Last Updated: Mar 22, 2021

Five Profitable Small Business Ideas to start This Year

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A lot of people looking to start up their own business will often have an idea of the type of business they want to start. However, that isn’t the case for everyone!

If you are passionate about starting your own business, whether you intend this to be something small on the side of your regular job to build up slowly in the hope that you can ditch your day job at some point in the future, or you want to jump in with both feet and make it your main source of income, we have five profitable suggestions for you to consider.

The five suggestions we are making here are not specific businesses to start up but more like the industry or business sector to look more deeply into to find your perfect niche business idea. These sectors are good because they are showing a lot of growth and you will have a good chance to provide yourself with a good living should you decide to start a business in that sector or industry.

1: Mobile services

OK, we are not talking about mobile phones here but rather the idea that you can offer your skills and services where you go to visit your customers.

Everyone has become so busy with work and family life that people often lack the free time to get things done. So if you have a skill or service that you can take to your customer and be flexible enough to fit in around their needs, then you could be on to a winner! Some examples of what we mean here are:

  • Car mechanics
  • Car wash and valeting services
  • DIY/handyman services
  • IT support and repairs
  • Mobile catering vans
  • Mobile hairdressers
  • Mobile massage and beauty therapists
  • Personal trainers

If you have a skill or training that allows you to go to your customers, you will still need to prepare yourself to deliver your services in a professional manner.

Look at getting yourself proper insurance to protect not only yourself but also your essential tools equipment and business vehicle from accidental damage or theft. You should look at liability insurance to protect yourself from any claims made by unhappy customers or accidents that may occur while you are conducting your work.

Business finances

Ensure that you keep your personal finances separate from your business income. This can make it so much easier for you when it comes to your tax returns each year. Set up a separate bank account where you can have your business income paid into and look at keeping a savings account to deposit a small amount of money each month that can go towards paying your income tax and National Insurance bill at the end of the year. You can look at setting up a business bank account with great cash-back options to help you get your business off the ground.

Get yourself some good accounting software such as QuickBooks Online to help you balance your books and save you time having to pour over your books manually.

2: Childcare industry

With more families needing two working parents to bring in enough income to cover rent or mortgage payments and other household bills, the childcare industry is booming right now. More mothers are actively returning to work at an earlier stage than ever before, so the need for childminders, nursery places and before and after school clubs is growing year on year.

Not only is there a growing demand for childcare places while parents are at work, but there is a whole range of pregnancy, birth, baby and child-friendly small business that are growing up right now that you could consider starting. For example:

  • After school activity club
  • After school homework club
  • After school music tuition
  • Breakfast club
  • Breastfeeding and lactation consultant
  • Childminder
  • Children’s dance instructor
  • Doula pregnancy and birth services
  • Kids sports club
  • Kids swimming instructor
  • Kids yoga teacher
  • School holiday club

As already mentioned above, you will need to sort out some appropriate insurance cover for yourself and the children you will be responsible for while they are in your charge. If you plan to hire any local facilities to hold your club or activities, then check to see what venue insurance is in place and what it covers.

The same thing goes for keeping your business and personal finances separate and using a good business accounting solution to keep on top of your bookkeeping and accounts.

3: The co-working and sharing economy

The rise of the millennials in the workplace with their changing attitudes towards work and life has greatly influenced the way a lot of new business work. This includes more flexible working patterns, remote working, hot desk setups and collaborative workspaces.

The new generation of worker and many environmentally conscious older workers are now happier to own much less ‘stuff’ as previous generations. This has resulted in the sharing economy evolving. The sharing economy is growing because of environmental concerns and also an economic necessity for a lot of individuals who are starting their own solo business on a shoestring. The idea of pooling and sharing essential resources offers a great opportunity for someone looking to set up a co-working space or freelance hub in your local community.

Basically, you can simply hire a local building and kit it out with all the IT equipment and infrastructure and facilities that freelance workers or sole traders can make use of. Desk spaces can be booked either as a one-off booking or on an ongoing arrangement giving you a passive stream of income to maintain your hub and to pay yourself a wage.

With a growing number of sole traders and solo-entrepreneurs starting up their own business, these co-working spaces are proving to be an invaluable tool to allow individuals to have a pleasant working space away from the distractions of home, plus they get to connect with others, form new friendships or business collaborations and don’t feel so isolated from society.

4: Online tutoring

There is no denying that the internet has opened up a vast range of money making opportunities for people, especially if they have desirable skills to share. If you happen to be trained or highly proficient in a subject that can be taught to others, then you could consider setting up your own online tutoring service.

Whether you are a trained maths teacher that can offer an extra bit of help to struggling students, or you are a fantastic guitar player with years of experience playing in a local band, you could set yourself up online to tutor people who want to learn from your skills and talents.

To make things really easy for yourself you could look at signing up with a well established online tutor platform such as Udemy to sell your tutor services through. Or if you prefer, set yourself up with Skype and offer one-to-one live services to students in need of personal coaching.

You could produce and sell your own set of video tutorials where you record yourself breaking down and explaining maths formulas, musical chords, woodworking techniques, dance steps or whatever you can teach in a visual way with audio instructions. You could set up a full video course where subscribers can join and start at any time. This gives them the opportunity to work through your video course in their own time.

Video courses are incredibly popular today and you could create a course in just about anything that there is a market for, from basic cooking on a tight budget to DIY and car mechanics.

Here are some areas where online tutoring works particularly well:

  • Academic subjects
  • Business marketing
  • Languages
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Music tuition
  • Personal fitness or yoga

Where a lot of online tutoring is aimed at helping people further their knowledge or education in preparation for exams, many people often turn to online tutoring to help them develop a new hobby or interest. There are unlimited opportunities here for anyone with a great passion for or knowledge and skill in a particular subject. This could be anything from winemaking to art using watercolours or oils on canvas. There are plenty of people that are willing to pay for your knowledge about the subject they are interested in.

Remember though that even if you fancy setting yourself up as a hobby business doing online tuition in any subject, you will still need to register your business with HMRC for tax purposes.

5: B2B services

Solo-entrepreneurs, sole traders and small businesses are on the rise year on year in the UK. Along with what these new businesses can bring to the table, most small startup will also be in need of help and support going forward with reliable B2B services that you could offer.

Many small business owners, especially solo-entrepreneurs, will outsource a lot of their work or hire freelance contractors to take on certain tasks on their behalf. So if you have a skill that a small business owner can make good use of, you could be on to something good.

You can attract new B2B customers by creating a winning profile on LinkedIn and clearly detailing your exact services and availability. LinkedIn has been called the Facebook for business users, so you are more likely to attract the right B2B partner here than putting an advert on Facebook where most people are social users rather than businesses looking to hire services.

Look at registering your services with well-respected freelance hiring platforms such as People Per Hour, Upwork and Guru for example. It can take a while to build up a solid and regular client base for your freelance services, but as long as you consistently deliver high-quality work your reputation will build up and more bookings will come your way.

There are many opportunities for freelance work providing your services to B2B companies. Here are some good examples of in-demand services from small business owners:

  • Bookkeeping and accounting services
  • Business consulting
  • Business website design
  • Call answering services
  • Graphic design services
  • Sales and marketing copywriting
  • Social media management services
  • Transcription services
  • Virtual PA services
  • Website and blog content creation

The beauty of being an independent contractor or freelance service provider is that you have the flexibility to either work from home to help keep your costs down, or for larger or longer contracts you can travel to work on your client’s business premises.

Making your business official

As mentioned before, you should secure the appropriate business insurance to suit your needs and register your business with HMRC for tax purposes. You should also consider taking your business up to a more professional level by making it an official legitimate business. You can do this by registering your business as a Limited Company with Companies House and HMRC.

Luckily, Your Company Formations are here to make the whole process of registering your company very easy. You can trust our expert knowledge and experience of company formations to quickly and efficiently register your business with Companies House on your behalf.

We can get you up and running as a legal limited company usually within one working day, as long as we have all the correct information we need to get your application accepted. Don’t worry about feeling a little daunted at the formations process, we have 100 collective years of experience in this field so we know exactly what information we need from you to get your company set up.

Why not talk to one of our friendly team today! We are here to help you launch your new business successfully and set you on the right path to growing your own valuable and well-respected business.