Last Updated: Mar 22, 2021

6 Best Businesses To Start in 2018

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If you are looking to start up your own business in 2018, but are a little stuck for ideas to develop into a viable business, then look no further! We have been looking around for some great start-up ideas that are being talked about in entrepreneurial circles this past year that look very promising indeed.

Before you jump in with both feet with what may seem like a winning idea, you obviously need to do your homework first. You need to research your market, work out your demographic, cost up the whole set up process and work out your projected figures etc. But with Brexit still being at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, many potential new entrepreneurs are asking, is it a bad time to start a business?

The answer of course is to say that it will depend on a lot of factors. You may think that setting up a new business while the country is going through Brexit isn’t going to help, but you cannot say for sure that it wont succeed despite Brexit. There are no guarantees either way.

At the moment what new business advisers are saying is that as long as you have a sound business idea, a way to make money and to do it well, now is as good a time as any to form your own company and to go for it. The outlook is still a very positive one and with over five and a half million businesses currently operating in the UK, 99% of those being SMEs. This country is still seen as being a centre for innovation across the world and a good place to start up a new business venture.

Over the past year more than 7,000 new Start Up Loans were granted to people starting their own business. Investment in start-ups is greater in the UK than in any other European country, so the confidence is still very strong with business investors.

With enterprise and business productivity at the forefront of the UK governments agenda, the next year looks to be very promising for those wanting to create new businesses.

Need inspiration for your new business idea?

Lets take a look at six of the new ‘hot’ business ideas that are being talked about or operated right now that span a wide cross-section of different industries. There are promising ideas for just about every budget and skill-set here, from food and drink specialists to business insurance providers. These ideas could suit a single entrepreneur, a partnership or a small company with a handful of investors.

Monthly Subscription Boxes

There is a growing trend in monthly subscription boxes that could prove to be a winning business idea. You don’t have to look far to find a monthly subscription box service for just about anything, even for your pets! The most popular boxes are for food and drink combinations but are a little more bespoke than traditional hamper-style offerings. Instead of buying a one-off food and drink hamper for Christmas or for a birthday, you can now choose to buy a smaller monthly subscription as a gift for yourself or a loved one.

There are subscription boxes for the home that contain candles, wax melts, oil burners with essential oils for example. Monthly treat boxes that contain chocolate and sweets are another big seller, along with pampering boxes that contain luxury creams and soothing body lotions. We love our pets in the UK, so there are even boxes that contain pet treats, toys, collars and shampoo with each box having different content every month.

The idea is to come up with an appealing box of goods that are quite quickly consumed and that people will be happy to have supplied regularly on a monthly basis. You can build in a sense of anticipation and excitement with your subscribers by not revealing the actual box contents in advance. This means your customers will have a nice surprise to look forward to each month.

Insurance Technology (Insuretech)

During 2017, billions of VC funding was being funnelled into insurance technology. This is a rapidly growing sector that would suit anyone with a background or expert knowledge in insurance. Many new companies starting up in the insuretech market are there to bring in some transparency and reconnect with disenchanted business insurance customers.

According to a report from Tallt Ventures on the digital disruption of the insurance industry, over $2.65bn in venture capital money was invested into the insurtech marketplace in 2015, with figures growing year on year.

As consumers turn away from large, well-established insurance companies in search of smaller operators that can offer more transparency and work on a more equal footing, a new start-up has the potential to secure a lot of custom and quickly grow their business. With the advance of the digital workplace, and new working environments such as shared workspaces, freelancers and the gig economy, it is now time for a very different type of business insurance. This is an area where an insurance entrepreneur could thrive.

Co-living Homes

With more people than ever choosing flexible jobs that involve co-working in shared workplaces, there is also a growing trend within the house sharing economy too. Co-living spaces are starting to spring up everywhere, especially in places like London where rental prices are high for a single occupant.

While you may think of co-living as being some sort of hippy-commune idea from the 1960’s, today’s co-living environment is very different indeed! Designed to appeal more to millennials than any other age group, co-living offers shared living spaces within a premises that operates much like a hotel would.

This means that residents would have their own private bedroom and a bathroom, but share common areas such as a lobby, workspaces and a kitchen. Built on a larger scale than your average house, these co-living spaces would include a cleaning service, free WiFi, and even a gym and other extras such as a dedicated movie room, spa room and roof garden. All utility bills, council tax etc. are included with the rent so there are no worries about having to split household bills.

The concept has taken off in America in many large cities and looks set to take off in the UK too over the coming years. Already in the UK we have seen the launch of co-living companies The Collective and Roam. With house prices continuing to rise at levels that keep home ownership out of reach for a large proportion of millennials, co-living is seen as an attractive alternative to home ownership and private renting. For those looking to invest in property, Co-living homes could be a very lucrative option for you.

Food Waste Business

It may not have escaped your notice that the new trend for food waste Cafes and other initiatives have grown in the past couple of years. The waste-battling business idea is huge right now with everything from kitchens serving up food made from supermarket leftovers to waste-reducing apps for smartphones. Anything food-waste related is gaining great traction right now.

According to research conducted by the Waste and Resources Action Programme, a staggering 50% of the food produced across the whole world goes to waste, with the UK throwing away more than 15 million tonnes of surplus food every year.

It is not just consumers that are to blame for the levels of food waste, supermarkets, restaurants, retailers and food suppliers are all contributing to growing levels of food waste in the UK. With so many environment and social groups raising awareness of the problem, there is plenty of room on the business landscape for anyone with an idea to help reduce or fix it, even in some small way.

If you can think of some unique way to making good use of unwanted food, whether it comes directly from a local restaurant kitchen or by using up imperfect vegetables rejected by a supermarket chain, then you could be on to a winning business. Even if you don’t want to get directly involved in food handling, cooking and distribution, there is a great opportunity to develop an app that help to locate and sell or redistribute surplus food on a regional or more local level.

Sugar Free Food & Drink

Sugar is very much being painted as the enemy at the moment. With the sugar tax coming into effect in April 2018, it doesn’t take much thinking to conclude that sugar-free food, drinks and snack lines are going to be very lucrative areas to develop this year.

According to Mintel research, 32% of British people would cut back on the amount of sugary drinks they would consume if the price were to rise. Another 20% said they would be tempted to stop drinking sugary drinks completely. 37% said they would switch to sugar-free alternatives instead.

2018 would be an excellent year to enter the food and drink market with a sugar-free line, be that a drink, food or snack product. UK consumers are already looking for healthier alternatives for their children, so developing a sugar-free children’s food or drink line would more than likely prove to be a sound move for a new entrepreneur.

Brixit Business Consultant

With the Brexit process date set for March 29th 2019, many small businesses will need help and advice about all the upcoming regulatory and legislative changes that are going to affect them. There will surely be changes to the rules and regulations of operating a company that a business owner will have no choice but to comply with.

With all the uncertainty that Brexit is bringing to UK businesses, there is also a huge opportunity for a smart business consultant to turn their talent towards guiding business owners through the rough sea of change as a Brexit consultant.

Changes are expected to be made to in areas such as business tax, employment laws, import and export tariffs, so many company directors will be faced with overhauling their internal business structures to meet the new requirements. This is where a good Brexit consultant can help. With over five and a half million small and medium businesses registered in the UK at present, there is a huge market for anyone who can offer these services.

If you have some industry knowledge and think you would be good at untangling all the new incoming legislation, then you can help many small businesses from falling fowl of the new rules and prevent them from suffering revenue loss over legal issues.

Whether you choose one of these viable ideas to run with, or an idea mentioned here has sparked off your imagination in another way, there is plenty of opportunities for new UK based start-ups in 2018.

Recommended reading:

The UK is still a great place to Start a Business

How Social Enterprise is becoming the Hot New Business in the UK

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