8 Best Self-Employed Job Ideas

With the current global health situation, many people have been struggling to make ends meet or have been laid off from their jobs. Working for yourself may be your best choice right now.

It is important to always do your research first and to think and talk about life decisions with loved ones or important people in your life.

Being self-employed might be the perfect fit for you if you want to be your boss. Here are the eight best self-employed jobs in the U.K.

1. Freelancer

Woman outside doing freelancer work at a table.

There are a variety of different jobs you can take on as a freelancer:

  • graphic design,
  • writing code,
  • developing mobile apps,
  • designing clothes for video game characters,
  • writing articles for blogs and websites,
  • and many more.

Where to Find Work

To find self-employed jobs, there are apps and websites that can help you look for work. One popular app is Upwork, which provides around 70 different categories of types of jobs to browse through. Another upside of this app is that you can work remotely. Some jobs provide the opportunity to work with clients in other countries and abroad.

How to Get Paid

Most of the freelancer applications and websites send a payment for your work through direct deposit, wire transfer, or PayPal; however, most apps and websites charge a fee for using their services.

Getting Started

It is always best to do some research before choosing a platform to work with. This self-employed field is great for those that are a jack of all trades and have many talents. This field is also great for those that have one talent that they have mastered.

2. Beautician

Beautician standing in a beauty shop.

Beauticians help give people a confidence boost, whether it be a fresh face or a new cut. They also socialize with their clients and help make them feel like a brand new and rejuvenated person. You can do all of this while working for yourself.

Where to Find Work

Finding clients, in the beginning, starts by word of mouth. Afterword gets out, you can post your services and pictures of clients on social media such as Instagram to get free publicity and advertising. Asking clients to tag your account on social media can help spread your name even more. If you include a promo with your service, such as a 10% discount if the client tags you in a post or picture, it would be a great incentive for clients to post and a great way to spread the news of your business.

How to Get Paid

First, you would create a menu of services you provide and charge an amount for each service. Most clients will pay for beautician’s services in cash. Some clients, if not most, will also include a 10% to 20% tip as well. As a self-employed beautician, you can charge your clients how you like and can also use apps such as PayPal or Venmo to receive your money.

Getting Started

Depending on the type of beautician you are, there might be some certifications or qualifications needed to be self-employed. For example, in the U.K., facialists or estheticians require a certificate or an apprenticeship in the field. For those working with hair, you could switch from working at a salon to being self-employed in your garage or even doing a mobile service that would involve driving to the client’s house to give them a haircut and/or color treatment.

3. Driver

Passengers showing their approval for their driver.

Technology is growing by the day, and apps on the phone make it easier for individuals to find self-employed driver jobs. If you have a gas efficient car and enjoy driving people around, this could be a great self-employment opportunity for you.

Where to Find Work

Uber and Lyft are some of the biggest apps that people use to conveniently get around. Uber is available in over 400 cities around the world, with the U.K. making up 20 of those, including London. Uber works by using a mobile application and by requesting a car to take you to an address from your current location. There are different types of cars that you can take, and the price ranges per car type. Also, during certain times of the day, there could be a surge in pricing, which means that you would be paying more during certain times of the day during others like the morning rush or after work hours.

The European Union ruled Uber as a part of a transport service in 2017, so it is regulated like a standard taxi service.

How to Get Paid

Driving services such as Uber and Lyft pay you through the app for how many rides you make and for how many miles you drive. There are additional things that can add up to make your pay higher such as surge rates and the type of car you drive. To find more information about how to get paid through Uber or Lyft, you can check their website for more information. If you start your own driver service, you will set your own driving fees and charge clients either in cash or by card. If you want to charge by credit card, there are services out there that can help you get paid, such as PayPal and Venmo.

Getting Started

If you choose to go through an already established company, there are apps on your mobile device that can help you get started. You usually have to apply to become a driver, and the company will let you know if you are hired or not.

There are a few requirements:

  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must have a private hire license from a council that Uber is licensed by
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Must have private hire insurance
  • A bank statement for the bank account you will be using to receive payments from
  • A driver profile picture

If you start off as your own private driver, you will need to find your own clients and then use word of mouth as a method of receiving more clients. This is a little more difficult, but if you have many friends and family, they can help you out by spreading the word via social media.

4. Dog Sitter, Babysitter, or House Sitter

Woman walking a dog down the street.

If you love dogs, this could be one of the best self-employed jobs for you.

Where to Find Work

There are mobile apps in the U.K. for dog walking, dog training, and dog dating, such as Pawshake, Rundogo, and Woofer. Some of these apps are subscription-based and require a monthly fee to use the app’s services. You can also use websites such as House Sitters U.K. This website provides services for pet sitting and housesitting.

How to Get Paid

You are paid based on the services you provide. For example, Pawshake offers dog walking, doggy daycare, housesitting, and home boarding. As the sitter, you are required to do at least one or many of these tasks, and you will be paid for it.

Getting Started

Launching your career as a babysitter or housesitter requires a good word of mouth as an advertisement. More work will come as you prove yourself to be a good sitter. For those that enjoy pets, babies, and houses, this could be the perfect opportunity for you.

5. Personal Trainer or Fitness Instructor

Physical trainer helping someone learn how to exercise.

If you are a fitness enthusiast or nutrition enthusiast, being a personal trainer or a fitness instructor might be the perfect fit.

Where to Find Work

Most personal trainers and fitness instructors build up their profiles and reputations by using social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

How to Get Paid

You can make money by not only helping your clients get fit, build muscle, and eat healthier but also by getting sponsorships from companies and receiving free products to try and test out for reviews. This could be a great option for a self-employed job if you have a high standing reputation on social media.

Getting Started

If you have built up a reputation at a gym or health facility that you used to go to, you can tell your clients that you are starting your own personal training program. This could encourage people to come to you if they like your services and price. You can also offer a discount for first-time customers or a bulk discount if people purchase multiple services from you.

If you do not have previous clients that can help you start out, you can start by posting your own workouts online and build up a following via social media.

Even if you do not have a lot of followers or a high-standing profile, you can build it up one client at a time.

6. Tutoring

Tutor teaching a kid how to do their schoolwork.

This is another job that is mostly built from reputation. If you excel at a subject or topic, you can tutor others in that specific field.

Where to Find Work

There are many websites that hire private tutors according to your schedule. You can usually control your rates and tutor at the convenience of your own home through apps like Zoom. An example is Tutorful, a U.K.-based tutoring service. Subjects that are offered on Tutorful include math, English, science, French, Spanish, German, history, geography, business, law, guitar, and many others.

How to Get Paid

If you go through a website or app to become a private tutor, the company will pay you off their rates and fees, and it is usually sent to your bank account. When you apply and create your account, most websites and apps will have you submit a bank account where you will receive your money.

If you get clients on your own and have your own payment system, you can choose whether your clients pay you in cash, credit, or check.

Getting Started

Usually, as a tutor, you will teach students by helping them understand their homework. There are many resources available online that give study sheets, testing prep, and practice problems. You can also provide these for your clients if they are not in school or do not have homework. Another service you can provide as a tutor is helping students with exams such as GCSEs. There are books with mock tests and questions available online that can help with English, math, biology, chemistry, physics, history, geography, foreign languages, religious studies, I.T., technology, arts, etc.

7. Security

Security officer talking into a communication device.

Security officers or guards can work for public or private security agencies. Although they work for agencies, they may also choose to be self-employed.

Where to Find Work

There are many agencies in the U.K. that offer self-employed security jobs. These are usually part-time positions and have different venues.

There are requirements to work in this field:

  • Must have an SIA license
  • UTR number that is issued by HMRC when you register for Self Assessment
  • Security experience
  • Driving license & vehicle
  • Must be eligible to work and live in the U.K.

How to Get Paid

Some agencies pay salaries, and they will offer a sum of money per hour you work. These are usually permanent positions and are usually on the weekends for 12 hours at a time. Most agencies will pay you in direct deposit to your bank account

Getting Started

To become a self-employed security officer or guard, you may need to complete the requirements above. After you have completed these requirements, you can apply to the agency and wait for their response back.

8. Sales

Self-employed salesman standing inside of his house.

Where to Find Work

Most companies look for self-employed sales workers online. These positions are usually remote and include a lot of outbound calls. Some companies require you to possess a valid driver’s license and vehicle.

How to Get Paid

Most agencies will pay you by direct deposit to your bank account. Some jobs will additionally pay you in bonuses and commissions, while others will only pay you with commissions.

Getting Started

Some self-employed sales jobs have a requirement of at least one year in the sales field before applying, while others do not require any experience at all. It will depend on the company you apply to. Most of these jobs are remote, so you will need a calling device, wifi, and a computer.

How to Fund Your New Career

Starting out a self-employed job can be a difficult start. There are many resources that can be found online to help you start out, and there are many people online that share their stories and journeys of self-employment. If you are short on money, there are services that can help you start out.

If you need money to get a certificate, take a course to get certified, or start yourself off so you can be self-employed, you can apply for a payday loan. There are other short-term loans that you can pay off after a little while, such as when you receive your next paycheck.

There will be fees involved, so it is always best to do research to find the best short-term payday loan for you. Additionally, there are fees if you do not pay your payday loan back on time, so it may not be wise to borrow money or take a loan if you cannot pay it back.