Have you always dreamed of being your own boss? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to increase your income? Inflation rates across the country have skyrocketed in the past few years and we’re all looking for solutions. So why not consider starting a business that essentially runs itself? Does it sound too good to be true?
Well, I’m not going to say that you won’t have to put in work to get the business started, but there are many businesses that will run themselves over time. By that I mean a business that will continue to operate with minimal effort on your part so that you too can become someone with multiple streams of revenue including the ever-popular “passive income”.
Aside from the additional income generated from a self-running business, you won’t be tied up on a daily basis dealing with business-related issues. That means you’ll have the time to continue working your full-time job or even explore other business ventures. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a real passion for business and can grow your businesses so that you don’t need that full-time job anymore.
So let’s get into the juicy stuff, what are some self-running business ideas and how do you get started?
10 Businesses that Run Themselves
1 – E-commerce Dropshipping Store
Dropshipping is a way for e-commerce businesses to fulfill orders by sourcing goods from a supplier instead of procuring and stocking inventory for themselves. That means as a dropshipper you never have to deal with storing or shipping the product, you’re essentially a middleman between the customer and supplier.
To start a dropshipping store, you would need to set up a website, find a supplier and then implement an automated order fulfillment system. E-commerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce can streamline the process and provide tools like payment processing, order tracking capabilities, and SEO tools.
2 – Blogging
Do you like to bake gluten-free goods or visit National Parks every chance you get? Why not take an interest or passion of yours and turn it into content for a blog? Whether your interests are personal finance, home decorating, or making beautiful and tasty coffee drinks – there’s an audience for your content. Just take a moment to look at the accounts that you follow on Instagram or TikTok and you’ll see just how diverse your own interests are.
To start a blog you can utilize a platform like Squarespace or WordPress and start uploading content right away! To really up your game, you’ll want to look into SEO and how to monetize your site using ads, sponsored content or even product promotions. Be sure to establish a social media presence to make use of the various platforms that users can find you on!
3 – Affiliate Marketing Website
Are you a frequent Amazon shopper or do you love fashion? We’ve all seen Instagram influencers promoting their favorite Amazon goods or fashion finds. If they can do it, why not you?? There are a multitude of retailers with affiliate marketing programs that can get you PAID.
Similar to blogging, you would start with a website on a blogging platform. Then you would apply to various affiliate programs – try to focus on brands that you know and love so that you can be genuine and authentic when you’re promoting items. We can all spot someone that’s pushing an item for commissions and it’s not a good look.
Over time retailers may reach out to you or offer opportunities for you to review products and earn even more commissions. Don’t forget to use SEO tools and social media to get more traction and start making some serious dough!
4 – Print-on-Demand Business
Do you have a knack for creative graphic designs? Or do your friends LOL at your clever play on words? Why not take that creativity to the printer? T-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, mouse pads – if you can imagine it, you can create it!
To get started you can use a platform like Printful or Printify, where you can create custom designs for all kinds of merchandise. Once the designs are uploaded, the platforms handle production, fulfillment, and shipping! How easy is that?
5 – YouTube Channel
Are you a gamer or someone your friends and family look to for makeup and hair tips? Why not create a YouTube channel where you can share your knowledge and expertise on anything from personal finance to productivity tips on Excel. Not into teaching? There’s a profitable niche for lifestyle and travel YouTubers too!
Whatever your interests and passions may be, you’re sure to find YouTubers who are currently profiting from creating content for people like you. So why not become a creator instead of a consumer and make some money doing the things you already do or educating people on topics that you can’t help but talk about?
To start you need to create a YouTube channel and upload content. You can start with your smartphone and later on invest in vlogging equipment and editing software. Creating engaging video content is work, but that’s why there aren’t as many people doing it. You can build a subscriber base and start earning revenue from ads and brand partnerships.
6 – Vending Machine Business
A relatively simple, set-it-and-forget-it type of business is the vending machine business.
Who hasn’t picked up a soda or chips from a vending machine when you’re running through the airport or patiently waiting for a loved one to get out of surgery? The cool thing is, vending machines don’t cost a lot of money and you can quickly be on your way to generating passive income!
First things first, choose a high-traffic location like a local school, warehouse or hotel and reach out to management to discuss their vending machine needs. Find a vending machine seller and stock your machines with popular drinks/snacks. You can then hire someone to re-stock and maintain the machines or do it yourself. If you’re short on cash to start you can even find companies that will lease vending machines out. No excuses!
7 – Stock Photography
Do you love photography? Maybe you take tons of pictures out in nature or enjoy going to classic car shows and snapping pics. You’re already doing the work, so why not sell your photos to a stock photography website like Getty Images or Stocksy?
Each site has its own commission rates and some can be more selective than others, but overall this is a great way for you to make money using a skill and interest that you already have. If you don’t sell images right away, keep refining your style and try again – not everything will be a hit the first time around, and that’s ok!
8 – Real Estate Rental Properties
Have you been considering renting out your vacation home or an accessory dwelling unit?
With rental prices increasing just about everywhere, renting out a home or ADU can generate sizable returns. You can list the property on a rental platform like Zillow or Airbnb and start earning right away!
On a vacation or short-term rental site like Airbnb, customers will be leaving reviews and ratings so you will want to make sure that the accommodations are always clean and as updated as possible. Maintaining a high rating for your rental will be important as you continue to rent the property out and will also allow you to raise your rates as needed.
9 – Online Course Creation
Are you a sales or SEO wiz? Put those skills to use by creating online courses! We tend to take our own skills for granted, but trust me there are people looking for help in learning new skills or navigating just about any program and tool.
And don’t limit yourself to just that, if you’re a jewelry designer or songwriter you can create courses too! Building an online course will require effort but eventually it can become a self-running business. Check out online course platforms like Udemy and Teachable for more ideas on courses and to get an idea of their fees and rates.
10 – Self-Publishing
Have you been talking about writing a book for a while? Maybe you’re interested in children’s stories or productivity books. There’s a wide range of possibilities for people who want to self-publish their books, from Amazon KDP to B&N Press – you don’t need to sell your book to a major publisher to be a published author anymore!
So dust that old manuscript off and get it ready to publish!
Did these ideas spark any interest in starting a self-running business? Are you thinking – Hell yeah, I can do that!?
(psst…if you need some inspiration for how to build wealth with all this extra income? I have a free investing class here.)
Awesome! Any of the 10 business ideas we covered here will generate a passive income over time and most of them do not require a lot of capital to start. Look over the list and think about the kinds of things that you enjoy doing and what you’re naturally good at. We all have gifts and talents that we can tap into and use to make money.
We are lucky to live in a time when we can start businesses from our bedroom/living room and watch it take off. Take advantage of social media for free marketing and push through moments of self-doubt. You can create a business that will give you the freedom to explore other interests and passions by generating an income you can start to depend on. It’s time to get started!