UK Small Business Ideas

Here are a few ideas to get you started!

The first thing you need to do is to decided the right type of business to create and this can be a very difficult decision. You should always try to do something that you are interested in and that utilises your skills and knowledge. You want to choose something that fits in with your lifestyle and fits within your budget. Trying to choose a business idea that meets all of these criteria can be stressful and so many people find it difficult to even get their idea off the ground.

We’re here to take the busy out of business and aim to make the process much easier for new entrepreneurs. We have listed a few ideas to get you get you off the ground.

You should start by brainstorming ideas based on your talents and interests, and also by looking at other similar successful start ups over the last few years.

Online service or product based business

Starting an Online business can be a great way to start as there are little to no startup costs and you will have the flexibility of being able to work from home. Online businesses have grown massively in popularity over the last few years and are part of a fast paced growing industry. We at BusyStartUps have everything you need from choosing and registering your domain name to the hosting packages that you need to run your website, there are also many companies that offer white label services to make the process even easier.

Box subscription services

Home delivery services are not limited to the food and drink industry alone. These days you can set up subscriptions for a range of services from, stationery to hair products. The choice is endless and the demand is growing. Including for those people less able to get out and physically shop for themselves.

Working from home business ideas

You might decide that you want a home base business that fits right around your lifestyle, these days, a good desk, business phone service and internet connection are the base tools you will need to start selling your products or services. There are a number of things that you can do from home, and it can be a bonus as the overheads are kept very low.

Hair and beauty

The hair and beauty industry is growing rapidly as these days’ people just want to look good. Whether you are into beauty therapy, nails, hair, massages or other, you want to find your own little niche beauty market. These services can be monetised through home visit services or an established place of business.

Food and drink

The food and drink industry offers a lot of promise as food businesses never seem to go out of fashion, moreover the health food market is one that is growing extremely fast as people are becoming more health conscious. You will have the freedom of being creative and adding your own personal touches to your food or drink business.


The good thing about coaching is that whatever your talent or skill set is, whether you are great at singing, or carpentry, life skills or IT you could essentially set up a coaching business. Coaching can give you the freedom to work freelance from home physically or even online doing something that you are naturally good at or really enjoy.


If you have a skill or passion for something, you can start out freelancing your services to other businesses or individuals, sometimes you might want to join an agency that offer your services to people who need them, there are also a number of online freelance sites that give you the opportunity to advertise your services. Freelancing gives you the opportunity to work where you want, when you want, many people have models that they work for 9 months of the year and spend the other 3 travelling the world.


Starting a business in childcare can be a great choice for parents of young children. You would need the the necessary training and certification such as in health & social care, you can start out as a registered child-minder, and grow this into a nursery or other child services such as afterschool and breakfast clubs. A childcare business will give you the flexibility of working from home whilst spending quality time with your own family.

Selling homemade crafts

Good with your hands or have an eye for design, doing something that you love is essential in any business venture. If you have a love for crafting and creating, whether it be furnisher, cards, paintings or upcycling, there is a large demand for high quality homemade crafts. There are may avenues to selling be it at a market or craft fair and through online platforms such as amazon or ebay.

Business ideas for students

Its no secret that students go though some of the toughest financial periods of their lives, with student fees up to £9000 per year, students are increasingly looking for new ideas to start making more money to help them cope with the cost of student life. If you’re a student or considering studying but worried about how you might manage financially but have an entrepreneurial nature. then have a look at one of these business ideas, things you can do in your spear time to earn a bit more cash?

Organising student events

Orgainsing and planning events can be something that you could easily fit around your lifestyle, while either studying or as a freelancer. You could plan, parties, movie nights, dating events and networking events. The cost involved are minimal and you would work on a project by project basis, so that you can plan it around your lifestyle.

Food drop off service

Are you a good cook? If so, then why not make cheap nutritious meals for your fellow students while making a profit. All you need is a kitchen and some containers to distribute the food. You can take as much or as little orders as you can manage, then deliver to students around your place of study.

Essay and Dissertation proofreading

Love reading, love writing, “crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s”, do you have good attention to detail, if so then you could help other students out by proofreading assignments. And charging fee for your time.

Low cost business ideas

Starting out in business can also be very risky. It might mean that you will be leaving the security of being employed, having the benefit of a regular income, paid holidays, company pension schemes and other bonuses etc. Some business may require you to take out start-up loans as a financing option which can also be very risky too. It’s a good idea to start small and scale up or grow your business as it starts to make you money. Then you can use some or all of your profits to re-invest in the business and marketing to grow your enterprise even further. We are here to assist you every step of the way.


Becoming a consultant much relies on your own skills and expertise, if you like networking and giving advise or being an expert at a particular field then this could be a fantastic choice for a lot of people, even if you have left employment after a number of years and are great at what you do; why not share it with others and make money from it. Consultancy is a very flexible option as you can determine your own hours and have the flexibility to work when and where you want to.


Almost any body can start up a cleaning business, as it’s a life skill that most of us naturally have to acquire through out life. All you need to start is your cleaning equipment and materials, then to print some flyers and start to advertise your service, if you are a student you could offer the service to other students at a discounted rate, ensuring that you cover your overheads, including travel, time and products. You may even want to offer tier services such as ‘Gold Sliver and Bronze’ depending on the quality of the clean they wish to receive. If you don’t have a car there are now plenty of light weight back packs that have all sorts of cleaning tools such as compact hovers and window scrapers included.


If you love the outdoors a gardening business can be a great choice, its easy to set up, and relatively inexpensive, although there are start up cost involved for tools and equipment and marketing however, running costs should remain reasonably low. However, you need to have an eye for design if you are interested in landscape gardening, and possibly have additional building regulation knowledge. For this type of business local marketing is a good way to let people know that you are out there.


If you have an eye for the camera, photography is a great way to make some extra income. You could set up as a freelancer or registered business. These days with photography you could ether spend a fortune on equipment lighting and other required tools or use your smart phone to sell stock images that may be even be digitally enhanced too; if you have those digital editing skills to hand, or partner with a student or other person who has the digital editing talent. Other options include setting up your own studio to do portrait work or weddings/ events...etc. There are many opportunities to make a great income with this business.

Why you should evaluate your business idea?

It is vital to evaluate your business idea, to aid in the success of your business venture. If your business idea is defective, this could ultimately lead to failure. Although no business can be guaranteed it is sensible to make sure that you have the right amount of passion, planning, skill set and work ethic so that you can have the best chances of success.
Have a look at some of the things you can do to evaluate your business idea, here are some vital questions that you should ask yourself before you commit to any business idea;

  • 1. Is this really what I want to do?
  • 2. Am I committed to working hard and pushing my business to its potential?
  • 3. Confidence is key, am I confident in my skills and abilities? Its useless trying to set up a hairdressing business if you know nothing about the industry.
  • 4. Do you have a clear vision? You should be able to explain your business in 2-3 simple sentences. This shows that you have thought through your business vision well, if not take a little more time trying to narrow down what you do to a few sentences.
  • 5. Who are you aiming your business at? Any business needs customers and you need to know what demographic you are aiming at so that you can market to your target audience effectively, if you don’t have a clear idea of who your customers are, then take a little more time to think about this before you commit to your business idea.
  • 6. Will my business idea make money? This is a key factor of any business, if your business is not profitable the of course it will not be successful, so work out your costs before you start your business.