With many people now deciding to take the plunge and become their own boss, startups are big business in the UK. Their appeal? Well, you don’t necessarily need to have studied at university, have business experience, or a ton of money sitting in the bank to start up your own business. It’s entirely possible to get started from humble beginnings – a laptop in your kitchen, perhaps – and still become a successful entrepreneur, as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work. Sometimes all you need for a successful startup is a great idea, the motivation to succeed and a lot of coffee and late nights.
What’s more, there’s no limit to what avenue your startup business can take. With startup business ideas covering everything from dog walking to online training, blogging to web design; there’s plenty of innovative business startup ideas to consider if you’re looking to take back control of your career and go self-employed.
To come up with a new business startup idea that will work for you, you’ll need to ask yourself some important questions. Firstly, what are you good at? Consider carefully what motivates and inspires you, something that you’re passionate about enough to drive forward even if things get tough. In your current job, for example, is there something you excel at that you’d be able to turn into a standalone business? Perhaps you’ve spotted a niche in your current market that you think could help streamline processes for your company and others. Getting started in an industry you know well already means you’ve got the experience – and industry insight – to back you up from the off. It often helps to think about what’s coming next, too – startups are usually ahead of the curve so spending some time reflecting on what the next 10 years could look like can be a helpful starting point.
If it’s something completely different, then what transferable skills do you have already that could help grow your business? Starting something brand new can be a little daunting but the benefits are hugely rewarding – after all, how great would it be to turn something you love doing into a successful business venture? Perhaps you love baking and could start up your own cafe or online cake delivery service. If you’re passionate about fitness, why not set up your own personal training services or even a gym?
It’s worth considering at this stage whether your startup might be better suited as a side hustle, even just initially to see how things go at first. If things take off, you can take the plunge with confidence knowing you’ve got some good experience from doing it on the side.
If you already have a killer business idea, great work! However, if you want to go self-employed but aren’t sure what’s out there, here are 101 of our best startup business ideas or professions you could consider.
Once you’ve decided on a venture that works for you, it’s time to start planning. At this stage, it’s important to put together a 5-year business plan so you know what you’re working towards – setting some achievable milestones along the way will help you make sure you’re on the right track. Don’t forget about careful financial planning too, to make sure you can still afford the basics while you’re getting things off the ground.
Next, consider how many people you need to turn your vision into reality. If you need a small team, it’s worth investing in affordable office space to house you all. A motivational and supportive culture is much easier to master when you’re working together rather than remotely. Plus, startups often rely heavily on big thinking and creativity and bouncing ideas around is easier when you’re sitting opposite each other – less so if you’re always a phone call away.
You’ll also need to decide how to promote your new business. Networking events could be ideal if it’s a corporate business startup, or if it’s a smaller personal venture, you might like to try social media marketing to a local audience. Growing your brand presence is vital when launching a startup business, so make sure your promotional plans will generate enough work to keep things afloat.
Once you’ve covered the groundwork – your 5-year plan, the financials, office space and promotional tactics – and you’re confident you have a viable business idea, you’re ready to start getting things off the ground. A successful startup might not always be easy, but it’ll be worth it in the long run if you’re financially astute, hardworking and passionate about what you’re offering.
What’s more, it’s never too late to launch your own business, so whether you’re 25 or 65 – don’t let age be a barrier to launching your startup. After all, Vera Wang didn’t get started in fashion until her 40s, Samuel L Jackson landed his first starring role at 46, and JK Rowling published Harry Potter in her late 30s.
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