CREATED: 15.03.2024UPDATED: 26.03.2024

1 Man Business Ideas: 10 Ideas and Tips for Single Person Businesses

1 Man Business Ideas: 10 Ideas and Tips for Single Person Businesses

Find out how to start a successful one person business and get 10 one person business ideas.

Ready to take the plunge into starting your own business? The journey may stretch you beyond what you think you can do. But the rewards can be out of this world if you have the right business strategy, work hard, and stay in the game long enough to achieve success.

Let’s walk through what you need to know about starting a one person business, including 10 single man business ideas to consider and a step-by-step breakdown of how to get started as a solopreneur.

Should I start a one person business?

A one person business—also known as a sole proprietorship or sole trader, depending on where you live—is owned and run by an individual, not a group or organization.

Unlike corporations, which enjoy limited liability, people who own one person businesses (“solopreneurs”) are usually fully liable if something goes wrong. This means that their personal assets like their home equity, car, or savings could be used to pay debts if their businesses are sued or go bankrupt.

Is it worthwhile to start a one person business? Consider these pros and cons.


  • Be your own boss. Make all the decisions, and don’t worry about answering to an employer.
  • Full creative control. Develop and execute your business vision the way you want. Design products and services that reflect this vision.
  • Keep a large share of the profits. When you own a business, you get to keep more of the profits than if you’re merely an employee. Build wealth quickly if your business is booming.


  • The buck stops with you. Being in control means you’re the first responder when something goes wrong. There’s no passing the buck.
  • Risky. Unfortunately, a lot of start-ups don’t succeed. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying if you have a well-thought-out, promising business vision. After all, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
  • Requires hard work. As a solopreneur, you have to do all the work without delegating to other departments or staff. You might eventually hire people, but a lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into getting a one person business off the ground.

Solopreneurs who did it right: Successful one person business examples

Many of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs and largest companies began as one person operations. Think Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon; Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group; or Ingvar Kamprad, who founded IKEA.

Check out these other entrepreneurs who started out alone and developed highly profitable businesses.

Jackie Aina: Makeup artist & YouTuber

Jackie Aina

Jackie Aina has made a name for herself as a makeup artist and YouTuber. Starting her channel in 2009, Aina’s beauty-themed videos have been viewed more than 400 million times and earned over 3.5 million subscribers.

She has collaborated with popular makeup brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and Sephora. In 2020, she launched the FORVR Mood lifestyle brand, which sells luxury scented candles.

In 2023, Aina’s net worth was estimated to be around $10-$12 million. The straight-talking beauty guru encourages people to reject self-doubt when pursuing their goals. Speaking to People Magazine, she said, “Let’s just say, worst scenario, you do lose everything…you will still survive. You had nothing before you had this stuff. Did you die? No, you were just fine.”

Adriaan Mol: Mollie payment app developer

Adriaan Mol, Mollie app founder. Single man business ideas.

Adriaan Mol created the multi-billion dollar payment app Mollie in 2004 at 18 years old. Obsessed with computer technology and coding, he started developing the app at just 14 years old. Born in the Netherlands, Mol realized Dutch financial institutions were lacking when he began hunting for ways to accept payments on his app.

Fast-forward to 2023, Mollie has 700+ employees and 130,000+ business users, including well-known brands like Mazda and Gymshark. Valued at $6.5 billion, Mollie is one of Europe’s largest fintech companies, raising $800 million from investors in 2021.

Mol’s net worth is $1.8 billion (you read that right). In a 2023 interview, he said that stepping out of his comfort zone and seeking outside investment was crucial for Mollie’s success. “I realized that feeling comfortable is not always the best thing for yourself or for your company. So I raised [money] when I felt we could exploit Mollie’s potential more and grow faster.”

10 one person business ideas

1. Become an influencer or skills expert

Turning your passion and skills into a monetizable brand is easier than ever in the social media age. Carve out a niche and become a recognized expert in your field by getting active on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

To monetize your content, you must typically meet certain criteria (minimum followers/subscribers, views, etc.), adhere to community guidelines, and agree to share your ad revenue with the platform.

Want to keep more of your revenue and start earning right away? Try an independent creator platform like BlurBay, which lets you customize your site to match your unique brand and monetize content the way you want. With BlurBay, you only pay 5% of your earnings, so you don’t have to worry about ongoing subscription fees. Plus, it’s super easy to put content behind a paywall if you want to sell online courses, instructional videos, or how-to guides.

BlurBay example creators. One person business ideas.

2. Make and sell your own products

Let your creativity take flight by designing custom products to sell. From fashion, beauty products, and statement accessories to home decor, sports gear, and tech gadgets—the sky’s the limit! Sell globally on platforms like Etsy and Shopify, or run an e-commerce store with BlurBay, WordPress, or Wix.

Don’t just limit yourself to products marketed to individuals. Consider making items that help businesses run more efficiently and maximize profits. The key is to identify market needs and create products that effectively target those needs.

3. Start an affiliate website

Want to make money in your sleep? Affiliate marketing lets you do just that. Of course, you’ll have to set up a website and get traffic first. With affiliate marketing, you promote other companies’ products and services and earn a small commission every time someone makes a purchase.

To run a successful affiliate site, get familiar with the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) and create content that will attract people looking to make a purchase or switch services. Write product reviews, curate lists of “best” and “top” products, and publish informative guides highlighting product selling points.

Be sure to adhere to your country’s consumer protection laws and regulations for transparency in advertising.

4. Get into real estate

Real estate investing is one of the best ways to grow your wealth. That’s because land and property have inherent (albeit fluctuating) value, unlike consumer discretionary items that can lose value, like fashion, home decor, vehicles, and luxury goods.

You don’t need a team or large corporation to get into real estate. Buy and flip or rent out property. If you don’t have that kind of cash, consider investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs), similar to buying stocks in real estate companies.

Alternatively, rent out space on platforms like Airbnb to earn a steady stream of residual income. You can also turn your vehicle into a source of income by renting it out on sites like Turo.

one person business ideas

5. Become a writer or editor

In the age of information, content is king. If you’re a wordsmith who enjoys interpreting the world via the written word, try your hand at becoming a writer or editor.

While seeing your name on bookstands might sound like the ultimate goal, many people make a living writing blog articles, press releases, business copy, advertisements, eBooks, social media posts, news reports, and more.

Create a freelancer profile on sites like Upwork, Freelancer.com, or Fiverr, or get started building your portfolio by working for an agency. Whether drafting a business proposal, editing a novel, or penning an informative blog post, opportunities in this realm are endless.

6. Develop apps or software

There’s no denying we’re living in the digital age, and there’s high demand for technology that makes business and personal life easier and more productive. The opportunities are vast if you’re an innovative person with computer programming skills (like Mollie app founder Adriaan Mol).

You don’t necessarily need a computer science degree to create apps and software. There’s a ton of information online with which you can teach yourself.

If you have a great idea but don’t have the time or interest to become a programmer, hire one to bring your vision to life. Then, do the grunt work to market your app, get user feedback, and attract the attention of investors who can help you scale.

7. Become a graphic designer, photographer, or videographer

Have a flair for creating eye-catching visuals? Graphic design, photography, or videography might be the one person business idea you’re looking for. Brands constantly seek unique designs for marketing and events like weddings, corporate functions, and parties.

Spread the word on social media, and showcase your work on sites designed for graphic artists like Behance, Dribbble, or Adobe Portfolio.

Narrow down your services to one or more niches—like drone photography, logos, book covers, food photography, typography, or 3D game art—to cut through the competition and establish yourself as an expert.

single man business ideas

8. Run a maintenance business

Keep it practical by offering lawn care or maintenance services. Regardless of technological revolutions or market shifts, homes and offices always need upkeep. This type of work is frequently outsourced.

The best part? You don’t need any special training, the upfront investment is pretty minimal, and you can choose your clients. Maintenance work is especially good if you prefer independent, solitary work environments without a lot of interruptions or people interactions.

9. Resell items

There’s a lot of money to be made in retail arbitrage. Buy in-demand, low-priced items from thrift stores, garage sales, and clearance outlets. Resell your inventory by creating merchant accounts on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, or local listings.

If you have effective pricing strategies and a keen eye for spotting valuables, the resale business can provide a steady income stream.

10. Become a virtual assistant

Post the pandemic, many businesses have chosen to keep up remote or hybrid working arrangements with employees. Why pay overhead for an office and waste time commuting when you can get work done from home?

Many business owners and executives are looking for virtual assistants to help with emails, appointment scheduling, basic bookkeeping tasks, marketing, social media management, writing, and editing.

The beauty of this role is that it’s flexible. Work from anywhere, and choose clients with needs that suit your skill set. Kickstart your journey on freelance platforms like Upwork or dedicated virtual assistance websites like Zirtual or BELAY. Accumulate good reviews to attract more clients and boost your income.

Dream big neon sign. 1 man business ideas.

How to start a one person business in 6 steps

At first, starting a one person business can feel like an uphill battle. The hard part comes first. But it gets easier once you get your first clients and start carving out your market. Follow these 6 steps to get your enterprise on track and generate revenue.

  • Start a side hustle. Don’t dive headfirst into starting a large company. Experiment with a side hustle to get your feet wet and work out basic upfront issues. Decide if your business idea has real merit.
  • Research the market & create a growth plan. Look up trends in your industry. Is the market growing or shrinking? How much is it worth? Who are your customers, and how do you plan to reach them? What are your short- and long-term costs? Set an ultimate goal, and establish subgoals to help guide your progress.
  • Register your business. Depending on which business structures are legally recognized in your country, you might need to register as a sole proprietor, sole trader, or limited liability corporation (LLC). This is important for keeping your personal and business matters separate, which is handy if you get tax audited.
  • Grow your online presence. Creating online traction for your business is crucial for growing your customer base and tackling the competition. Create a website, connect with your target market on social media, and produce content related to your business (videos, blogs, social media posts, LinkedIn articles, etc.). Trying to grow a personal brand? Check out our guide for tips on how to succeed.
  • Get your first clients and earn good reviews. Word-of-mouth recommendations are the most powerful marketing tool. Once you get your first customers, do your best to earn 5-star reviews. This will go a long way to broadening your customer base and increasing your income.
  • Understand your limitations and look for opportunities to grow. As a solo entrepreneur, you can’t do it all (certainly not by yourself). Growth takes time, and there’s only so much you can do. That being said, reinvest your income wherever possible to expand your offerings, hire talent, and outsource work so you can leverage your efforts and grow more rapidly.

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