NNot everybody is lucky enough to have that sudden “Eureka moment” where they come up with new business start up ideas that will change the world.
And not every startup is an Airbnb, Uber or a high-investment Silicon Valley startup.
Coming up with winning startup business ideas for your new venture.
Finding small business ideas can be tricky but sometimes the best ideas are sitting under your nose. The trick is to focus on your skill set. If you get a great response form a blog post that could unlock your future.
Finding your entrepreneurial calling
If you are restricted to working from home because of young kids then becoming a virtual assistant might be the perfect way of offering your services. Do you love animals? Then how about pet sitting for others?
If you’ve a talent for creativity but don’t want to be constrained by 9-5 hours then how about setting up an online business as a graphic designer? Got a thing about fitness? Then how about training up to become a personal trainer.
Developing a business plan and shaping a strategy doesn't have to be rocket science- especially if you sell products you know and love. Business owners these days have a world of choice- from content marketing to creating your own online course.
A good question to ask yourself is “What are you an expert at?”
Sophie's Startup Story
Take the example of Sophie Richards. Sophie was a successful marketing professional, working in London. She commuted into the city each day and, like many others, joined the rush hour throng on the way home each evening.
Sophie’s wakeup call came after a short holiday in the Lake District.
We asked her what made her decide to start her own business. Sophie picks up the story...
“I had been away for a week with friends, staying in a rural idyll near Lake Windermere. It was a lovely house with breath-taking views of the countryside. The thing that struck me was how good the internet connection there was. I got to thinking that if I could find a similar place to rent with good internet connectivity I could do 90% of my work from home."
"I decided to have a frank talk with my boss. I suggested to him that since most of my work involves digital content creation that I could do it all from home. I suggested that by home-working I would gain time from not commuting- effectively offering him an additional 5 hours’ productivity a week. His answer was a resounding no. I don’t think he even considered it seriously and from that day I started to think about setting up on my own."
"Three years later and my work-life balance is vastly improved and ironically my former employer is now one of my key clients.”
Sophie’s is a familiar story. Professionals tired of endless commutes and working for small-minded bosses are setting up on their own, and it is a growing phenomena.
Coming up with good business ideas.
All of this is just fine providing one knows how to go about coming up with good business ideas. Let’s explore some of the things to bear in mind as you go through the initial decision making process.
Stick to what you know and love.
It’s become a bit of a cliché but when searching for business ideas you do need to play to your strengths. Look for opportunities that build on your experience, and for pursuits that you can be truly passionate about. Starting a business just because “there’s a gap in the market” might leave you trapped in an industry sector that you find boring over the long term.
Solve a problem and seize an opportunity.
Having a good idea for starting a business is all well and good except that you will also need a market for your product or service. That means that once you come up with some interesting ideas you will need to validate the market opportunity before taking the plunge.
Because Sophie had been working in the digital media industry she was able to phone potential clients before making her decision. All she had to do was ask if they would consider working with her directly. The positive feedback she received gave her the courage and confidence required to become master of her own destiny.
Ok, so I get the theory but what are some good business startup ideas?
You will need to do your own research to validate business opportunities that you come up with. That said, here are some growing business ideas for you to consider:
We live increasingly busy lives. More and more people live in cities. That means there’s a huge captive audience. Busy city workers don’t always have time to keep their homes spick and span and so contract cleaning services for both commercial and domestic markets are on the increase.
Check out companies like Molly Maid & Daisy Maid. Worth having a look at Neatso too- they’re an American outfit using Apps to coordinate cleaning services. There are similarities between their business model and Uber’s. The American home cleaning market is valued at $15 billion a year and while it’s nowhere near that big in the UK, it’s growing.
Our love for our furry friends never lets up. Think about all the shelf space allocated to dogs, cats, birds and fish in your local supermarket. This is a massive and growing market.
What makes it particularly interesting is that when it comes to spending money on babies or pets most people don’t worry too much about price. Dog walking, grooming, kennelling, specialist foods, cages, enclosures, tonics and supplements are just some of the services purchased by pet lovers.
Editorial and content creation.
We all consume more media articles and online content than ever before and while we devour it at a frenetic pace- decent content creation remains a challenge. If you have design or copy-writing skills consider setting up as a commercial blog writer, social media editorial service or web content creation agency. While most small businesses acknowledge the need for a social media strategy few can afford a full-time resource for this.
Post Brexit Business Opportunities
With big changes come big opportunities. The UK’s decision to exit the EU will, no doubt, create uncertainties but the good entrepreneur will find opportunity too. Think about services currently provided for by the EU.
Setting up businesses in Europe becomes more complex and some businesses might appreciate help with this. Tendering systems and other software based procurement systems will need to be replaced.
If Brexit does result in a UK recession, then redundancies are likely to arise. Re-training, job-matching and educational start ups could gain advantage from this. Social enterprise and collective buying, selling and resource sharing opportunities are likely to thrive due to increased need.
The Obligatory Blog Post List…
We’re not a big fan of contrived social media posts. Subject like “10 Things to earn you untold riches” are often written to fill space.
Instead we thought we’d leave you with a simple list of other business ideas worthy of exploration:
- Electronic repair business: a growing market as people move away from the 'throw-away' culture.
- Recycling and alternative energy: whether you’re a climate change sceptic or not the indisputable fact is that recourses on our planet are finite and therefore need to be conserved.
- Financial services: extreme debt in the UK proves that more people need decent advice and guidance on how to manage their money
Sports and fitness Coaching: our growing awareness of our excessive eating and sedentary lifestyles means that more and more people are starting to do something about their health and fitness.
- Import/Export: might Brexit change the playing field? Will we need more clearing and forwarding services that differ from today’s needs?
- Specialist Manufacturing: 3D printing and increasing production costs in the Far East, coupled with a devalued pound, give engineers manufacturing opportunities that are better than they have been in years. If the world is rebelling against globalisation could there be opportunity to make things here that we currently import from overseas?
- Property Management: the expression “safe as houses” seems to be holding true. All kinds of housing related business opportunities exist. Increased population pressure requires innovation and investment for the housing sector and the industries serving and supporting it. Think gas, plumbing, building services and contract cleaning
- Social Care: an aging population and cash-strapped councils. We hesitated before including this. The demand is there but recent media coverage points to the fact that care home providers are struggling to make it pay. Time perhaps for a new more efficient business model to be developed for the sector?
- Training & Education: The skills needs of the workforce are changing. People need to be equipped with new skills as some skills become obsolete. Training, provision of software, distance learning and tutoring support are just some of the opportunities waiting for you.
If you want to read more on how to start your own business check out our blog post on how to fire your boss!
Want to find out more about starting your own business? Check out our online Business Startup Course Content