25 Self-employment Business Ideas for Making Money Fast

Are you looking to start making money right now as a self-employed? Do you need lucrative business ideas to empower you as an individual entrepreneur? 

Self-employment is the way to go for anyone who either wants to work from home, do freelancing, or become their own boss.

I’ve been self-employed for so long, and the freedom of work is truly enriching. You only have to be skilled enough, disciplined, and accountable to yourself, and your earnings will keep growing.

So, if you are looking to quickly skill-up and get earning some money as a self-employed entrepreneur, then this article will give you some great business ideas to get started.

Drumrolls…

Photography

Photography is not dead as a business or Money-making opportunity.

If you love to capture beautiful moments and love seeing people smile, then photography might just be for you.

To make it big in photography, you must be very sociable, love traveling, and have an eye for good photography plots.

The average photographer in Nigeria makes 3k per day or 90k monthly. But the majority of photographers make more than that on a monthly basis.

Cooking Gas Distribution

This is a trending business which is in need of more self-employed individuals.

The growth and adoption of cooking Gas in Nigeria means that other allied services are springing up.

Cooking Gas delivery is one such service, and it is in high demand due to how strenuous it is to convey cooking Gas to and fro the gas station.

Busy corporates and cooking mums pay for gas delivery, as it only costs a fraction of the cost of filling gas.

I’ve discovered that most gas delivery guys hang around the gas stations and offer to help buyers deliver to their homes.

Some knock on doors and share their flyers or business cards, and it works because I’ve been a customer this way.

The average price for cooking Gas delivery is 500 Naira, but could cost more, depending on distance and weight of the gas jar.

Masonry

Recently, I read a motivational story of a teacher who left his teaching job to become a mason.

According to him, masonry has helped him earn more money and achieve many of his dreams than when he was a teacher.

As a self-employed mason, he now enjoys the freedom of work and earnings, as he earns on a daily basis, and even sometimes rejects jobs due to his packed schedules.

Most people would look down on masons due to the nature of the job and the status of the average mason personnel, but the truth is that there is money in working as a self-employed mason in Nigeria.

Years back, I was in utter shock when I learned that a popular mason who used to work for my parents had built his own house in Lagos, even when my parents, his employers, hadn’t.

That should tell you how lucrative the business of masonry is.

The average mason in Nigeria earns about 5k Naira per day or 120k per month. That is way more than the average bank teller is paid. 

Let that sink in.

Web Design

Web design is lucrative. Very lucrative.

Even though there is a bit of a learning curve about it, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be making money while having fun.

Now for context, it could take an average of one to three days to build a basic website, which would earn the web designer anywhere from 50k Naira above.

So, you just have to find 10 clients a month to pay you the minimum of 50k, and you’d be earning 500k per month.

However, you need to do some heavy marketing and position yourself to attract high-paying clients that will appreciate your skill.

Phone Repair

For many youth today, being self-employed as a phone repair technician is the fastest way to put food on the table.

Almost everyone has a phone, and will experience at least one fault within the lifespan of that phone.

With over 400 million people living in Nigeria, the market for phone repair is simply astronomical.

To become a phone repair technician, you have to go through a learning curve, which isn’t fun for many.

It could take you more than six months to learn the basics of phone repair and start solving phone problems.

So, this is not a quick up-skill. You’d have to put in the time and learn the trade before making any money with it.

Software Installation

Last week, I visited a cyber cafe and something struck me.

The number of people asking for one software update or installation is just too much.

The demand is either for a computer design tool, an antivirus software, or an update fix.

Now, this could be a lucrative business opportunity for anyone who knows how to go around things like this.

If you have just 10 people patronizing your software and computer shop daily, and you charge them just 500 Naira, which is the barest minimum, you’d be making 5k per day.

That’s definitely not chicken change.

Courier & Delivery Business

The landscape for courier and delivery business has been evolving in the last 5 years.

The industry is finally getting democratized, with several small players disrupting an industry that has been dinosaur-like for many years.

Now, you can hop on the delivery business bandwagon as a self-employed delivery agent and make money for yourself.

You don’t need to even have a bike to start. You could either deliver by hand or partner with other delivery agents with faster transport means.

The average delivery agent in Nigeria makes 10k, excluding tips from customers.

Painting & Home Decor

If you want to start making money as quickly as possible, then painting and home decor is a nice place to start.

As long as you have steady hands and know how to use a paint brush properly, then you can start taking house painting gigs.

Homeowners or renters nowadays need a professional to help them decide on matching colors for their walls, as well as ideas for other home accessories.

If you have a knack for arranging your home, putting the right things at the right places, and spotting nice home colors, then you just may do well as a painter and home decor professional.

The average painter in Nigeria makes 10k to 15k per day, but some outliers make as much as 100k per day, depending on the customer you’re working for and your reputation.

Home Tutoring

Are you a bookworm who enjoys teaching others things you already know?

Can you quickly learn a topic if you need to put someone through it within a short period?

If yes, then you qualify to be a home tutor.

Home tutors are in high-demand in Nigeria, especially female home tutors. 

The largest market for home tutoring is the primary and secondary education sector, where tutors are required to help students through their school work.

There are even several platforms such as Tuteria and Prepclass that employ home tutors for students. You could start from there and work your way up.

Most home tutors could work with multiple students at a time with different schedules, thereby increasing their earnings.

The average monthly earning of a home tutor per subject is 5k. Multiply that by the number of subjects or home tutorial gigs, and you could easily be grossing 50k and above in monthly earnings.

Graphics Design

Graphics design is definitely a money-spinner, but not for the uninitiated.

To start making money as a self-employed graphics designer, you have to know your onions and be very good at producing outstanding designs.

Graphics design is broad, so you have to pick your area of specialization. It could be UI/UX design, Logos & 3D mock-ups, image alterations, etc.

There is a huge market for graphics design that transcends Nigeria. In fact, many of the highest paid graphics designers in Nigeria work for foreign clients and businesses.

There are several freelance platforms you could leverage to kickstart your career as a self-employed graphics designer in Nigeria.

The most popular of the bunch are Fiverr and Upwork, where you’d have immediate access to thousands of paying customers for your graphics design business.

The average graphics designer earns at least 50k per month. High-earners could earn as high as 500k per month working for mostly foreign clients.

FMCG Distribution

Anywhere you go in the world, marketers are always money-makers. And more so for marketers and distributors of FMCG products.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) are sold at the speed of light, and shops always need distributors to help them restock.

You could be the call guy delivering FMCG products to shops around you, and you’ll make serious money doing just that.

All you have to do is identify an FMCG distributor and apply to become one of their marketers in your area. 

You don’t need to put any money down. All you have to do is collect order requests from shops, notify the company and accompany their van to the shop making the purchase.

Most distributors will be happy to assign a trusted driver to you, while you make all the marketing efforts.

The average FMCG marketer or distributor makes at least 20k per week. Sometimes, the price you give to the shops might be slightly higher than what the company is selling, and that’s where you make your money.

Transport Hire Purchase

I’ve always had this transportation business idea, and I think I should just spill it out for any serious self-employed person out there to capitalize on.

All you need is a little capital to kickstart the idea and get your money ball rolling.

Simply identify a vehicle hire Purchase company around you, such as a tricycle assembly plant, and apply to help them get riders to take their deal.

Now, you’ll have to find responsible youth with guarantors willing to take up hire Purchase deals but without funds. 

Once they are willing to take up the hire purchase deal and have provided a verifiable guarantor, you provide the initial purchase fee and stand in as the instalment collector.

You could ask the loanee to pay 50% extra on top of the cost of hire purchase due to your involvement. So, for example, if the deal is worth 1.2 million Naira, you could charge a total of 1.8 million Naira instalmentally over the agreed payment tenure of 1 or 2 years.

That gives you a profit of 600,000 Naira minus your initial financial outlay, which would be below 100k Naira. 

So, facilitating a vehicle hire purchase could earn you a profit of anywhere from 500k upwards.

Food Delivery

Do you know how to spot good food? Do you know how to get them delivered fast, fresh and hot?

If yes, then you can become a self-employed food delivery agent.

The truth is, good food is hard to come by. Many business people and civil servants hardly eat the kind of lunch they’d like to eat. Only if someone could help them access their food fantasy.

As a food delivery agent, all you have to do is partner with a good chef or restaurants, and take photos of their food menu for marketing.

You could create a food delivery brand on Instagram or YouTube, as well as market your food products via Twitter.

The key to getting customers is to create a food niche that customers can relate to. You could create a niche for office lunch, menus for diabetes sufferers, fitness diets, local soups, vegetarian delicacies, party menus, etc.

The goal is to go with a specific and clear food niche, and serve that extremely well.

A moving food delivery business in Nigeria would make an average profit of at least 5k Daily minus expenses. That should gross you a minimum of 150k per month.

Fashion Resale

No matter whether you are a fashion designer or a fashion enthusiast, you can make good money reselling fashion products.

Fashion Resale involves spotting high-demand fashion wares, buying them cheaply, and selling them profitable across many channels.

I know a friend who does exactly this. He is a complete shoe freak and has several collections of shoes. But most importantly, he loves to sell shoes too.

All he does is buy and resell shoes and he does so very profitably. 

For example, he could buy a palm Slippers or a bespoke shoe directly from the shoe maker for an average of 5k and resell it for 20k or above.

One thing about this friend is that he has a good eye for products that sells and all his product designs are unique.

According to him, he makes at least 200k per week. But I believe he is exceptional, so not many people could do what he does. 

However, anyone could make at least 20k per week reselling fashion products if they are passionate enough and know how to sell.

Plumbing Technician

Just recently, I discovered that plumbing is not as difficult as people think it is. In fact, plumbing is one of the easiest hand-work anyone could learn to become self-employed.

You simply need to go through training for a week or two, and you’d be able to do most household plumbing works.

One other significant reason to become a self-employed plumber is that you can combine the craft with other jobs, which would give a significant boost to your earnings.

The average plumber in Nigeria makes at least 10k per week excluding big plumbing contracts that could bring higher earnings.

Gym & Fitness Instructor

Are you a body-building or fitness expert? Do you love to teach others about fitness techniques that have worked for you? 

If yes, then you could become a fitness instructor.

The truth is that more than 50 percent of new gym goers do not have a fitness plan or know what they are even doing at the gym.

They usually need a guide or someone to show them specific exercises and lifestyle plans that could help them achieve their fitness goals.

Most gyms in Nigeria do not have dedicated fitness instructors to help every gym member through their workouts, hence the need for fitness experts.

A gym instructor could be hired to help groups or individuals at the gym or at home, and get paid by the hour.

On the average, a gym instructor earns 10k per week for group workouts and 5k per week for dedicated individual workouts.

You could earn more as a self-employed gym instructor depending on how many groups or individuals you serve per week.

Cryptocurrency Trading

Have some capital to start up a trade? Then you may as well just start trading crypto.

Crypto trading is one of the easiest ways to make money online, especially via Crypto Flipping, if you have the right funds.

With many crypto wallets springing up nowadays, you could become a self-employed crypto trader in a matter of minutes once you decide that is what you want to do.

The average crypto trader in Nigeria makes 5k profit daily, or an average of 150k monthly. You could even make more if you have more funds and stay constantly available online.

Car Wash Garage

Have some space close to a driveway, access road or main road? Then you should start monetizing that vehicle traffic ASAP.

Once you find a suitable space, a car wash Garage is one of the easiest businesses to start with minimal skills or resources needed.

All you need to do is draw a water pipe to your car wash space, buy one or two good car wash detergents, a good wiper, and you’re good to go.

It cost about 500 to 2k to wash a vehicle anywhere in Nigeria. So, you could easily make 5k per day if you charge 1k per vehicle and wash 5 per day.

The average car wash Garage in Nigeria makes at least 2k per day. Some bigger and more popular car wash garages could make as much as 50k per day.

Movie & Music Distribution

Movies and music are the most popular ways to enjoy entertainment in Nigeria. Hence, the demand to download good movies and music in Nigeria is huge.

Now, when you consider the cost of the internet in Nigeria, not many people are able to get the content they need online, so they usually go offline for access.

That’s where you come in. You can set up a small entertainment kiosk by the roadside with portable speakers to advertise your videos and music.

All you do is download the best and latest music and videos online and then transfer it to your customers’ phones.

You could charge 20 Naira per music and 50 Naira per movie. Sometimes, a customer could collect 100 music files to their phones or up to 20 movies. 

Now, imagine if you could get a minimum of 5 of that kind of customer per day. Realistically, you could be making at least 3k per day as a self-employed music/movies distributor. 

That should earn you a minimum of 90k per month, which is not a bad place to start from.

Affiliate Marketing

I’ve always said that affiliate marketing is the single fastest way to make money online. And this is not changing anytime soon.

If you want to start making money right now from the comfort of your home as a self-employed entrepreneur, then affiliate marketing is a good way to try.

But it is important to note that Affiliate Marketing is not MLM.

What you need is to find a great digital product with a great marketing system. Signup, get the digital product, and go tell people how great that product is.

The great thing about digital marketing is that you could get involved in as many as you want.

I know one guy who is involved into more than 50 affiliate marketing programs. It’s unimaginable, but he is consistently cashing out doing that.

Just imagine if that guy makes just 1k per day from one affiliate marketing program. That should be fetching him 50k per day and over 1 million Naira monthly. 

Now, that’s a monster right there.

Instagram Influencing

Instagram is not just for stalking celebrities and begging for free money.

You could also become a celebrity within your own rights if you know what you are doing.

The secret of becoming a profitable self-employed Instagram influencer is to find a niche where you can thrive.

You have to evaluate your current skill or unique ability, to find what makes you tick and what can make others enjoy your content.

Are you good at comic acting? Doing extraordinary things? Grabbing attention? Then maybe you should hop onto the Instagram bandwagon.

The average Instagram influencer in Nigeria makes at least 200k per month from endorsements and adverts.

However, it could take some time to build traction and start making money, unless you are extremely good at grabbing attention right from the start.

Blogging

Hmmm…blogging. The writer’s bane.

There are more frustrated bloggers out there than you can imagine. But blogging is a very very lucrative venture if you know your onions.

So, how much can you really make from blogging?

Now, let me drop some big facts.

My first 5 blogs failed, but my first successful blog earned me a grand total of 844,000 within its first 6 months. That’s about 140k per month for the first 6 months.

This proves that blogging can work if you know what you’re doing, but it can also be frustrating in equal measure if you don’t know what you’re doing.

My biggest secret to building a successful blog is to find a good niche and have a strong product or service to offer. You cannot (never!) go wrong doing this.

YouTube Vlogging

YouTube is the next big thing right? right?

Right now, YouTube feels like what blogging felt like in the early 2000s. Everyone and their dog were in it until the wheats started getting separated from the chaffs.

I’ve compared YouTube vs Blogging, but I believe both avenues are great for publishing and monetizing content.

Same is happening right now, everyone is now hoping on YouTube as a creator. While some are producing great content and building responsive audiences, others are copying and reproducing content with the aim of gaming the system.

But sooner or later, you’ll realize that while some people are constantly getting paid on YouTube, others continue to waste their time.

Just like blogging, the secret of making it big on YouTube is to find a good niche and a good product to sell. Nothing beats that.

I’ve previously analyzed how much you can make on YouTube, but on the average, a budding YouTube creator makes at least 100k per month.

Jiji Merchant

Jiji is the fastest way to sell anything online in Nigeria without having a big marketing budget.

In the last 3 years, I’ve had over 5 accounts on Jiji and sold not less than 50 items or services.

Anyone could start selling on Jiji and make good money starting right from today. 

The good thing about selling on Jiji is that you do not always have to pay for advertisements. 

Also, you do not always have to own the product or service you are selling. I remember helping a friend sell a gas/electric cooker he got as a gift from his wedding.

I also sold a real estate property for a family friend in record time, and got paid my commission.

So, if you are looking for ideas as a self-employed entrepreneur, then you should start selling on Jiji ASAP.

Maybe that could help you raise a bigger capital to fund a bigger business in the future.

Shoe Making

Do you know that the average lifespan of a shoe is around 6 months?

That means if you wear a shoe consistently in six months, it would either lose its initial appeal or get completely damaged.

So, you’d need to buy a pair of shoes twice to keep you moving.

Now, imagine that a lot of people actually have more than two pairs of shoes, then you begin to see the opportunity.

Shoe business is a money-making business!

The average men shoe sells for 5k Naira but can be made for less than 2k, minus all fixed costs.

Depending on your target market, there are shoes that cost up to 200k Naira or even more. 

Now, you can see that shoe making is very profitable, with a profit margin of over 50%!

Now, before you jump to go into this business, it is important to know that there is a learning curve with shoe manufacturing.

You’d ideally need about one year of consistent learning to hone the craft. But once you do, you could be printing money at will.

The average shoe maker makes 100k Naira monthly, but that’s only just scratching the surface.

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