How to Start a Bakery: A Step-by-Step Guide (2024)


July 27, 2023

How to Start a Bakery: A Step-by-Step Guide (2024)

Have you ever wanted to make people happy with yummy cakes or tasty breads? Ever thought about entering one of the fastest-growing industries for small businesses? It may be time to start a bakery!

Today we’re revealing insider information on how to start your own baking business.

We connected with Puran Deep, a successful bakery owner who runs the wildly popular Wild Wheat Bakery in Kent, Washington. In 2019, his bakery exceeded over $1 million in revenue!

Now, we’re passing his expert advice on to you. We’ll show you step-by-step how to plan, start, and grow a thriving bakery business in this $30 billion per year industry.

Click any of the links above to jump ahead to that section.

How Do I Start My Own Bakery?

You’ll find everything you need to know in this step-by-step guide for starting a bakery!

If you are new to the bakery world—or haven’t ever stepped foot in a kitchen—it’s a good idea to visit some bakery businesses to glean information and practical experience. Small business owners are often happy to share what they know.

We interviewed Puran Deep (P.D.) from Wild Wheat Bakery in Kent, Washington. P.D. started four different businesses in the past and now runs Wild Wheat, a cafe-bakery often featured in The Seattle Times and the winner of many “Best of Kent” awards.

See the YouTube video about how to start a bakery below.

P.D. grew tired of the rat race and wanted to start his own business. That’s when the opportunity to purchase Wild Wheat, an established bakery-cafe with an excellent reputation, landed on his desk.

P.D. bought an existing bakery, but he still has tons of advice to offer to someone starting from scratch. We’ll share his expert tips and other practical advice as we proceed through the steps for starting a bakery as a new business.

You have to treat everybody that walks in this door with great customer service. Make sure they are getting what they need. Make sure you’re giving them quality food. Over 50% of our customers on a daily basis are our regular customers.

Another alternative is to buy an existing bakery.

Step 1. Consider Bakery Business Ideas

Chef holding a plate with bread

The first step of starting a bakery is considering the different types of bakery ideas you’re interested in. Retail bakeries, home bakeries, and wholesale bakeries are viable options.

Recently, the baked goods industry has grown significantly, so it’s a good time to get started. Several options are available for starting your own bakery business.

Bakery Cafes

Average Annual Revenue: $1.52 million per year
Average Profit Margins: 5.4%
Startup Cost: $100 (at home) to $3M (Panera Franchise)
Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.1%
Best for: Cooks, chefs, people who love cooking

A bakery cafe offers tables where customers can sit down and eat in a dining area. It combines the benefit of freshly baked goods with the enjoyment of a small restaurant business.

Like a small restaurant, this type of business also provides coffee, other beverages, and an extended menu. Wild Wheat Bakery offers an extended breakfast menu featuring omelets and other egg dishes.

As an added component, P.D. roasts his own coffee beans on location. Customers can enjoy a cup in the cafe or take home the beans to brew themselves.

A perfect example of a Bakery Cafe is the world-famous Ferrara Bakery in New York City.

Wholesale Bakeries

Marseebaking website landing page

This type of bakery business does not keep a storefront and acts as a supplier to restaurants, grocery stores, etc.

Wholesale bakeries benefit from predictable and reliable sales to retail businesses. Wholesale bakeries sell to customers who buy in bulk. And there’s no worry about the upkeep of a retail bakery.

Finding grocers, local coffee shops, and restaurants to carry your product is the key challenge of a wholesale bakery. This critical aspect may be difficult for a new business trying to break into the baking market.

However, it is very important for any bakery. We asked P.D. why wholesale is so important for a bakery, and here’s what he told us:

You have your staff; you have your employees that are producing a certain number of breads or whatever they’re making. It’s not a huge cost for them to produce a little bit more with the same employees and the same equipment, but you can increase your sales significantly.

Marsee Baking is a wholesale bakery that operates in Seattle and Portland and would be a great model to build your business on.

Counter-Service Bakery

Typically, small counter-service bakeries expect customers to pick up their orders and go. One benefit is that it limits the time and energy spent on customer service.

Part of the larger category of retail bakeries, it’s possible to combine a counter-service bakery with a wholesale bakery. The bakery would sell baked goods to grocers or restaurants and provide pick-up and/or delivery service to retail clients.

Clark Street Bakery in Los Angeles started in an apartment and now has four counter-service locations.

Food Truck Bakeries

Upflip website food truck business article

One of the most affordable ways to open a bakery is through food trucks. Food truck bakeries have become a viable option for running your own business. For more information on how to get started, check out our blog post on How to Start a Food Truck Business.

The Teal House Coffee and Bakery food truck is one of the most well-known around Austin, Texas!

Home Bakeries

Cottage industry businesses can be a simple way to dip into opening a bakery without a large investment. For those wondering how to start a home bakery, simply alter the steps in this business guide to meet your home baking needs.

Baking can be done with a few simple ingredients, so it’s about simplicity and nostalgia – people are reminded of their childhood.” – Paul Hollywood – Celebrity Chef and Judge on The Great British Bake Off

Specialty Bakery Cakes

Many business owners succeed with specialty bakeries like a cake business. One of my favorites is Freed’s Bakery in Vegas. They create custom wedding cakes and other treats for special events. Check out their fidget spinner cake below.

How to Start a Bakery Business From Home

Many people start a bakery from home simply by selling their baked goods to friends and family. You might not need a formal business plan, but check into local regulations on how to run a bakery from home without a commercial kitchen.

Step 2. Perform Market Research

Marketresearch website bakery cafes

You might wonder whether starting a bakery business in your area is viable.

It’s important to know what’s happening in the baking business in order to meet customer needs. This market research report provides tons of information and industry data about Bakery Cafes in the US.

The good news? Bakeries are on the upswing!

Even so, it’s important to research your local business environment for things like:

  • Demographics
  • Local Market Trends
  • Competition
  • Budget
  • Target Audience

All of this information will be vital later when you build your business plan.

According to P.D., knowing what customers need is critical to running a business. He says:

…you have to have the right mindset, you have to take care of the customers and know their needs.

So, before you even get started in business, find out what potential customers want by doing your research ahead of time.

When considering which baked good offerings to provide, know that certain segments of the market are larger than others, as seen below:

  • Bread: 32%
  • Rolls: 19%
  • Cakes: 15%
  • Retail bakery products: 10%
  • Soft cakes: 8%
  • Pies: 2%

Step 3. Understand Your Local Business Laws

Because it can take time for agencies to process paperwork, it’s important to understand business licensing early in the process. The bakery industry deals with food, so the Health Department in your area should be your first contact.

Licensing and registration varies between states and even within local jurisdictions. One excellent resource for learning the basics is the Small Business Administration. The required permits depend on the type of bakery and location.

Run through this list for a cost estimate of your licenses and permits:

  • Business License – Around $50. Based on location/type/size. Renewable.
  • Food Service License: $100-1000. Based on size, # of employees. Renewable.
  • Employer ID Number (EIN) – Free. Issued by IRS for tax purposes. Takes time.
  • Certificate of Occupancy – Around $100. Proof of final inspection. Locally issued.
  • Fire Department Permit – $50-200. Inspection of ovens, etc. Locally issued.
  • Food Handler’s Permit – $100-500 for each employee. Renewable.
  • Sign Permit – $20-50+. Allows a permanent sign. Locally issued.
  • Music License – $250-500 to play music.

Here’s a link to the U.S. FDA list of regulations and codes for food service establishments by state. It clarifies the differences in regulations between states.

For county and city information, perform a quick internet search or inquire at your local health department.

Can I Get A Baking License For At-Home Bakery?

Home baking business requirements

Sometimes. It depends on your local laws. A home bakery business may also be called a home baking business or cottage food business. There may be special requirements for how to start a bakery from home including:

  • Refrigeration 
  • Ingredient 
  • Packaging
  • Maximum Revenue
  • Distribution

Cast Iron is a home-based food business management software platform that has a list of laws that make a good starting point for those wondering how to start a cake business from home. It’s a good place to start for others starting a baking business too.

How Long Does It Take to Start a Bakery?

Starting a bakery can take from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the scale of the operation.

A bakery at home can be fairly quick when your customers are people you know. A retail or wholesale bakery may take a few months or even a year to start, depending on your location, funding, and other circumstances.

Step 4. Consider Locations

A retail bakery does best in a high-traffic area. Ideally, your space will be easily accessible to lots of people, have enough space for seating, and a reasonable rent for the square footage.

For example, the world-famous Ferrara Bakery is located in New York City in the heart of Little Italy on the corner of Grand and Mulberry Street. 

It may not be the most spacious cafe, but the foot traffic more than makes up for the lack of seating. Try to find this balance with your location!

In any business, location is key. If someone is planning to open up a new location, pay a lot of attention to the foot traffic where you are opening it. Location can be something that can make or break your business. It’s very important.

Consider these factors when choosing your business location:

Home bakery business location factors
  • Accessibility: Is it easy for customers to get to your location? 
  • Competition: Are there other bakeries nearby?
  • Foot traffic: How many potential customers pass by on foot? Remember P.D.’s advice.
  • Parking: For customers arriving in their own vehicles, is there enough space to park?
  • Growth potential: Is there a possibility to expand in the future?
  • Demographics (target audience): Who lives or works in the area? Does this align with your ideal customer?
  • Cost: Research all the details of the price to buy or rent the space.
  • Bakery layout: There’s much more to consider than just how customers will move through the bakery. Keep reading below.

Bakery Layout

You should consider the new bakery floor plan before you open a bakery in a commercial space. You’ll want to consider the following features:

  • Counter space
  • Bakery equipment
  • Prep space
  • Dining space
  • Office space

All this goes into a bakery floor plan. You should probably consult an architect and a commercial real estate agent before choosing a small commercial space where you’ll open bakery operations.

Step 5. Get Menu Ideas

Tasteofhome.com website baking recipes

Before determining the cost of opening your new business, you must have a rough idea of your menu. Mastering recipes takes time and practice. The good news is that you can enjoy tasting the test recipes!

Business success hinges on offering the highest quality products that people want. It’s important to create an eye-catching menu.

Offer special items that make you stand out from the crowd. Give customers a reason to do business with you!

If you need some inspiration, here are some recipe sites to review:

Look at the bakery offerings that offer the highest profit potential.

Step 6. Understand the Finances

While spending time in the kitchen is loads of fun, you also need to crunch the numbers to open a successful bakery. You’ll want to consider the following:

  • Cost of opening a bakery
  • Monthly operating costs
  • Cost of goods sold for the products.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Bakery?

Bakery startup costs with baking tools and equipment

The startup capital for starting a bakery varies based on the type of bakery you choose to start. Those who want to know how to start a baking business should expect the following startup costs depending on what type of business entity they start.

  • Home-based: $100+
  • Food Trucks: $100+. Learn more about getting the startup capital for food trucks.
  • Franchises: You’ll need to demonstrate up to $7.5 million net worth for starting a Panera franchise.

While the low end is just for a small bakery to buy the materials, those who are really interested in owning a bakery should expect $2-5K just for the business licensing. Depending on the scale, you can get by with the minimum, or go all out.

Learn How to Price Your Baked Goods

To run a profitable business, you must figure out how much it costs to make each one of your baked goods. This allows you to price items for the highest profit margin.

It’s easy to lose money on a product if you don’t know exactly how much it costs to make it. This includes ingredients, labor, packaging, and even cooking time to account for the electricity (or gas) running the oven. Most restaurant managers aim for the cost of serving to be approximately 1/3rd of revenue.

Before you open, call local vendors to price their supplies, and then determine the cost of production. Consider this pricing guide based on information from the Houston Chronicle.

PRICING GUIDE FOR BAKED GOODS

Click through the 10 steps below to calculate your costs.

 

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Calculate the number of batches you can get from a bulk ingredient.

For instance, if the recipe calls for 8 ounces of milk and you buy your milk in gallons, here is the formula:
128 oz / 8 oz = 16 batches

Divide the cost of each ingredient by the number of batches.

If a gallon of milk costs $4, this is the formula:
$4 / 16 batches = $0.25 per batch for milk

Complete this step for each ingredient in a recipe.

Add together the cost of all ingredients per batch. 

This will calculate the total cost of ingredients for an entire recipe.

Divide the cost per batch by servings per recipe. 

So, if the total cost per recipe is $5 and makes 10 servings:
$5 batch / 10 servings = $0.50 per serving

Add in other items (cupcake liners, packaging, etc.). 

For example, cupcake liners cost $5 per 100, so each cupcake liner costs $0.05.
$0.50 per serving + $0.05 liner = $0.55 per serving

Add in the cost of equipment usage. 

Here, divide the cost of equipment by the number of days of its expected usage and then divide that number by the average number of servings you will produce per day.

For instance, for an oven that costs $10,000 and lasts for ten years (1825 days) and bakes 500 servings per day, this would be the formula:
$10,000 / 1825 days = $5.48
$5.48 / 500 servings = $0.01

Repeat for each piece of equipment.

Figure operating costs.

Do the same as above to include all operating costs. This includes utilities, storage space, rent, advertising, printer ink, labor, etc. 

For instance, if your monthly electricity bill is $500, then divide that by 30 days and the estimated 500 servings per day:
$500 / 30 days / 500 servings = $0.03

Again, do this with all of your operating costs and add all of that in.

Divide your per-serving cost by the number of expected items sold

Bakeries must be realistic about the fact that they will not sell out of everything in their shops, and perishable items must be counted into the cost of doing business.

If you think that you can sell 75% of your items, and your per-serving cost is $0.50, then your formula is this:
$0.60 / 0.75 = $0.80

You must increase your per-item cost to $0.80 to account for unsold baked goods.

Add in your profit margin. 

Here, add 100 to your desired profit margin and then divide that number by 100. For instance, if you need a 200% profit margin:
200% + 100 = 300 / 100 = 3.0

Then multiply the cost by your profit margin to determine the per-serving price like this:
$0.80 cost x 3.0 profit margin = $2.40 per serving price

Compare prices.

If this per-serving cost is similar to what other local bakeries are charging, then you’re on the right track. If it’s under, then you should up your price. If your cost is higher, reconsider if this is a product you can sell at a profit.

Track Your Finances

Along with determining costs, you need to decide on a way to keep track of your business finances. One option is to hire a trusted bookkeeper or accountant to free up your time to run the business.

There are also several options available for small business accounting software including Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Wave, Xero, and more.

Step 7. Create a Bakery Business Plan

A detailed business plan is helpful when starting a bakery.

Consider these components when writing your bakery’s business plan:

  • Executive Summary: contains the most important points from each of the following categories
  • Company Overview: a description of your business
  • Market Analysis: includes pertinent information from your market research
  • Business Offering: a list of the products you will sell to your customers
  • Management: includes business partnerships, number of employees, who will run the various areas
  • Marketing Plan: information on how you plan to reach customers, advertise, etc.
  • Financial Projections: predictions for the financial success of your business

The Small Business Administration offers this business plan writing guide. We’re also partial to our business plans created by Mike Andes or Brandon Boushy to help you create a bakery business plan.

Is a Bakery a Profitable Business?

Baking can be very profitable if you work hard and provide the best products for customers. Depending on various factors,  bakery owner salaries range from around $17K to $71K per year.

These statistics include tiny home bakeries, so there’s potential for earning much more!

Step 8. Create a Business Entity

Irs.gov website business structures

With a business plan in place, it’s time to create a legal company. Register your business at the federal and state levels and establish a legal structure. It’s possible to register online.

Choosing a business structure (Limited Liability Corporation, Sole Proprietorship, Corporation, S Corporation, or Partnership) can be complicated if you’re not familiar with the process.

The IRS has extensive resources on business structures, but it’s best to work with an accountant and/or business attorney to maximize your legal and tax benefits.

Typically, a bakery will be set up as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) to avoid exposing the owner’s personal assets to legal action (like a slip and fall in the bakery).

Step 9. Secure Funding

If you have personal savings available to start your business, that’s fantastic! But you may need to borrow a portion of your startup costs until it becomes a viable business.

If you only have around $50,000, but want a larger cushion at $100,000, you may get a business loan. However, you must provide viable financial projections that show your ability to pay back the loan.

As P.D. said,

If you make a good business plan and the lenders buy into that, you can get funding.

Consider these different options to secure funding for your business, as suggested by the Small Business Association:

Venture Capital Funding

Marc Andreessen quote

If you can find an angel investor who believes in you and your plan, this type of funding can be effective.

However, it means shared ownership, which many entrepreneurs are not super excited about. But it also lowers risk and prevents borrowing money.

Consider this video we’ve created about Venture Funding.

Crowdfunding

Another way to avoid a loan is to raise the money from many people who invest a small amount of money.

Typically, investors get something in return, such as advertising credit, or gifts and other perks. Several online platforms host crowdfunding campaigns.

Business Loan

Cash loan handed to a borrower

The amount and interest rate on business loans varies significantly. You can try for a loan through a local bank, as well as through the government-assisted loan programs with the SBA.

Securing this type of funding requires a business plan, financial projections (usually for 5 years), and expense sheets.

Friends and Family

If your friends or family are interested in your project, you may find you can borrow the funds from someone you know.

How to Start a Bakery Business With No Money

Baker looking at a no money symbol

If you want to start your bakery on a shoestring budget, that’s great! As mentioned above, you can save a ton of money by starting in your own home and by selling to friends and family.

Another option, if you have good credit, is to leverage a zero-interest rate period on a credit card. It’s risky but possible to use the zero-interest period to start your business and then pay the card off before the interest kicks in.

Note: Have a solid business plan in place if you’re thinking about this option.

Step 10. Develop a Marketing Plan

When you invest in starting a bakery, make sure customers can find you!

P.D.’s strategy for getting new customers is based on Social Media Marketing, like these recommendations from Neil Patel. He outsources a marketing company to run his Instagram, Facebook, and other profiles.

They focus on letting customers know about new product releases and any interesting news.

These days everyone is on their phone!

You can get your name out there and draw in customers in a variety of ways, including these options:

Traditional Advertising

This includes print ads, billboards, radio, flyers, and going door-to-door.

Social Media

Advertising on social media platforms

Initially free to use, you can also purchase additional social media ad options. It’s possible to outsource your social media marketing by hiring a professional marketer. Find a professional to help with this through Fiverr or Upwork.

Press Releases

Besides social media, don’t forget about print and online newspapers. Depending on your location, your local paper may print your bakery opening as business news when you present it to them as a press release.

Coupons

Coupon designs using canva website

Consider placing coupon ads in a local paper. To offer bounce-back coupons (used on a return visit), use an online tool like Canva to design them, then have them printed locally. Many bakeries or coffee shops have loyalty cards designed and printed this way.

Is It Hard to Open a Bakery?

Opening a bakery is hard work, but it is worth it! According to P.D.:

There’s nothing you can’t learn if you have the right mindset and the right attitude. You need to be open-minded. Keep the right mindset. Stay the course, do what you have to do, keep at it. Eventually, things smooth out and you come out on top.

Step 11. Purchase Equipment

You’ve found your space and secured funding. Now you must prepare your kitchen and dining area to bake and serve the best products.

What Equipment Do I Need to Start a Bakery?

Professional chefs tools and equipment

Reliable equipment is essential for any commercial kitchen. Purchase your equipment online or locally. Your bakery equipment list for your commercial kitchen should include:

  • Ovens – Commercial-grade ovens can be extremely pricey but are a vital piece of equipment for your business. P.D. says his ovens cost around $100K each brand new. Many bakeries choose to lease larger equipment to save on startup costs.
  • Mixers – Large capacity stand mixers, with special dough hooks for kneading bread.
  • Refrigeration – For storing your perishable ingredients such as milk and cream.
  • Tables/Workspace – Depending on the type of baking, tables may be necessary for decorating cakes or for packaging products.
  • Storage – A place to store your ingredients prior to use, and for storage of packaging, or other items. Carts with shelves may be useful for cooling baked goods fresh out of the oven.
  • Dining Area – Tables, chairs, and a counter for the retail area are all important aspects of your bakery.
  • POS System – One critical point for any business is how to let your customers pay. A Point-of-Sale system is vital to your business. When you can choose one that links well with your accounting software (mentioned above), it’s even better!

Step 12. Hire Staff

For a retail or wholesale bakery business, qualified employees working in the kitchen are the backbone of the business. Bakeries open very early, and it is essential to have reliable employees willing to bake bread at four in the morning.

If you’re running a cafe-bakery, counter help and possibly servers are a necessity. They act as the front line for providing great customer service that ensures return business.

Here are some sites where you can post jobs and find qualified candidates:

Finding top talent in food service is no simple task, so go beyond traditional job hiring sites like Indeed. Instead, reach out to local culinary schools and food programs (community colleges) to secure reliable talent with interest in the industry.

According to P.D., in taking care of your staff, you don’t want to skimp:

I tell them to make sure that your people are taken care of, and the rest will be fine. You only have so many hours in a day. You’ll burn out if you’re not careful. It’s not worth stressing yourself out.

Step 13. Build Your Business

Professional baker carrying bread products

Once you’ve started baking, pursue continuous growth for your business. That means setting goals and making plans to find and keep customers.

P.D. says you should ask yourself a simple question:

I want to grow 10% every year. What do I have to do?

Here are some other questions to ponder on growth:

  • What should I do differently or better to gain new customers and keep existing ones?
  • Is there room to add new products?
  • Would a customer loyalty program help our bottom line?
  • What does our marketing data show?

Brainstorm and research ways to please your customers and then execute the best ideas.

According to P.D., wholesale products are one of the best ways to grow a bakery business. They provide large profit margins without a large investment.

It may mean running the ovens a bit longer or arranging for more deliveries, but it’s a steady way to increase revenue without a lot more work.

P.D. says that with samples in hand, cold call restaurants with whom you want to do business and let them try your products. If your product is of outstanding quality, it should sell itself. But you must get people to try it.

I would throw a bunch of samples in my car and just go to a bunch of different restaurants and drop off samples and ask them. Look at their menu, whether they’re serving hamburgers or if they’re a sub shop. Give them hamburger buns or baguettes for their sandwiches. And when they like the product, they call and they’re ready to order.

What Are the Biggest Mistakes When Opening a Bakery?

P.D. stated that one of the biggest mistakes in opening a bakery is not finding and keeping the best employees. With 36 full and part-time staff, P.D. offers this insight:

Employees are what you need for your business. You can’t be everywhere, so you have to put trust in your people and take care of them, then they’ll take care of your business.

Conclusion

If you can already smell the heavenly croissants baking in your oven, then it might be time to get started with these steps on how to start a bakery! Follow our guide to overcome many of the hurdles beginning entrepreneurs and bakers face. 

With planning and perseverance, you’ll be serving customers and raking in dough (get it?) like P.D.

If you were thinking about starting a bakery, would you start a home bakery, wholesale, or food truck bakery? Let us know in the comments below!


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Click on any section below to find the best self-employment job for you.

Get ready to find your answer to the question “How to work for myself?”

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Throughout this article, we refer to several data sources. The way they interact can make the math look a little funny, so let us break it down a bit.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is normally the best source for data on salaries, and we refer to those numbers in some of the sections below.

All revenue data was pulled from IBIS World. Typically, revenue will be three to five times payroll. In some scenarios, we use freelance data available from Upwork.com that shows the earnings of the best freelancers in each industry.

Self-employed people will normally make somewhere between freelancer wages and average annual revenue. The tech sector is a bit like the wild, wild West, and a freelance developer may have three or four full-time jobs.

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The answer to that question depends on your skills and interests. What most people are really asking, though, is “What are the highest-paying self-employed jobs?” With that in mind, here are some jobs where you can be your own boss that are consistently profitable business ideas.

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1-6 months
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•  Best for: Marketing and advertising pros, entrepreneurs with social media and data analysis skills, content creators

Having an effective social media presence is essential for many businesses today, but not all entrepreneurs understand social media marketing. As a result, the digital marketing sector has grown by 28.2% per year on average over the past five years.

This wealth of opportunities is what puts digital marketing among the best-paying self-employed jobs for those who want to set their own hours. Digital marketing isn’t just social media marketing, either. Other digital marketing niches include SEO-focused web design, Google Ads expertise, or helping clients start successful blogs.

While having a bachelor’s degree can help build trust in your services, you don’t necessarily need one to become a digital marketer. A large personal social media presence, for instance, can demonstrate your skills as well as any credential.

Check out our interview with Eric, the owner of Single Grain. Who bought SMMA agency for just $2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO1F21040pQ

#2. Cleaning Business

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•  Average Profit Margins: 6.7%
•  Startup Costs: $500-$30K
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•  Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.2%
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If you have about $1,000 saved up to invest, look no further than a cleaning business. When it comes to success rate and ease of getting started with no experience, it blows most self-employment ideas out of the water.

The best part is that you can start with no employees but have the option to scale as soon as you have money coming in. Imagine getting rid of your day-to-day responsibilities and operating a business like the leader you are. This is not just another 9-to-5.

A former guest of ours, Chris Mondragon, did $18,220 in his second month of starting a cleaning business. He’s now well over $1.5M a year in revenue. If you’re curious how he did it, check this out.

Watch our interview with Chris below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcYIYdqegGA

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•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
8.2%
•  Best for: Accountants, investors, and finance professionals, detail-oriented entrepreneurs with strong math, communication, and research skills

You can make good money as a financial advisor working for a firm or bank—the average salary for financial advisors in 2021 was around $94,000, and you can easily make a six-figure salary in this career path.

Becoming your own boss gives you complete control over your financial advising career, allowing you to make more money while setting your own hours. Financial advising is among the best self-employed jobs because there’s high demand for these services from people who are willing and able to pay for them. After all, the people who seek out financial advice are normally those who have savings that they want to invest.

The main role of a financial advisor is to help clients grow their wealth and meet their financial goals. Retirement planning is one of the most in-demand niches in this sector. Captrust Financial Advisors in New York saw more than 30% growth year-over-year in new retirement planning clients in 2021, and while this is just one example, it’s indicative of a trend.

This is one self-employed job where a bachelor’s degree is a hard-and-fast requirement. You will also need to obtain several licenses to legally operate your own business as a financial advisor. Certifications like CPA or CFP are optional but can help you build trust with prospective clients and grow your business faster.

Job #4. Software Developer

Software developer writing code on a large Mac monitor

•  Average Annual Revenue: $400K-$1M+
•  Average Profit Margins:
14.5%
•  Startup Costs:
$100-$50K, depending on size and scope
•  Time To Revenue:
3 months to 2 years
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
3.1%
•  Best for: Coders and developers adept in programming languages, independent and self-motivated entrepreneurs with strong communication and project management skills

The average salary of a software developer was over $120,000 in 2021, and with demand for these services continuing to rise, there are ample job opportunities for developers seeking traditional employment. That said, you can achieve both financial freedom and the freedom to set your own schedule by pursuing self-employment.

Some developers work with clients as independent contractors or on a freelance basis. Often, they’re brought on by businesses to help them develop and maintain software systems in their organizations, or to create new apps and software for use by their customers.

You can also truly be your own boss as a developer by designing your own programs and selling them straight to users. Going this route opens up more potential for passive income, too.

The career path to become a developer usually starts with getting a bachelor’s degree. There are also boot camps and professional certifications that can grow and verify your proficiency in programming languages and coding best practices.

Workello started as an agency to connect business leaders with freelance writing talent, but they truly unlocked their potential when they pivoted to become an SaaS company. Find out how they built their software business in this podcast episode:

#5. Vending Machine Business

•  Average Annual Revenue: $182K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
4.3%
•  Startup Cost: $2K-$10K
•  Time To Revenue: 3+ months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.5%
•  Best for: Those who like to tinker with machines and understand mechanics and those who enjoy driving

TIME is our single biggest enemy as entrepreneurs. Most self-employment ideas require a time commitment most of us don’t have...but vending is a different breed. It’s one of those rare self-employment ideas that’s perfect to start on the side. 

If done right, once you place your vending machines, you’ll only need a couple of hours a week to maintain them. In fact, as we speak, one of our friends, Adam Hill, is operating his six-figure vending machine business working just two days a week. 

He’s done so well for himself that we bugged him until he agreed to create a FREE masterclass for our UpFlip readers. It reveals exactly how he did it.

Watch our interview with Adam below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s_Y-O1nosw

Job #6. Makeup Artist

•  Average Annual Revenue: $47K+
•  Average Profit Margins: 7.1%
•  Startup Costs: $500-$5K
•  Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.9%
•  Best for: Creative and artistic entrepreneurs knowledgeable about fashion, style, and trends, people who are detail-oriented with strong communication and collaboration skills

Are you the person your friends turn to when they need makeup for a big event or help with their Halloween costumes? Then you may want to consider working for yourself as a freelance makeup artist.

The average salary for makeup artists is $66,000 per year, though this varies widely. Those just starting out may earn as little as $30,000 per year, while experienced MUAs can earn $120,000 or more.

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to hold a self-employed job as a makeup artist. Depending on the type of makeup you do, though, you may need a cosmetology or esthetician license, or to be a Certified Makeup Artist, in order to start your own business (learn about the state-by-state requirements here).

Job #7. Business Consultant

•  Average Annual Revenue: $364K
•  Average Profit Margins:
6.4%
•  Startup Costs:
$1K-$3.5M
•  Time To Revenue:
6-18 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
2.2%
•  Best for: Executives and business leaders, entrepreneurs with management or business expertise, people with strong analytic, problem-solving, and communication skills

Business Insider lists business consultant as the fourth highest-paying side hustle in 2022. With the potential to earn up to $98 per hour, it’s among the top high-paying self-employed jobs.

A consultant’s role is to help people who own their own businesses run them better. To do this, you need a firm understanding of effective business management. Most people who thrive as consultants pivot into freelance jobs after gaining experience in the corporate world or as successful business owners.

This experience is more important than your education, and if you have business expertise, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree (or even a high school diploma) to succeed as a self-employed individual in consulting.

Self-Employed Job Ideas in the Skilled Trades

Job #8. Painter

•  Average Annual Revenue: $76K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
7.2%
•  Startup Costs:
$1K-$100K
•  Time To Revenue:
6-18 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
-2%
•  Best for: Home improvement pros, construction workers and contractors, people who enjoy physical work and have a sharp eye for detail

The hassle and mess of painting a home leads many homeowners, property managers, and business owners to hire someone to do it for them. A self-employed individual in this field can earn as much as $50 per hour for exterior home painting, significantly more than the average salary of painters employed by other companies.

Starting a house painting business is an excellent self-employment idea for those seeking a scalable niche. Joshua Douglas started his company, A Painter’s Touch, with $6,000, and has since grown to five crews bringing in upward of $25,000 a month.

His goal when starting the business was to achieve better balance between his work and personal life, but he ended up making more money than he had in his previous job, too. Hear his story in this podcast interview:

Job #9. Handyman

•  Average Annual Revenue: $204K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
5.4%
•  Startup Costs:
$500-$5K
•  Time To Revenue:
3+ months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
0.7%
•  Best for: People with construction and home repair experience, mechanically minded and detail-oriented entrepreneurs with strong customer service skills who like working with their hands

If you’re a whiz at troubleshooting and fixing problems around the house, working as a handyman could be the best self-employed job for you. Handyman services are in high demand, and you can charge as much as $100 per hour for performing basic home maintenance tasks like cleaning gutters, mounting TVs, or repairing cabinetry and drywall.

One advantage of self-employment as a handyman is that there’s a very low barrier to entry. You don’t need any special licenses or permits, or even a high-school diploma, to start booking jobs. The startup costs are minimal, too, especially if you already own basic repair tools.

Caleb Ingraham worked as a contractor before becoming a self-employed handyman. Five years in, he averages $25,000 a month in revenue and is booked up six weeks out. See how he built his business in this interview:

[su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leUta_q_MPQ"]

Job #10. Electrician

•  Average Annual Revenue: $1M+
•  Average Profit Margins:
6.2%
•  Startup Costs:
$1K-$100K
•  Time To Revenue:
6-18 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
0.9%
•  Best for: Certified contractors and electricians, people with high dexterity who enjoy working with their hands, strong problem solvers with excellent customer service skills

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an electrician is just over $60,000 per year and the industry is expected to grow at a rate of around 7% per year through 2031. That means wages and demand for employees are expected to grow faster than revenue.

Like other jobs in the skilled trades, the consistent demand for electricians is what makes it one of the best self-employed jobs. You’ll have a lot of options to find work, whether you work with customers directly or as an independent contractor for other construction firms.

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to work as an electrician, but you will need to get licensed to demonstrate you can perform electrical work safely. The specific requirements vary state by state but normally require 4,000-8,000 hours of experience as well as passing an exam.

Once you have these skills, the sky’s the limit when it comes to earnings. Joe Walsman looked for self-employment options after the 2008 recession and decided to start his own business, Jefferson Electric. Today, it makes $500,000 a month in revenue on average. Hear how he built his business in this podcast interview:

Job #11. Construction

•  Average Annual Revenue: $696K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
3.4%
•  Startup Costs:
$1K-$100K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-6 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
-1.3%
•  Best for: Contractors, builders, and makers, people with strong math skills who like physical work

If you excel at bringing designs to life and love building things by hand, construction could be the best self-employed job to go to work for yourself. While surging interest rates have put a damper on new construction, the long-term forecast calls for growth, with a CAGR of 5.2% through 2027.

This is another industry with a low barrier to entry. You don’t even need a high school diploma to do construction work, though contractors do need to be licensed by their state.

That doesn’t mean you need tons of experience to get started, though. Avanni Petras started his own business in construction at just 19 and in his first year made more than $125,000 in revenue. See how he built his business from scratch here:

[su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpDwut_2Lw"]

Self-Employed Business Ideas You Can Start with a High School Diploma

Job #12. Delivery Driver

•  Average Annual Revenue: $131K
•  Average Profit Margins:
3.6%
•  Startup Costs:
$100-$9.5K
•  Time To Revenue:
3+ months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
6.7%
•  Best for: Skilled drivers and navigators, organized and reliable entrepreneurs who are strong communicators

The rise in on-demand delivery is one trend from the pandemic that seems likely to continue long-term. Food delivery alone has more than tripled its market value since 2017, and that’s just one of the work-for-yourself jobs available in this sector.

The easiest way to become a self-employed food delivery driver is to sign up through a service like DoorDash or Uber Eats. You can do the same with a grocery delivery service like Instacart. These services allow drivers to set their own hours, so you don’t need to build a company from scratch to balance your self-employed job with your personal life.

You can also start your own business in the delivery sector. Doing so will require more time and money invested up front but can bring you much higher revenue down the line than delivering groceries or food through an existing app. If you’re considering this option, check out this interview with the founder of Trellus Same-Day Local Delivery to hear how they got started:

Job #13. Lawn Care and Landscaping

•  Average Annual Revenue: $272K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
8.7%
•  Startup Costs:
$2K-$10K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
8.1%
•  Best for: People who love green spaces and working outside, gardeners and plant experts, detail-oriented entrepreneurs who excel at customer service

Landscaping and lawn care services are great business ideas for lovers of the outdoors. The number of landscaping businesses in the United States has increased by an average of 3.2% per year over the last five years, and demand for them is continuing to grow right along with it.

Some self-employed landscapers have bachelor’s degrees in landscape architecture or a similar area of study, but that’s certainly not a requirement to get started. You also don’t need a ton of money or specialized equipment, giving lawn care an overall low barrier to entry.

Not only is landscaping among the best self-employed jobs, but it can also easily be scaled into a very profitable business. Mike Andes grew Augusta Lawn Care to more than $1 million in revenue by age 24, then scaled it even further by turning it into a franchise. You can hear how he got started in this YouTube interview:

[su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLeOYgF54tE"]

Job #14. Nanny or Childcare Services

•  Average Annual Revenue: $143K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
0.9%
•  Startup Costs:
$0-$1K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
51.7%
•  Best for: Teachers, tutors, babysitters, parents, caregivers, compassionate and patient entrepreneurs with strong organization and multitasking skills

Childcare services are in high demand, especially in rural areas, where nearly 60% of families don’t have access to the childcare they need. Parents in urban areas need reliable childcare, too, and thanks to this rising demand, the overall childcare market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.8% through 2027.

This opens up a lot of self-employment opportunities for entrepreneurs who have experience teaching, watching, or caring for kids. It’s also driving up the average salary for childcare professionals across the country. The average hourly rate for a nanny was $17-$18 in 2023, but that can go much higher depending on where you live and if you bring other skills like tutoring or medical knowledge to the table.

This is another self-employed job that has lots of growth potential. While you can certainly make a good living as a one-person operation, you can also build on those skills to start a small business like a daycare or nanny agency.

Twinkle Toes Nanny Agency has grown to more than 20 locations with a cumulative annual revenue of $11.2 million since it was started in 2011. Find out how its founder went from being a surgeon’s assistant to making millions per year:

Job #15. Event Planner

Woman event planner holding a tablet under a beautifully decorated white wedding tent

•  Average Annual Revenue: $94K+ as wedding planner
•  Average Profit Margins:
12.2%
•  Startup Costs:
$500-$5K
•  Time To Revenue:
3+ months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
1%
•  Best for: Organized and social entrepreneurs who are strong networkers and planners, creative problem-solvers

Like other sectors that rely on large gatherings of people, the pandemic put a damper on the event-planning industry. The good news is, it bounced back in a big way in 2023. The event-planning market is expected to surpass $1.5 trillion in value by 2028, which represents a growth rate of 11.2%.

There are many niches you can go into as an event planner. Wedding planning and corporate events are among the most consistently profitable, but the truth is you can earn a sizable revenue by planning any kind of event, from social gatherings like parties and reunions to business events like product launches and conferences.

Having connections to other local businesses like event venues, caterers, and entertainment is key to success when you’re working for yourself as an event planner. This makes it one of the best self-employed jobs for people with experience in hospitality, food service, and similar industries as they can draw on that knowledge to grow their new business quickly.

Job #16. Virtual Assistant

•  Average Annual Revenue: $35K-$50K
•  Average Profit Margins:
10.5%
•  Startup Costs:
$100-$200
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
1.9%
•  Best for: People with strong organization and communication skills, those who want to work from home and set their own hours

Virtual assistants work with busy professionals on a freelance or contract basis, handling administrative tasks so they can focus on their other responsibilities. The things you’ll do as a virtual assistant can include replying to emails, scheduling meetings and travel, managing and posting to social media accounts, and similar types of tasks.

You can start a virtual assistant business online by creating an account on a freelance platform like Upwork or 24/7 Virtual Assistant. While you’ll need basic computer skills and a reliable internet connection, the most important traits for virtual assistants are soft skills like reliability, communication, and multitasking, and you certainly don’t need a bachelor’s degree or other formal education.

Job #17. eCommerce Reseller Business

Smiling women in a bright red blazer holding boxes including one marked "Reseller"

•  Average Annual Revenue: $60K-$120K
•  Average Profit Margins:
5-15%
•  Startup Costs:
$100-$1K
•  Time To Revenue:
30-90 days
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
-9.3% (Based on eBay annual reports)
•  Best for: People with sales and marketing skills, collectors who can spot valuable items, those seeking flexibility and the potential for passive income

Opening an online store costs less than starting a brick-and-mortar retail store. It also gives you more schedule flexibility than many working-for-yourself jobs since it doesn’t involve working with clients.

The inventory you sell will be the main cost of starting an e-commerce business as a reseller. If you have an eye for spotting hidden gems at flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales, you can make a consistently high profit with this kind of business.

Mike Wilson started Golden State Picker with $1,000 worth of inventory and has grown that into a $30,000-a-month business. Hear how he started in this podcast interview:

Self-Employed Jobs from Home

Job #18. Graphic Designer

•  Average Annual Revenue: $123K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
13.5%
•  Startup Costs:
$500-$5K
•  Time To Revenue:
3+ months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
2%
•  Best for: Visual artists, designers, creative and artistic entrepreneurs

In a recent report from Upwork, graphic design topped the list of most in-demand creative skills. Graphic designers help businesses create their brands, a crucial ingredient in attracting customers and growing sales, so it’s no surprise this service is so needed in today’s market.

The average salary for a graphic designer is $24 an hour, but an experienced freelance graphic designer can charge $100 or more an hour for their services. You’ll be able to charge more from the start if you have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a similar area of study. You can also learn the skills you need from online courses and how-to videos, though, so a degree isn’t a requirement to get started.

Job #19. Web Designer

Bearded web designer in a t-shirt working on site design on a Mac laptop

•  Average Annual Revenue: $239K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
5.3%
•  Startup Costs:
$100-$1K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
1.4%
•  Best for: Programmers with knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, visual artists and designers, detail-oriented entrepreneurs with strong time and project management skills

Similar to graphic design, web design is an in-demand skill, and self-employment is common in this industry. Many businesses hire freelance web designers to build and maintain their websites, and there’s a particularly high demand for designers with e-commerce or SEO expertise.

The average salary for a freelance web designer was $65,000 a year in 2023, which equates to roughly $31 an hour. You can charge more if you have those niche skills mentioned above.

Having a portfolio of past work to show potential clients is the best way to grow a web design business. If you’re just starting out, building your own website or doing some free work for friends and family can help you create this portfolio.

Job #20. Translator

•  Average Annual Revenue: $75K-$200K
•  Average Profit Margins:
12.4%
•  Startup Costs:
$100-$200
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
1.2%
•  Best for: Bilingual or multilingual entrepreneurs, excellent communicators

Translation is among the best self-employed jobs for people who speak multiple languages fluently. There’s a wide variety of work available in this niche, too, from translating books to writing multilingual captions for videos or doing live translation at events and functions.

The pay for translators varies widely, with an average salary of $61,000 per year. You can make more money if you can translate between English and in-demand languages like German, Mandarin, and Arabic.

Job #21. Freelance Writer

Screenshot of Freelancewriting.com’s homepage showing "I’m a writer" and "I want to hire writers" options

•  Average Annual Revenue: $46K
•  Average Profit Margins:
14.6%
•  Startup Costs:
$100-$200
•  Time To Revenue:
1 month to 3 Years
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
-1.5%
•  Best for: Writers, editors, and language experts, people with SEO, marketing, and advertising knowledge, creative entrepreneurs

Despite the recent emergence of AI content generators, freelance writing remains among the best self-employed jobs you can start from home with almost no upfront investment.

Freelance writers can take on a wide range of work. Some focus on fiction and other creative writing, either under their own names or as ghostwriters. Technical writing is one particularly high-paying freelance writing niche, with an average salary of $75,700 in 2023. There is also high demand for online content like blog posts and advertising copy.

The bottom line is, if you are a strong writer and wondering how to work for yourself, you can create your own job writing about the things that interest you.

Job #22. Proofreader Business

•  Average Annual Revenue: $25K+
•  Average Profit Margins: 9%
•  Startup Costs:
$100-$1K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
1.9%
•  Best for: Grammar and writing experts, people with a sharp eye for detail

Another great self-employed job in the content creation sector is proofreading. Proofreaders give written texts professional polish, catching and correcting errors in books, blog posts, marketing brochures, and other types of copy.

While proofreading pays less on average than writing, an experienced proofreader can make up to $25 an hour. You can make extra money by adding services like fact-checking or content editing to your business, too.

Job #23. Photographer Business

•  Average Annual Revenue: $50K
•  Average Profit Margins:
7.3%
•  Startup Costs:
$1K-$10K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-6 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
0.3%
•  Best for: Visual artists, photographers and videographers, creative entrepreneurs with strong customer service skills

There are lots of ways to make money from photography. You can photograph events, take family or school portraits, or work with businesses to take pictures of their products for store listings or advertisements.

Mile High Productions offers drone photography and videography services for clients ranging from real estate agents to TV productions. They’ve grown to $35,000 a month in revenue thanks to their high-profile clients. You can see how they started here:

[su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUcv1HAAbns"]

Photography equipment is the most significant startup expense for a self-employed photographer. If you already have a professional camera, the main cost to start will be marketing to attract your first clients.

Job #24. Tutor

•  Average Annual Revenue: $389.5K+ (normally has multiple employees)
•  Average Profit Margins:
13.10%
•  Startup Costs:
$100-$1K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
8.5%
•  Best for: Educators, people who are compassionate, empathetic, and can explain complex concepts in simple terms

If you’re knowledgeable about school subjects like math, English, and history, tutoring should be on your list of best self-employed jobs. The rise of online tutoring platforms like Skooli and TutorMe makes it easier than ever before to find students and teach them right from your home. Other than knowledge, all you need to get started is a reliable internet connection.

How much you can make as a tutor depends on your experience and areas of expertise. The average rate is around $24 per hour, and you can charge more if you can offer college-level tutoring or services like standardized test prep.

Ways to Work for Yourself: More Ideas for Self-Employment

Job #25. Real Estate Agent

•  Average Annual Revenue: $298K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
44.6%
•  Startup Costs:
$500-$5K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
-0.3%
•  Best for: Skilled negotiators, friendly people with strong sales and communication skills

Most real estate agents are self-employed, even if they work under the supervision of a broker. Typically, this means they get to set their own schedules and choose the clients they work with, putting real estate agent among the best jobs for people who want full control over their workdays.

Real estate agents can represent either the buyer or the seller in property transactions. Some agents switch between these roles, while others have a specialty. Whatever your focus, you will need to be licensed to become a real estate agent. Licensing requirements vary state by state, but the licensing process is typically fairly quick and easy, and you only need a high school diploma or GED to qualify.

Job #26. Property Manager

•  Average Annual Revenue: $372K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
10.1%
•  Startup Costs:
$100K-$3.5M
•  Time To Revenue:
6-18 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
1.3%
•  Best for: Home maintenance and repair experts, organized and system-focused entrepreneurs who are great communicators

Another self-employment option in the real estate sector is to become an independent property manager. Property managers are often hired as independent contractors by people who own rental properties or commercial real estate. They take care of day-to-day tasks for a property, like collecting rent, arranging or making repairs, and fielding tenant concerns and issues.

Property managers made an average salary of $53,600 in 2023, but there’s the potential to earn six figures or more. Generally speaking, the larger the property, the higher the pay. One highly profitable niche is managing Airbnb properties for their owners. Airbnb business Nicasa manages others’ properties in addition to its own real estate investments and earns $3 million a year in revenue. Learn more about its winning strategies in this video:

[su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m-MosXlpOE"]

Job #27. Life Coach

•  Average Annual Revenue: $63K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
10.5%
•  Startup Costs:
$500-$5K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
1.5%
•  Best for: Excellent motivators, empathetic active listeners, people with strong time management, organization, and problem-solving skills

As a life coach, your job is to encourage clients to become the best versions of themselves. This can mean helping them solve problems in various areas of their lives, from their personal relationships to their physical and mental health or broader life goals.

There are no licensing or formal education requirements to become a life coach. As with other self-employment jobs, though, having some training can help you build client trust when you’re first starting.

This Forbes review of the best life coaching programs is a great place to learn about the top life coaching certifications. A bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or another social science can also help you gain the skills you need to improve clients’ lives.

Job #28. Career Coach

•  Average Annual Revenue: $64K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
2.8%
•  Startup Costs:
$500-$5K
•  Time To Revenue:
1-3 months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
0.8%
•  Best for: Recruiting and human resources professionals, strong networkers with industry and job market expertise, effective writers, communicators, and motivators

Career coaches help other people land the jobs of their dreams. This can include tasks like helping write or improve resumes and cover letters, interview preparation and practice, and helping people develop the skills they need to advance their careers.

A career coach usually charges around $100-$150 per session. With a full client load, that adds up to an average salary of $63,300 per year in 2023. You can earn more if you offer specialized services, like executive coaching or helping people navigate career changes.

Job #29. Hair Stylist

Woman barber with bleached white hair and tattoo sleeve holding hair scissors and brushes

•  Average Annual Revenue: $51K+
•  Average Profit Margins:
5%
•  Startup Costs:
$1K-$100K
•  Time To Revenue:
3+ months
•  Annual Market Growth Rate:
0.9%
•  Best for: Beauticians and barbers, people with knowledge of fashion and style trends, creative people who are great active listeners and problem solvers

In many salons, the hairdressers aren’t employees. Instead, they’re self-employed stylists who rent a chair or work on commission. For many, this arrangement is the best of both worlds. The salon owner pays for the equipment and does their own marketing, and the stylist gets scheduling freedom and control over their own client list.

You don’t necessarily need to go to beauty school to become a hair stylist, but you will need a cosmetology license (see the requirements for each state here). Apprenticing with an established hair stylist is a great way to build your client list while gaining the skills and experience you need to become a self-employed stylist.

Did You Find The Self-Emploment Job For You?

The best self-employed jobs come in all fields. If you want even more inspiration, check out our blog of 561 self-employment ideas.

Which of the ideas did you like best?

Every day millions of pet lovers think to themselves: “I wish I could spend all day playing with my pets.” Martin Burt and his wife started Companion Keepers because of their love for animals. These successful business owners are going to share how to start a pet sitting business for less than $1,000. If caring for animals sounds like your dream job, we’re going to show you how to build a strong client base without any pet sitting or small business experience. Get ready to get all the tips, tools, and resources you need to start a successful pet sitting business.  

1. Understanding Pet Sitting 

Woman with a cute dog You might be wondering if pet sitting is right for you or if you’re even cut out to run a small business. With the help of Martin, we will give you the tools and knowledge to make this important decision and get a head start. The average cost for pet sitting ranges from $20-$30 per day and $45-$75 per night. Individual pet sitters can make $4,000 a month or more, which can grow even more as you expand your business and hire additional workers. Pet sitting offers a level of flexibility that few other types of businesses can match.  You can choose to work full-time or part-time and can even start as a teenager. Let's get into what you need to know to decide if starting a local pet business is a good fit.

Experience

Working as a pet sitter for an established company before going out on your own can help you get a feel for the work involved and how to manage different pets, sitting circumstances, and employees. However, being a passionate pet owner can suffice if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and do your research. Martin and his wife didn’t have any previous experience with pet sitting or small business, but they were driven to create a safe pet care environment in honor of their passed beautiful Persian, Delilah. While they may have lacked experience, they sure didn’t lack drive. They spent an entire year researching how to own and operate a small business and pet sitting company. And most of this research was done at the library! Fortunately, there are tons of online resources nowadays, and we’ve already taken care of the heavy lifting for you. Here are a few to get you started: 

Being An Entrepreneur

Hand showing the word "entrepreneur" Starting a business can be one of the most challenging and rewarding career moves of a lifetime. It takes planning, guts, and a whole lot of time and effort.  After taking a deep dive into the world of business ownership and weighing their options, Martin and his wife realized that entrepreneurship was right for them. As Burt explains: [su_quote]My wife and I discovered we are both entrepreneurs at heart. You know this when your yearning to ‘beat your own drum’ is stronger than your yearning to ‘move up the ladder.'[/su_quote] He goes on to explain some of his key requirements for business ownership: [su_quote]Self-starters motivated to set the alarm and be accountable for all aspects of business without the team or supervision to help us along.[/su_quote] The start-up guides by Entrepreneur and Business News Daily offer step-by-step instructions on how to get started.  The Small Business Administration (SBA) is also a great resource for those looking to become entrepreneurs in the United States, with information on registering your business, funding, and more.  

2. Choose Your Target Market

Because there are so many pet varieties, each requiring different types and levels of care, selecting which types of pets your company will and will not sit for is a core business decision. This choice should be based on your knowledge, experience, and preferences, as well as your desired workload and price points. You can choose to take on more care-intensive pets, like ferrets and large birds, or stick to lower maintenance animals like cats and guinea pigs. Here are care guides for some of the more common pets to help inform your decision. 

To specialize or not?

Finding a unique way to position your business is a great way to stand out from the competition and command higher prices. One way to do this is to create a specific type of pet sitting business, like a pure dog sitting business.   Taking a leap of faith, Martin and his wife decided to transition their business, shifting from providing services for both cats and dogs to a cats-only pet care provider, effectively reducing their number of potential clients. As Martin explains: [su_quote]It was a risk cutting out 50% or more of potential business by catering to cat owners.[/su_quote] They were the only local pet sitting company in this space. The risk paid off, and their specialty pet sitting business flourished.

3. Licenses and Certifications

The word certified printed on the keyboard Look, no one likes paperwork, but doing the due diligence to get your business up and running is key to its success. One of those steps may involve getting a business license. Pet sitting business license requirements vary by state, so make sure to check your state/city websites for more information.

Exams and Courses

Beyond licensing, you may want to consider a pet sitting certification as an extra credibility boost for your business.  The NAPPS Certification Course covers a wide range of topics, from pet first aid to business management. This is a good option for someone who wants to deepen their knowledge of business and pet care and build confidence in their pet-sitting abilities. Another option is the CPPS-Certified Professional Pet Sitter® Exam. This certification is for people who already have the know-how and want to prove their expertise to clients. In all, certifications can be a learning tool and/or give you an edge over the competition.

4.   Select a Location

Figuring out where to locate your pet sitting business is a big decision. Do you work from home or rent an office? Board animals or make house calls? Or do a combination of the two? With so many questions to answer, let’s take a look at how Martin and his wife set up their business.

Home Office

Martin describes the Companion Keepers office setup:  [su_quote]The location was easy: our home. We had a small home and literally converted half our living space into our office… At the time, nobody worked from home, so it was odd to most people.[/su_quote] Nowadays, working from home is much more common and accepted. Converting part of your home into an office can help cut costs since you don’t have to rent an office space, which is especially important for a start-up.  Check out these resources on creating your ideal home office space: 
  • Watch this video to learn more about transforming part of your home into office space
  • Set up your home office like a boss with these tips and tricks
  • Don’t forget to optimize the ergonomics of your office space for comfort and productivity

Renting and Leasing Retail

Leasing approval for business If you do want to rent an office space for a more professional feel, make sure you consider its location in terms of your clients, team, and any amenities you want close by. It’s also important to figure out your budget and stick to it. Online platforms like OfficeSpace let you browse potential business locations from your own home. You may also want to get the help of an expert for your search. 

Personal Visits

With half of their house functioning as an office, there wasn’t much room left for pets. Martin and his wife decided to make pet care visits to the owner’s home as part of their service offerings. While this option has the benefit of a less chaotic home or rented space, it does come at a cost. Martin explains the tradeoffs of heavily relying on a car as part of your business operations: [su_quote]The mileage plus wear and tear on your car annually is a big expense. It’s not uncommon to put 100 miles a day on your car when making pet visits on busy days.[/su_quote] As your client base grows, so does your car mileage. In Martin's case, the company profits more than offset these time and money costs. Alternatively, if you have the space, pet sitting in your home can save tons of time and help to reduce costs.  

5. Make a Plan

Whether you create a plan or not can make or break new businesses. Read on to learn exactly what you need to do to develop a solid foundation for your pet sitter business to thrive.

Name The Business

A solid business name can be the difference between gaining a new client and being forgotten. When selecting a name, it should be clear that it is representing a pet sitting company without being too wordy or difficult to remember. The name of Martin and his wife’s business, Companion Keepers, is short, sweet, and to the point. You can also test some name ideas on a focus group of family and friends to help find the perfect one. You only get one shot, so take your time and be thoughtful in your decision. Here are some more tips for naming your business.  

Create a Business Plan

Man creating a business plan After finding the perfect name, it’s time to sit down and make a plan. A business plan was the missing piece from Martin and this wife’s start-up venture. He states: [su_quote]This was probably the one mistake we made. We didn’t run into problems without [a business plan], but we had no clear goals either and could have grown our business much faster, and with better vision.[/su_quote] Martin hits the nail on the head with his observation. Business plans help you focus, set goals, and stay organized, which is necessary to effectively scale your business.

Business Planning 101

Business plans generally have the following elements:
  • Executive summary
  • Vision and mission statements
  • Company summary
  • Market analysis and marketing strategy
  • Financial plan and forecast
  • Competitor analysis

Business Plan Templates

Fortunately, there’s no need to start from scratch. Here are some free templates to get you started!

Goal Setting

Martin also recommended setting goals early on in the process to help guide your pet sitting business in the right direction. One of the most commonly used tools for goal setting is the SMART goal framework, which emphasizes creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. When setting your revenue and other goals for the year, don’t forget to consider the seasonality of pet sitting. Plan for busier periods during the summer and slower business during the winter. For example, at Companion Keepers, they take a break in January to regroup and plan for the following year. 

Insurance

Everyone would like their business operations to always run smoothly. However, in reality, issues are going to come up from time to time. Insurance and contingency planning are a must for pet sitting businesses.  Martin and his wife have had to handle their fair share of challenges. As Martin describes:  We have dealt with house break-ins, floods, sick or terminally ill pets, and pets that pass away when their moms and dads are away. The responsibility can weigh on you. To help you build a stable business that caters to pet owners, he recommends creating a financial cushion over time to prepare for the unknown. Also, creating guidelines for how to handle difficult situations like the death of a pet can help you and your team take on these challenges more effectively and consistently. To make sure your pet care business is protected, you may want to consider purchasing insurance. Insurance companies like Trusted Choice and Veracity Insurance Solutions offering affordable liability insurance related to animal care. Small business insurance can also provide coverage for other types of financial losses.  

6. Funding

People sitting and planning business Luckily for you, pet sitting businesses don't need a large amount of upfront investment. That being said, you'll still need to decide whether to self-finance your small business or try to find investors. First, let's take a look at how much money you'll need to get started.

Estimate Costs

One of the perks of starting a pet sitting business is the low initial costs. Martin and his wife hired an accountant who cost $1,000 per year and an attorney who drew up a pet care contract for pet owners to sign that cost around $600. The remaining costs for a business phone line, advertising, and office supplies were minimal at first. Other than that, the main costs for Companion Keepers were related to their car. These can really add up over time. Martin explains: The mileage plus wear and tear on your car annually is a big expense. It’s not uncommon to put 100 miles a day on your car when making pet visits on busy days. Depending on gas prices, which at times were as high as $3 a gallon, plus averaging out the cost per mile burning your car could mean you need a newer car in a few short years.  Pet sitting business start-up costs can be higher or lower than those of Companion Keepers depending on how you decide to set up your pet business. For example, renting out office space for your pet business will add a significant monthly expense, while providing pet care services from the comfort of your own home can help cut down on car wear and tear.   The US Small Business Administration offers a start-up cost estimator to help you plan out your business expenses.  Here are the main cost categories to factor in when starting your pet sitting business: 
  • Office space (varies depending on location)
  • Car (including gas plus wear and tear)
  • Pet equipment (food, toys, etc.)
  • Accountant: about $1,000 per year  
  • Lawyer: about $600 to create the initial pet care contract
Pet Sitters International also offers a free pet sitter start-up costs checklist to help you estimate your business expenses. 

Personal Investment

If you have a reliable car and money in the bank, it's possible to start a small business that provides pet sitting services without initially going into debt. This was the route Martin and his wife took. He describes how they managed to found a pet sitter business without debt: [su_quote]We used our savings and started slowly. We didn’t take vacations, cut down meals, and cut anything else we could eliminate until we were profitable. Sometimes we worked overtime at our other jobs to fund growing the pet sitting.[/su_quote] Becoming a fully self-started business owner is possible but may require more sacrifices and effort upfront. Next, we'll go over an alternative path for starting and to help you build your local pet sitting business. There are also several business credit cards geared towards start-ups with perks, like not requiring a personal guarantee and a 12-month intro 0% APR. Before applying, you can first check your credit score for free through Experian

Finding Investors

Group of people planning on investing for business An alternative option for starting a pet business is to get funding from outside sources. You can apply for a loan from a local bank, raise capital from friends and family, or seek funding via an online platform. Make sure that you understand the terms of the loan and that the requested amount is based on your cost and revenue projections from your business plan. The SBA also helps small businesses to get loans. 

7. Develop a Marketing Strategy

Online presence is the number one way to attract potential clients in today's world according to Martin. They also receive referrals from local veterinarians and former clients. Occasionally, Martin will buy Google or social media ads, but they rely most heavily on organic website searches for growing their business.

Gig Workers

Gig pet sitting businesses like Wag and Rover can make it difficult for independent pet sitter companies by undercutting the market. As Martin explains:     [su_quote]They fail to see the hidden time and money expenses, and then they compete by underpricing.[/su_quote] While gig pet sitters are barely getting by with their bottom-of-the-barrel pricing, a true petcare small business has to get creative and set themselves apart to be successful.   Read on to find out how.

Technology

In addition to leveraging pet owner customer loyalty through referrals, using technology is integral for small business owners in growing their sitting business. Martin encourages pet sitters to seek out these solutions: [su_quote]If there’s a perfect app or a virtual assistant for the problem, use it! Saving the money instead by doing it yourself costs you in growth, robbing you of income and time off in the end.[/su_quote] The following platforms can help your business operate like a well-oiled machine. 
  • FreshBooks helps to simplify invoicing 
  • DocuSign can make your contracting processes operate more smoothly
  • Mailchimp offers an integrated marketing platform that allows you to reach potential customers more effectively
  • GoCo uses the cloud to streamline human resource services 

8. Assemble a Team

Two women and two cute dogs As your pet service business grows, you may want to consider hiring people to help out with pet care. 

Hiring Help

If he could go back in time, the number one thing Martin would do differently is to hire sooner. [su_quote]We wasted many years staying static, afraid to hand over the [reins]... My advice would be to take your time and build and nurture a solid team so you’re not all things to all people 24/7.[/su_quote] Based on how many pet owners you are servicing and your budget, you can choose to hire full-time or part-time pet sitters wh0 you can train based on your pet care approach and guidelines. This will increase your ability to service more potential clients and grow your revenue. Depending on your location, you may be able to find potential employees through word of mouth, a community job board, or an online job board like Indeed. Workers who are passionate about animals are a must!  Check out the 7 Cs and these recruiting strategies for more info on how to hire great employees. 

Remote Workers 

As the remote worker community increases, it's easier than it's ever been to find a virtual assistant for day-to-day office tasks. An assistant can take care of the small stuff so you can focus on growing your business.   Martin warns that burnout is inevitable to people who are fearful of hiring. So once your business starts to take off, get out there and assemble your dream team!

9. Education & Networking

Martin's final piece of advice for aspiring pet sitters is to never stop learning. There are tons of resources out there for small business owners, such as mentorships, online classes, and networking opportunities.

Mentorships

Having a pet sitter mentor is a great way to get you started, and they can act as a support system as you grow. Pet Boss Nation has a great mentor program for those looking to get into the pet industry.  Martin encourages new business owners not to try to reinvent the wheel and to ask for help when needed. Especially if you’re new to the industry, a mentor can be an invaluable resource and help show you the ropes. 

Networking

Different social media sites to network business Platforms like Skillshare and Universal Class offer courses specifically for pet sitters where you can hone your skills and learn new tricks of the trade. Business networking sites can help you make connections to both learn and grow your business. LinkedIn is a widely used platform that helps you to expand your network based on who you know, and the 100AM Networking app is great for networking events and managing business cards. 

Conclusion

Want to stay up-to-date on all the latest tips and tricks from top sitting experts? Then check out Barxie and the pet sitting business coaching blog Jump Consulting Now that you've gone through our pet sitter business guide, you have the know-how to answer the following questions:
  • Is a pet care business right for me?
  • What is my ideal business set-up?
  • What do I need to start a pet sitting business?
  • What are the costs of starting a pet care business?
  • How can I manage the challenges of running this type of business?
  • What strategies can I use to grow my pet care business?
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, and don't forget to check back in for more business how-tos!
We tested both programs to see how they compare. We compare the projects based on the following:
  1. Initial Setup
  2. Core Features
  3. Integrations
  4. Security
  5. Support
  6. Usability
  7. Pricing
  8. Apps
  9. Our overall opinion.
We’ll examine each of these providing you screenshots and explanations of what we liked and disliked about each. Let’s start with the initial setup.

Asana vs Monday: Initial Setup

Before you start reading this blog, I would suggest reading our in-depth testing of Monday.com. I go into detail about many of the features. Asana and Monday take different approaches to setup. Monday starts by asking what areas of an organization will be using the project management tool, while Asana goes almost immediately into creating your first project. Let’s look at each.

Asana Initial Setup

Asana has more of a checklist mentality for setup. The process includes:
  1. Naming the project
  2. Creating the checklist
  3. Method of marking progress
  4. Selecting the preferred project layout 
  5. Inviting team members
  6. Downloading the project management tool on devices
After you’re done, it will take you to the screen with your preferred layout. I chose the calendar. Screenshot of Asana website

Monday Initial Setup

Monday is more concerned with what segment of the business is most important to you and focuses on helping you create it first. Both can be beneficial for project management software, but I personally prefer the logic of Asana. Monday has more templates that make it easier to get setup quickly, but neither of them are necessarily as well set up as I would like.

Monday vs Asana Core Features

Monday and Asana both have similar project management tools, but how they approach each is different. Both offer: [su_note note_color="#dbeafc"]
  • Different types of boards 
  • Automations
  • Workflows
  • File Storage
[/su_note] Let’s look at how each approaches these functions.

Monday Features 

Screenshot of Monday key features website I would describe Monday as more focused on project management. Their features are more focused on getting quick overviews of company progress. I found their features to be a little difficult to achieve the full benefits. Monday lists the features as:
  • Dashboards: This feature makes it easy to view relevant information in one place, but it’s not really intuitive. For instance, the numbers widget is really a single-number widget. You’ll have to create a different one for each number you want to track.
  • Automations: I find the Monday automations difficult to set up exactly as I want. Finding the best way to write each automation can be challenging. I prefer visual process automations. These are not available in the free plan.
  • Integrations: Like Monday automations, the integrations are not free. They also have some bugs that I wasn’t able to solve in a timely manner. I discussed them more in our Monday.com review.
  • Gantt: This project management tool is the basis of measuring project timelines and success. I personally love these because they make it easy to view the project. The picture below shows the single project template from Monday.
  • Kanban: Another way to track tasks is Kanban. It’s great for high-level overviews but lacks the ease of viewing dependencies that project managers may want. The single project template doesn’t include automation that could make it easy for automated task updating, so you’ll have to create them yourself.
  • Work Docs: This feature can be used for anything from creating blog content to making checklists. The functionality is good. It’s honestly the most user-friendly portion of Monday project management software.
  • Files: Files are where you can attach anything related to the task, person, or project so that anyone viewing them can also view the files. Oddly, this isn’t a default column in any of the templates I’ve used.

Asana Features

Asana lists more project management tools as key features than Monday does, but don’t be fooled. Timeline, board, and calendar are simply similar views to Gantt and Kanban on Monday. Screenshot of Asana key features website The main difference between Asana and Monday are:
  1. Asana’s workflow builder uses a more logical automation process. 
  2. Integrations are not standardized in Asana. Some are super simple and make lots of sense, some are more complex, and some don’t seem to work. Asana should really standardize how their integrations work. The Canva and Asana one is literally explaining manual workflow management. That’s not an integration.
  3. The reporting generates a default report based on what you’ve created in Asana. You can also create custom reports. I like how easily this works. Here’s my default one.
Screenshot of Asana default report based website Overall, I’m finding Asana’s features better, but the lack of a great CRM template makes it hard to compare the two. If I’m building workflow management from scratch, I’m using Asana as it makes more sense to me. I think Monday’s templates are better, though. Ultimately, the features of Asana vs Monday are fairly comparable. I’d suggest opening both, checking out their templates, and deciding which you find more useful if this were the only consideration.

Monday.com vs Asana Integrations

Integrations with other software you use are a critical aspect of managing your workflow. While comparing Asana vs. Monday, the integrations are one of the hardest aspects to analyze because they take completely different approaches to integrations and automation. Let’s look at each.

Monday Integration and Automation

Monday project management software integrates with hundreds of the most popular software development companies but does not include integrations and automation in their basic plan. You’ll have to use one of Monday’s paid plans to connect to popular apps like Google Drive. The automation and integrations all had a standardized process, though. You can see the automation screen below. Screenshot of Monday integration and automation website

Asana Integrations and Automations

Asana allows integration with over 100 apps in the free version, but the integrations aren’t always intuitive. The Gmail integration is cool but took about 20 minutes to figure it out. Meanwhile, the Adobe one doesn’t seem to work well for me. I was hoping that the integration would let me take a photo in photoshop and attach it to a task in Asana, but it does not appear the tools perform that way.  Automation goes from basic in the free plan to customizable multi-step automation for complex projects in the business plan. They use a workflow builder that shows all the tasks together. The picture below shows the automation in Asana. Screenshot of Asana automation and integration website I think Asana is the winner regarding Asana vs Monday automation and workflow. Someone else might like the Monday project management software options enough that they prefer to use the sentence formats. Now, let’s look at how the two compare from a security standpoint.

Monday.com versus Asana Security

Project management tools are used by a variety of industries. Depending on your industry, you might have specific technical requirements to be considered compliant with regulations. Let's look at the security features Asana and Monday.com offer. 

Asana Security Features

Screenshot of asana security features Asana mostly focuses on security in their Enterprise plan, but many security features impact all of their plans. Here is a list of the Asana security features:
  • All systems are SOC2 and SOC3 compliant.
  • Accounts are General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA, upon request) compliant. 
  • Asana is ISO certified.
  • Backups are performed daily to protect against data loss.
  • Asana provides options for specialized compliance tailored to financial, healthcare, or educational companies with the Enterprise plan.
  • Enterprise plans can use Single Sign-On, 2-Factor Authentication, and other controls to protect the system.
  • A team of security experts continually improves the system.
  • Bug Bounty Program that rewards up to $6,500 for vulnerabilities detected.
Learn more about Asana security.

Monday.com Security

Screenshot of Monday security features Monday is serious about cybersecurity. The project management software has taken many steps to ensure your data is secure. These are just some of the ways they protect your data:
  • All systems are SOC1, SOC2, and SOC3 compliant.
  • Accounts are General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA, upon request) compliant. 
  • Monday is ISO certified.
  • Backups are performed every five minutes to protect against data loss.
  • Financial, healthcare, and educational companies can use Monday tailored for their compliance needs with the Enterprise plan.
  • Enterprise plans can use Single Sign-On, 2-Factor Authentication, and other controls to protect the system.
  • Works with PrivacyTeam to support security efforts.
  • Users can report security flaws by submitting this form. This is also part of a Bug Bounty Program.
  • Advertises it is on AWS and Google Cloud, which means they have cyber security experts from multiple agencies monitoring their security 24/7.
Review more about cybersecurity on the Trust Center While both have similar security features, Monday wins because they have a diverse set of professionals in multiple of the world's largest organizations looking for ways to improve their cybersecurity.

Asana vs Monday.com Support

Marketing team working on table Monday and Asana both were fairly quick at responding to support requests, but don’t expect their support to be available in a single sitting unless you are spending your whole day setting up the software. Let’s look at each.

Monday Support 

I tested the Monday.com support service previously. Read the full review of Monday.com. They were fairly quick about responding, but I would have preferred a video chat with screen sharing. Overall, I was surprised at how quickly they responded to my support request, but supposedly others do not always have the same experience.

Asana Support

Asana crashed on me while creating a form, so I sent them a request and received an automated email quickly after. The following excerpt is the content of the email: Screenshot of Asana email support They sent me another email from AI that told me to change my browser (I was in Chrome) and send a screen recording. That wasn’t helpful. Monkey in front of a laptop Honestly, I was less satisfied with Asana’s support than Monday.com's support. Monday’s morning project management won the support round, but neither of them was particularly useful. I’d recommend screen recording your setup processes because the support is notoriously bad for SaaS. Screen recordings are the only way you’ll get anywhere with support.

Asana or Monday: Usability

Usability depends on how your mind works. It’s also impacted by whether a non-technical team member is setting it up or you are hiring a professional with lots of experience to set it up.  I would consider the usability a draw because Monday.com has an advantage in the quantity and quality of templates for project managers. It also didn’t crash on me. There are plenty of good project management features that make Monday easy to use. On the other hand, I would probably go with Asana for custom setups because Asana offers phone support, and the workflow is more logical to me. 

Asana vs Monday Pricing

Monday is often considered the best project management software. For teams over 40 people, I would agree. For smaller teams, I think Asana offers more value. The differences in the free plan drive Asana’s value. 

How much does Asana cost?

Screenshot of Asana website pricing Asana offers unlimited tasks, up to 15 team members, and time tracking in the free plan. Asana’s pricing is around $15 per user each month for a Premium account or about $30 per user each month for a Business account. There’s a catch, though. They charge in batches. The first 30 users are purchased in batches of five, then batches of 10 up to 100 users, 25 up to 500 users, and batches of 50 after 500 users. In other words, it can get costly pretty fast. Here’s a recent breakdown of Asana’s cost for different numbers of users. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Pricing Asana
Number of Users Free Premium Business
1-5 0 $67.45 $152.45
6-10 0 $134.90 $304.90
10-15 0 $202.35 $457.35
16-20 N/A $269.80 $609.80
21-25 N/A $337.25 $762.25
26-30 N/A $404.70 $914.70
31-40 N/A $539.60 $1,219.60
41-50 N/A $674.50 $1,524.50
51-60 N/A $809.40 $1,829.40
61-70 N/A $944.30 $2,134.30
71-80 N/A $1,079.20 $2,439.20
81-90 N/A $1,214.10 $2,744.10
91-100 N/A $1,349.00 $3,049.00
101-125 N/A $1,696.50 $3,811.25
126-150 N/A $2,044.00 $4,573.50
151-175 N/A $2,391.50 $5,335.75
176-200 N/A $2,739.00 $6,098.00
201-225 N/A $3,086.50 $6,860.25
226-250 N/A $3,434.00 $7,622.50
251-275 N/A $3,781.50 $8,384.75
276-300 N/A $4,129.00 $9,147.00
301-325 N/A $4,476.50 $9,909.25
326-350 N/A $4,824.00 $10,671.50
351-375 N/A $5,171.50 $11,433.75
376-400 N/A $5,519.00 $12,196.00
401-425 N/A $5,866.50 $12,958.25
426-450 N/A $6,214.00 $13,720.50
451-475 N/A $6,561.50 $14,482.75
476-500 N/A $6,909.00 $15,245.00
501-550 N/A $7,583.50 $16,769.50
50 additional users N/A $674.50 $1,524.50
[/su_table]

What is the price for Monday.com?

Screenshot of Monday website pricing If you have over five team members or need features unavailable in the free plans, Monday wins the pricing for all its categories. They have four pricing tiers in addition to their free version with prices around:
  1. Basic: $10 per user each month with a 3-user minimum
  2. Standard: $12 per user each month with a 3-user minimum
  3. Pro: $20 per user each month with a 3-team members minimum
  4. Enterprise: Contact Monday.com for a quote
They require quotes for more than 40 users. I suspect that is because they try to establish whether your automation and integration actions will be acceptable. You can see the breakdown of the pricing plans below. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Monday Actual Pricing
Number of Users Free Basic Standard Pro Enterprise
1-3 0 $30.00 $36.00 $60.00 Contact for Pricing
4-5 0 $50.00 $60.00 $100.00 Contact for Pricing
6-10 N/A $100.00 $120.00 $200.00 Contact for Pricing
10-15 N/A $150.00 $180.00 $300.00 Contact for Pricing
16-20 N/A $200.00 $240.00 $400.00 Contact for Pricing
21-25 N/A $250.00 $300.00 $500.00 Contact for Pricing
26-30 N/A $300.00 $360.00 $600.00 Contact for Pricing
31-40 N/A $400.00 $480.00 $800.00 Contact for Pricing
41+ N/A Contact for Pricing Contact for Pricing Contact for Pricing Contact for Pricing
[/su_table] Ultimately, unless you can use the free plans, Monday.com has a massive pricing advantage over Asana’s Business or Premium Plan.

Monday or Asana Apps

Both project management software providers offer desktop, iOS, and Android apps. They both have a similar number of reviews and ratings on iOS. Monday has nearly 15,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating, while Asana has almost 13,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating. On Android, Asana has over 37,000 reviews with a 4.3-star rating, while Monday has 15.5K reviews and a 4.4-star rating. People prefer the Asana app, which is understandable because I didn’t find any issue while testing it. It also had cool animations when you mark task progress as complete. You can download the apps and test them yourself.

What Can I Use Instead of Monday.com?

Screenshot of Clickup and Jira website If you’re looking for project management software to replace Monday.com, you should consider Asana. You can also try:
  • ClickUp, which we use at UpFlip. 
  • Jira, which I’ve used with software development clients. I don’t personally like it as much, but Atlassian makes a whole suite of other tools that work really well with it for managing projects.
Many CRM and project management tools are focused on specific industries. If you can find one built specifically for businesses in your industry, those will often be better. They are frequently built by people who need a more logical workload function than what both Asana and Monday.com provide for each specific industry.

Which Is Best Monday.com or Asana?

Confused man with question mark symbol on shirt Given that most people prefer functionality over price, I would say that Asana is the best software for the employees performing tasks. The software is set up in a way that works well for employees performing specific tasks, but isn’t as robust for management and decision makers. If your financial management and portfolio management teams are primarily using the software, go with Monday. The Kanban board and Gantt chart views are exactly what you would expect when managing projects. In addition, they have more sophisticated dashboards for financial management.

Why is Asana the best?

Asana is the best at task management. The checklists make it really easy to see what you need to get done that day. Combine that with up to 15 free users, and that means between 72% and 85% of companies are able to use the free plan.

Why is Monday.com the best?

Monday is the best because it has way more templates than the team collaboration tools in the market. This might change as other companies grow, but Monday.com and Asana are the current leaders.

Is Monday Same as Asana?

No. Monday focuses more on team management, while Asana focuses more on task management.  You'll probably want to go with Monday if you are heavily focused on portfolio management, resource management, and financial management. If you are more focused on completing individual tasks, Asana takes a slight edge because it offers more features and makes it easy for new users to identify their daily tasks.

Asana vs Monday Conclusion

When it comes down to it, what this Asana and Monday.com comparison should really tell you is that both will help you manage new tasks. Ultimately team size, the need for premium features, and which tools you like better will be the determining factor in whether you prefer Monday.com vs Asana. Both have: [su_note note_color="#dbeafc"]
  • Gantt charts
  • Kanban boards
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Timeline view
  • Tasks
  • Due dates
  • Calendar view
  • Integration with Google Drive
  • Ability to attach documents to different tasks and projects
[/su_note] My recommendation is to test out the free plans for each to see which you like better as a new user. If you already have employees, ask them which they prefer. Include the people who will be using it while creating the projects, dropdown menu(s), and tasks.  Do you have experience with Asana or Monday? Have you tried any other software for project management and viewing task details? What did you like and what would you like to see improved?

Comments

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ELIZABETH MANNEH@ 2022-03-17 06:10:28

Starting a bakery has been my dream for long, but have some issues like the start up capital. pls need advise. thank you.

Marie@ 2022-02-05 17:34:28

I plan to start a home bakery in the beginning then grown into a full scale bakery, not sure which one but I like the cottage house style mixed with a cafe.

Brandon Boushy@ 2022-03-10 09:12:53

That's awesome! We'd love to hear more about it once you've made some progress. Have you read our blog writing a business plan? Business plans are a great way to help you stay focused on your goals while running a business.

Archana@ 2020-12-18 21:47:04

Your article is an excellent piece. I have a doubt. If I want to start a bakery business at a low cost, which type would be more affordable and very effective?

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