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Self Employed Ideas UK & SE Job Ideas UK

Best UK self employed ideas to start today

Best self employed job ideas to start today in the UK

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If your in the amidst of changing jobs or looking for the best self employed ideas during Coronavirus, then I hope my self-employed job ideas list can help inspire you. Perhaps you've recently considered working for yourself, going self-employed, how to start a small business or start freelancing? With the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK affecting small and large business nationwide, some of us might be considering a career change, whether by choice or by force, such as with un-employment, job losses, reduncancy due to Covid. While it is a worrying time, it's wise to find the positives and spot the opportunities in the chaos, even if only to distract us from worry and stress.

The following article is a list of self employed job ideas, or freelance ideas that are either influenced by Covid or provide a small business idea that has potential for sustainability during the Coronavirus pandemic. I've focus this list of small business ideas around Covid-19 because of it's relevance right now, though the ideas could be applied at any time with varying adjustment, so go through the list with an open mind and look for inspiration, rather than a one-hit solution to self employed ideas.  

While I hope this guide gives you some good ideas, it is not a comprehensive guide, nor a professional guidance, so you should seek professional advice from your local business advice service when starting your own business. You can find business support details for Wales, England, Scotland and N.Ireland here: Gov Business Support Network. If your in Wales, see 'Business Wales', for England see 'Business Support Helpline' and 'Local Growth Hubs', for Northern Ireland see 'Invest Northern Ireland' and in Scotland see 'Find Business Support Scotland'.

You can also read my other blog post about how to start a small business here.


  1. Introduction
  2. Self-employed job Ideas UK post Covid
  3. Catering & food related business ideas
  4. Consultancy & professional freelancing ideas
  5. Creative industry self-employed job ideas
  6. Hands on self-employed ideas
  7. Other work from home business ideas 
  8. Freelancing durring the Covid-19 Pandemic
  9. Summary

Lost job due to Covid?
Perhaps you lost your job while on furlough, been made redundant after furlough ended, been laid off due to covid-19, or your thinking 'Lost job due to covid now what?', either way your not alone, with many people facing job losses due to the Coronavirus economic impact in the UK.

The impact of Covid-19 on people's jobs is significant, whether your a in a small business, large corporate or a freelancer, many industries and sectors are facing huge challenges with no real light at the end of the tunnel.

If your job has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic you may have begun to think about your future options, perhaps considering self-employment or working for yourself so that your fate is at least in your own hands. I hope this guide to self-employed job ideas and work from home ideas gives you a little inspiration to find a new hope and take control of your working life again in these greatly uncertain times. If you are embarking on a self-employed journey I wish you the very best of luck, do feel free to let me know if this post helped you or you need tips on digital marketing when your setup.

Best self-employed job ideas during Coronavirus

Here is my best list of self employed ideas to start during Cornavirus, I hope you find some inspiration or ideas that help you on the road to working for yourself and working from home. Remember to explore ideas, the market and look for a niche; something you can do better or do differently that perhaps solves a problem the Covid-19 pandemic has made apparent. I will keep adding to this Covid relevant self employed ideas list as time goes by, so feel free to save or share the page link for reference later. If you like this blog post and want to link back to it from your own website, I'd be very grateful.

Catering & food related business ideas

  1. Cake maker / baker
    Make celebration cakes or small treats to sell locally. A special cake for a special occasion is always a big hit, especially in 2020 when most people spent their birthdays in lockdown! From birthdays to weddings, there's always a demand for special cakes. You can also look at making tasty treats that you can sell locally or to outlets nearby, or even sell cake boxes via a website that people can order as gift boxes for loved ones. A good example was a Wales based baker, Baked by Jane, who during locked adapted her bread and cake making business to offer sweet treats that she would either post, deliver or sell in nearby villages / towns via a local drive route. Demand became so high Jane said she could not make them fast enough and it totally changed her business operations.
  2. Cooking instructor / online cookery school / YouTube cook
    Are you secretly a culinary legend? If you love food, cooking and sharing that love with others perhaps a cookery teacher role is your calling? While running cookery classes from a commercial kitchen location, or your own home might be a little difficult in the wake of covid-19, there still may be scope to run limited capacity cookery classes for the time being. Whether your teaching students, those with an interest in cookery or hopeless home chefs like myself, you'll want to explore your options. Take your cookery classes online and publish blogs / video tutorials on preparing various dishes. Take it another level and become a YouTube cookery teacher and start gathering a following of users. Sell access to exclusive content or run Googles Adsense (adverts) on you YouTube channel / blog website. Use Facebook and other social media channels to further broadcast your classes, as well as live streaming from the kitchen if your confident. With time I am sure running local cookery classes or private one to one sessions will become more feasible and open up a major income stream.
  3. Foodie blogger
    [Also see 'Blogging' in the 'Creative industry' section]. If you have a love for food and broadcasting that desire to everyone you meet, perhaps a food blogger is right up your street? Your foodie blog could be about anything food related, though niche markets are a key to success, whether thats vegan friendly foods, healthy eating or student easy cooking, the scope of ideas is huge. Blog using written content, pictures, video and easy downloads (recipes, etc), email newsletters, podcasts and start building a following of subscribers. How you make money from your blog will vary, from using Adsense adverts where you earn % of click revenue, to sponsorship, selling access to exclusive content, paid for downloads, endorsements, guests posts (maybe not ideal) or even donations [Yes, some bloggers offer quality content for free and ask for donations, to which subscribers oblige - take a look at].
  4. Food hampers / gift hampers
    If the Coronavirus taught us anything, it was support local. Perhaps you can identify small business opportunities in creating food hampers, or gift hampers of locally produced products and sell through an online shop. Whether its gift hampers, or essential food hampers for those who find it difficult to get out, holiday let welcome hampers or just a special treat hamper full of products made in a certain part of the UK (Cornish Pasties, Cornish Clotted Cream etc if in Cornwall), there's potential if you can source a variety of producers and make something special.
  5. Food truck / Snack bar (roadside) / Street food
    Starting up a food truck or roadside snack bar might sound a little un-appealing, but in recent years I've seen some fantastic food stands around local towns, many specialising in specific foods and dietry needs. With restaurants feeling the pressure from covid-19, is there scope to sell delicious food on the fly outside where there's better social distancing scope. I hope social distancing won't be too much of an issue in the near future, but the street food market is certainly more exciting these days than the traditional burger van (though you can't beat a breakfast roll...hmmm).
  6. Market gardening & local produce
    Start a market garden growing and selling fresh fruit and vegetables, supplying to the public or businesses. You could have a pop-up or farm based shop, or you could offer local delivery and incorporate other locally produced products such as milk, dairy, meats etc into your range.
  7. Microgreens farm business
    Grow microgreens in small spaces like your garage, a shed, storage container.
  8. Nutritional coach / Dietitian

Consultancy & professional freelancing ideas

  1. Book keeper and accounting
    A straight forward job idea in book keeping and accounting, specifically for small businesses who might need the extra admin assistance, or had to let some staff go due to the impact of 2020 so far. Very possible to work remotely from home, though consider digital security of confidential information. Surprisingly I was asked to help someone with their accounting this year, as they needed to focus on their business and service delivery. So if businesses are asking me because I'm a 'computer guy', I'm sure there's potential for those with experience.
  2. Business consultant
    Provide business consultancy services to businesses across your area or region. With the economy still riding the wave, you can be sure small businesses will be looking for experience and reassurance on how to navigate the storm of Coronavirus. If you have those leadership and innovative skills to help guide others, there could be many opportunities for you in business consultancy and freelancing.
  3. Childminder & child care
    In the hight of lock down some parents would have jumped at the chance for child care, especially if they were working from home. While qualifications and registration will likely be required, child care and childminding will no doubt always be in demand, especially if many are working from home, going self employed, or looking for new jobs.
  4. Cyber security consultant
    If your a qualified cyber security specialist, it's most likely you already have a job or your about to start your own business providing cyber security, right? If you are however on-the-fence, and have the skills in cyber security maybe it's time to consider freelancing or setting up your own cyber security firm. If covid-19 has pushed many businesses to place staff in home working environments, I'm quite sure consideration of cyber security in the home hasn't been thought through in detail.
  5. Fundraiser & funding consultant
    If you have experience in fundraising and grant applications, there will be many charities big and small across the UK feeling the impact of covid-19 with losses to normal funding streams. Rethinking revenue streams and fundraising activities will be vital to help them keep going and delivering the services that they do. Some of which are in even more demand because of the world pandemic.
    If you can provide consultancy services to charities of all sizes in identifying new streams of income, especially via digital online methods, I feel you will be greatly valued and recommended.
  6. Health & well-being coach
    Health and well-being is a big topic these days, especially around mental health and the covid-19 pandemic. Provide services to businesses, and individuals in health and well being management and techniques. I feel this is an evolving market and is becoming ever more evident as a wise investment for staff and teams.
  7. Home schooling mentor or online teacher
    With the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting the pros and cons of home schooling, I wonder if more parents turn to home schooling, or want extra learning for their children while the UK education system faces disruption? Are you a qualified teacher or have experience in home schooling, could you advise / mentor other parents on how to plan work? Could you provide online teaching via video calls?
    This may be a fruitless self employed idea, but I suspect a small few may turn to home education, which leaves a gap for anyone with the skills to become a home schooling mentor or online teacher.
  8. Job recruiter / recruitment agency
    With covid, the UK may sadly see a rise in unemployment. If your an organised person and good with people you may be the ideal candiate to place individuals into new job roles. This sector may rise in demand, though it may be volitile and un-easy as the UK economy rides the storm. I can imagine a job as a recruiter may become more than just placing people into jobs, but more so about making a real difference.
  9. Start a Social Enterprise
  10. Work from home advisor
    This is sort of a new role in the post covid-19 pandemic, but with many people working from home while under the guidance of Government and their employers, knowing how to best utilise your new home office space and manage your productive time can be a challenge. Consult with business owners on delivering practical advise and tips to their employees, or target self employed freelancers looking for tips on getting the most from working at home. This job could be part of a well-being coach.
  11. Virtual assistant
    This is a very relevant market to get into in the wake of the world pandemic. Virtual assistants can provide a wide range of services to businesses, from administrative tasks, book keeping, accounting, diary and email management, website updating, sales, marketing, lead generation, research etc. Some VA specialise in certain areas, like marketing, legal or construction, so you may have previous experience and skills that you could apply to a VA role.

Creative industry self-employed job ideas

  1. Blogger / start a blog
    If you know a great deal about a niche topic and love writing, perhaps starting a blog is a good idea? Easy to work from home, will need a computer and perhaps camera/video recorder for pictures/video. You will need to setup a blog website or pay a web designer to create one for you. It can take a long time to get a volume of users visiting your website regularly. You will also need to understand search engine optimisation, or consult with an SEO professional to give you one-to-one mentoring (usually cheaper). 
    How can you make money from a blog? There are many ways you can make money from a blog, so I'd suggest using a search engine to research it a little more and get a good idea of the possible income streams you could use. Some quick revenue streams are, run Google Adsense adverts on your blog and get paid a % of any advert clicks you generate. Place affiliate links on your blog to gain commission on referrals to relevant products/services. Get a business to sponsor your blog on a monthly or yearly basis. Accept paid guest posts, where marketing agencies & other businesses pay you to publish an article they usually provide. Be careful with this one though, you don't want to negatively affect your relationship with Google who doesn't really endorse 'guest posting for money'.
  2. Copywriter & content writing
    Are you good with words? Write for a living and provide services in content writing and professional copywriting. Write for blogs, businesses and marketing agencies (who are always looking for professional writers to provide unique original content). Easy to work from home, the garden patio, the beach or mountain side as long as your laptop has battery.
  3. Digital marker or SEO consultant
    Digital marketing and SEO is massive, but now with so many businesses being forced to trade more online the need for digital marketers may sky rocket. This would suit a freelance digital marketer role, who perhaps focuses on small businesses rather than trying to compete against established digital marketing agencies. While marketing online has a wide scope, experience and skills in digital marketing would be a huge advantage, so you may need to continually refine your skills and watch the latest trends, especially in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
  4. Drone surveyor / drone photographer
  5. Graphic designer
    Design logos, graphics, leaflets, brochures and web graphics for customers. Easy to work from home, you just need the skills, a good computer and graphics software.
  6. Language translation service
    If your a fluent Welsh, or other language speaker you could provide translation services for businesses across Wales. There are a number of Welsh language translation services available in Wales, though many businesses I speak too don't have a direct contact with anyone who can provide accessible translation services.
    Easy to work from home, low setup cost by which you typically would need a laptop.
    I myself build websites for customers and often require translation services to translate components of a website and general content. So target local small businesses and all creative firms like website design, graphic designers etc, who very well could do with a reliable contact for this service.
  7. Photographer / videographer
    If your good behind the lens you could begin a journey into photography and video. Equipment can be very expensive and refining your skills takes many hours. Competition is high unless you can find a niche or merge into the newly blooming video editing world and provide customers with video media to use in their business. You could even provide virtual tours of properties (for sale / rent / holiday lets) using quality video and gimbal technology to provide super steady footage. Many estate agents are using video tours, especially since Covid came along, so there's an emerging market.
  8. Silent disco business
    Night clubs may never reopen. So we will see more outdoor open air music festivals so people can socially distance. The problem with this would be the noise pollution to people living close to the events. The silent disco model would prevent any complaints from local residents. Perhaps an influence on smart phone and smart headphones technology will solve some of the technical challenges. I thank Back In The Day for this one.
  9. Social media marketer
    Addicted to social media? There's pros & cons if you are, but do you have the skills to manage social media profiles for businesses? Many small businesses lack the skills and resources to run their social media marketing to its full potential. Outsourcing is quite common and can range from just an hour a week to a little everyday. Quality over quantity is key here, you can easily take on too many clients and run out of time to manage them. Remember social media is dynamic, a clients customers may only be active in the evenings.
  10. Voice actor / voice over artist
    If your an existing voice actor or confident speaker, you may find work in voice overs. There are many places a voice-over can be applied, from business promotional videos, to tutorials, podcasts, walk-through s, audiobooks, trailers, films & games. This industry is quite varied with opportunities arising in uncommon places while people do more online.
  11. Website designer
    Fancy being a website designer? Great!
    Step 1; learn to code!
    The website design industry is rather competitive and saturated with designers. You'll probably find 3 within 4 miles of yourself. However, the vast majority simply use pre-made off-the-shelf website templates and use open source CMS systems (WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Opencart, Drupal, Typo3, OpenCMS, Umbraco etc.) to install the site automatically. While this is easy to do, it isn't really website design, but more about installing apps and adding content. Quality and control of that quality is usually sacrificed for the convenience of 1-click installers, so if you want to build stand out web designs you best learn to code and avoid open source solutions.
    If you don't have the coding skills right now, or you would prefer to be a 1-click website designer, checkout the many open-source CMS solutions out there and give them a test drive. 
    My personal advice is, if your going to do it, do it properly and learn to code. Otherwise you could use any open-source web system to quickly develop websites for customers.

Hands on self-employed ideas

  1. Dog walker or doggy daycare
    If you have a love for dogs, a dog walking service or doggy day care could be ideal in your area if the competition is low. Check out your local area and see if anyone else is providing similar services and if demand is more than the supply of services available.
  2. Cleaner / Domestic cleaner
    Clean homes, take care of other domestic tasks like washing or ironing for those who need that bit of extra help. Scale up and look to supply cleaning services to businesses too (also see next idea below). You will need your own transport and cleaning products & equipment.
  3. Cleaning company (commercial) - Covid-19 cleaning business
    Provide cleaning services to business & local authorities on a commercial level, that specifically tackle the Coronavirus pandemic hygiene expectations. My local County Council advertised for nearly 300 cleaning staff at the start of the pandemic, so I imagine Councils across the UK have demand for commercial cleaning companies. You may require certain accreditations / qualifications, as well as own transport, products and equipment.
  4. Computer repair & digital installer
    From computer repair and servicing, to installation of wireless Internet connectivity, or business / at home networking devices and infrastructure. If your well into your computer repair and technology, you could find a new self employed role in helping others in your area. Attention to social distancing and hygiene measure may impact a small business of this nature, where you might enter peoples homes/business to repair/install equipment. If you understand networking, security and wireless networking connections you may find those working from home are needing more reliable and secure connections to the web.
  5. Cycle repair workshop
    Love bikes? Mechanically minded? Why not start a cycle repair business and look after the thousands of people who took an interest in cycling while the lock-downs came into force. Health and fitness will be a big issue well beyond 2020, part of that is the UK's interest in cycling. A quality repair shop that offers collection / return could become a valued local asset.
  6. Furniture upcycling / home repair shop
    Enjoy watching the BBC's The Repair Shop or Money for Nothing shows? If you've not seen them, check them out on BBC iPlayer. They are indeed quite inspiring shows, taking old furniture or antique items and restoring them into fresh modern day items. I know a number of people who have setup their own furniture upcycling or antique repair shops, including a few social enterprises that are well supported locally.
    Whether covid-19 has an influence on this industry waits to be seen, but a reduced economy may well see demand for repurposing.
  7. Garden maintenance
    Provide garden maintenance, clearing and odd outdoor jobs to the public in your area. Will need transport, own equipment and conduct lawful disposal of commercial waste such as grass cuttings/rubbish etc.
  8. Hair dresser or mobile hair dressing
    Two words = Lock-down Hair! The demand for hair dressers is high, though the industry is adapting well to pandemic restrictions, there may be opportunities for mobile hair dressers or new salons in areas that lack a local salon. Check-up on the latest guidance from Government on what hair dressers can and can't do (especially mobile hair dressers).
  9. Horse rug washing & repairs
  10. Lawn mower & garden machinery repair
  11. Live-in carers / self-employed carer
    With demand for live-in carers and private self employed care assistants, those with the skills, experience and qualifications are seemingly sort after during the pandemic. While many of these posts are advertised on typical job sites and care company websites, most have an urgent appeal and look to employ live-in carers on freelance or self employed basis. You may find care assistant roles, for weekend carer jobs that still allow you the flexibility on weekdays. Check local job sites and health care providers across your area.
  12. Local delivery business
    You may recall the nations efforts in local deliveries of food, groceries and other essential items. Local high street stores clubbed together to provide local delivery networks for residents and the uptake was huge. Can you spot an opportunity in offering local delivery of items, from food, household goods, gifts etc. There are many options available here.
    You can also look at being a self employed courier, working for national courier services, but your somewhat limited on growth potential.
  13. Mobile dog groomer or dog grooming salon
    Brits love pampered pooches, so if you have a love for dogs and have a skilled pair of hands dog grooming might be your new call. Competition can be high and setting up a salon will need a certain level of investment. If your in Wales, you can even go to a dog groomers training school to learn all the skills of the trade, which are City & Guilds accreditation.
  14. Personal trainer / fitness coach
    If your fit as a fiddle you might find self employed opportunities in providing personal training or fitness coaching. With many people around the UK feeling the impact of covid-19 lock-downs, we all jumped at the chance to take that 'once a day exercise'. From walking groups, to running and full on personal training, you'll find opportunities in helping those eager to maintain a healthy lifestyle post covid.
  15. Vehicle valeting & car washing
    Wash and valet vehicles in your area, either at the owners address as a mobile valeting company or from a location you can provide car washing services. Will need your own products and equipment. Ensure you abide to all environmental impacts of car washing either from a business location or while mobile.

Other work from home business ideas

  1. Affiliate marketer
    A what? An affiliate marketer is basically a salesperson for someone else. You market a businesses products through whatever means, then earn a commission for each sale. Not all online retailers offer affiliate programs, but you may see more and more opening up to the idea during the post-covid stages. It works by using special web links that track every sale you refer to the business, you are then paid a commission for all sales you generated. Rates vary massively from each seller. You can promote links through your own website, social media and email campaigns (subject to terms). Major players like eBay and Amazon both offer affiliate programs, but do explore other retailers big and small.
  2. Dropshipping / Dropshippers
    If you've not heard of drop-shipping before it basically means that you sell products online without the need to handle the products. Sold items are dispatched directly from the supplier to your customer. It is a retail model that came about a while ago, but never really gained a big status; plus became stained with sellers who took the cash and ran, never dispatching the products to the customer.
    However, post covid-19 will drop-shipping become more popular seeing as many high street stores are battling lock-downs and lack of trade.
    Will stores move to online, and consider drop-shipping, or even affiliate opportunities to maximise their online sales in what will be a massively competitive market?
    I think this industry needs a close eye upon it, as if drop-shipping or affiliate networking kicks off, you don't want to be left behind, since I imagine it will move quickly if it does.
  3. Buy & sell online
    Trade items online, like a virtual car-boot sale of general items or a specific niche. There are many platforms to sell second hand items on, such as eBay and Facebook Market Place. You can pickup items that you can refurbish/restore and sell on for a profit. Niche markets work well, like collectables etc.

Freelancing during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Fortunately freelancing can be applied to many industries and jobs in the UK. Whether that's a business consultant, designer, marketer, accountant, life coach, fitness coach etc. Starting up as a freelancer post Covid-19 may sound risky, but it's likely you will find many small businesses looking to adjust how they operate and take on freelance workers to minimise their staffing risks and commitments.

So if you have a skill set of value, consider your options as a freelancer in the UK and support the many small business owners who need your support.


I hope this post has inspired you a little into finding the best self employed ideas durring Coronavirus. I'd love to know if it has helped you in any way, and if you manage to setup your own business in the UK, so reach out to me or support this blog by buying a coffee.

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