Looking for business inspiration? Then join us as we work through 30 top business ideas for 2019. From gin distilleries and subscription box services to working as a freelance social media or ecommerce manager, there’s something here for every budding entrepreneur.
Drop-shipping is a way of online selling where the shop that makes the sale doesn’t actually keep any stock, but instead purchases its products from a third-party and has them shipped direct to the customer. If you have great web design and marketing skills, setting up an ecommerce business using drop-shipping could be the ideal way to build a lucrative business with low overheads.
2. Pop-up food stall
Pop-up food businesses are on the rise, spurred on by the growing popularity of street food and al fresco dining. The NMFT offers great advice on how to get started as a market or street trader in the UK.
3. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketers get paid commission whenever they refer someone to buy a product from an online third party. This is usually done via a unique affiliate link, which the affiliate marketer would typically share with their contacts via blog posts, emails, social media posts and so on. Popular affiliate schemes anyone can join include Amazon Associates and eBay Partner Network.
Whether you set up a beautiful boutique or you photograph your arrangements and sell them via social media, floristry is a fabulous career that keeps you connected to nature. Check out Bloom & Wild’s brilliant Instagram for inspiration.
5. Architectural antiques
TV’s Salvage Hunters has helped set a trend in recent years for finding the beauty – and resale value – in unwanted objects, from industrial lamps to old classroom furniture. If you have a good eye for a hidden gem, this could be a diamond of a career path.
6. Accommodation provider
If you own a suitable property, setting up shop as an accommodation provider could earn you a pretty penny. There are lots of ways to approach this – from opening as a B’n’B or country retreat, to earning more casually by renting out a room via AirBnb. The latter option is a great way to earn occasional income – especially if you are based in a place where big events like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival or Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight attract more visitors than local hotels can handle. According to AirBnb, the typical UK-based host earns £3,000 for hosting an average of 36 night per year.
7. Bespoke illustration
Got a talent for drawing? Earn extra by doing people’s portraits at events or online.
8. Cooking lessons
Believe it or not, a few Brits are tired of takeaways. Why not offer cookery classes to share your skills?
9. Self-published author
The rise of digital self-publishing has made it easier than ever for authors to reach readers, and this has enabled some writers to make a living selling their own books on Amazon. Everyone’s got a book in them – so why not write yours and sell it online?
10. Social media manager
Almost all customer-facing businesses could benefit from staying in touch with customers via social, but quite a lot of them don’t know how. As a successful freelance social media manager, you could expect to earn close to the UK median daily rate of £263.
Becoming an online influencer takes more time and work than some people might expect – but if Esther The Wonder Pig (500k Instagram followers and counting) can do it, so can you.
12. Subscription boxes
Some of the UK’s biggest business success stories of recent years have come in the form of subscription services like Beer52, TheVeganKind and Socks in a Box. Think about new and fresh services you could delight customers with on a monthly basis.
13. Niche businesses
In an increasingly crowded marketplace, it pays to target your business towards a highly specific niche. Think creatively and launch a company with a strong appeal to certain types of customer – from industry-specific professional equipment to wide-fit-shoes.
14. E-commerce manager
Help businesses sell their goods online by setting them up on Shopify and Google Ads as a freelance e-commerce manager. Over the first six months of 2019, e-commerce managers in the UK had an incredible median day rate of £486 – which represented a 5.14% increase year-on-year.
15. Take-away restaurant
Check out what’s selling well in other cities on JustEat and Deliveroo, then see if you can spot any gaps in the market where you are. Think outside the box: desserts and lesser-known cuisines could sell just as well a pizzas and fried chicken.
16. Club night promoter
Club nights can be big business, especially in university towns. Get in touch with a local venue to find out which nights they have available.
17. Painter and decorator
Because not everyone can do it themselves.
18. Online marketplaces
19. Wedding organiser
There’ll always be a need for attentive event organisers to help happy couples plan their big day.
20. Function band
Corporate gigs and weddings can see party bands pocket well over £1,000 per night. If you’re going into this line of work, we recommend busking and handing out business cards on your days off, as this can be a great way to drum up business.
Here’s an ideal business to grow locally. To get started, look for affordable tools on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace, get them safety-tested, then start advertising your gardening services online and on local noticeboards.
22. Cake decorator
The fine art of icing and decorating cakes is highly in-demand.
23. Beer sommelier
From CAMRA-approved real ale pubs to trendy craft beer bars, all sorts of establishments need beer experts to lead tastings, food-and-beer pairing evenings and other events.
24. Yoga studio
Are your yogic skills aligned with a talent for business? If so, setting up a yoga studio or working as an instructor could be for you.
25. Guided tours
Do you know a topic or place inside out? Are you a good public speaker? And have you got great local hook-ups? Then why not run a guided tour in your local area?
26. Bicycle repairs
Bike repair shops are evolving, with many adding on cafes and other side-businesses to get customers through the door. Why not set up shop right at the heart of the cycling community?
27. Gin distillery
Britain is in the midst of a gin craze, with craft distilleries popping up throughout the land. Could you add your own twist to this most sophisticated of spirits?
28. Get circular
Businesses focused on ‘circular economy’ help others to recycle and uses materials more efficiently. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation website offers lots of fascinating info on the circular economy movement, and has links to free online courses on circular economics.
29. Diversified farming
If you own a farm and are looking to open up new revenue streams, a good option could be to diversify the uses of your land. Popular diversification options in the UK include opening to the public as a farm park, Christmas tree cultivation, solar power generation, farm shops and cafes.
30. Call centre
Businesses experiencing excessive call volumes often outsource telephone customer service to external agencies. Providing this service can be a highly profitable business for call centre owners, whose staffing and equipment will typically be low relative to the volume of clients served.
If you’re considering setting up a call centre, or are setting up another type of business and require a business phoneline, we can help with a full toolkit of telecommunications services.
There’s never been a better time to start your own business. Whatever business idea you choose to run with, give yourself a head start with these simple steps to start your business.