For you if…

You have gained a solid chunk of work experience in a traditional business discipline.
You are happy working without support and are confident you can secure new business from clients.
You enjoy the work you did as a day-job!2. Selling Products

You don’t have to be an artist, maker or designer to create and sell products, although that is of course one of the ways to do it! Product-led businesses also include:

  • eBay selling/upcycling
  • Buying an existing product wholesale, and selling retail
  • Inventing an entirely new product that solves a problem for customers

For you if…

You have a new product idea, have an eye for a bargain or a strong idea for a way to brand and sell an existing product.
You do have a creative skill or talent that you can use to make or design products
You like the idea of the challenge and reward of selling a real, tangible item.
You have the spare room to store products if needed, and some cash to invest upfront in stock too – although this could be a very small amount to start with, it doesn’t need to be thousands!

3. Franchising

Examples of popular franchises that target the female and family markets include:

For you if…

You have a chunk of money to invest upfront in a business (franchisee fees are typically from £3k-£15k annually/to start), and want a tried and tested formula that you can manage yourself.
You’d like support and a strong structure around you.

4. Network Marketing / Multi-Level Marketing

Examples include:

Warning: please do your research carefully!: statistics show that only a small % of reps actually make serious income from MLM businesses. Articles like this explain some of the potential downsides of the many MLM/networking marketing opportunities around.

For you if…

You don’t want to invest much (initial fees are typically well under £1k) but you’d like structure and support and a well-known product to sell.
You have an extensive network, love talking and being around people and are happy selling face-to-face. Many encourage hosting selling ‘parties’ with friends and family, so you have to be comfortable selling to people you know, as well as making ‘cold calling’ approaches.

5. Providing a Service

Typically a service is offered business-to-consumer (B2C). You can offer any service you like that meets an individual’s need, or solves a problem for them:

  • photographer
  • life coach
  • wedding/party planner
  • home de-clutterer
  • hairdresser/make-up artist
  • doula, florist, counsellor… the list is endless!

For you if…

You don’t have a traditional skill set that could be offered to businesses, so freelancing isn’t for you. You are instead either willing to retrain (professional development courses can cost anywhere from £200-£5000) or have an unusual or in-demand skill set gained from life experiences or an interest/hobby/talent.
You have the imagination and creativity to start-up your own unique offer, and market yourself too.

Let me know which of these are up your street in the comments below!