5 accessible ideas for small businesses
Have you been thinking about starting your own business recently? The pandemic has made many of us totally reassess the way we work, and more people are moving into starting their own venture than ever before.
In many ways, it’s never been easier to set up a small business with lots of free advice and inexpensive options available to help with everything from accounts to designing a website. However, having said that, starting a business can be hard going and needs a strong positive attitude and a good strategic plan to work out.
Ideas for small businesses and freelance gigs
Whether you have decided to try and make some money as a side job or you’re ready to go full time into your own business, you should find something here that interests you. In this blog I’ve put together a list of what I consider the best small business ideas.
- Content creator / blogger
Blogging for a living has grown into a viable way to make money since the advent of the Internet. These days, blogs are the modern replacement for magazines and form a niche for all kinds of news, advice, resources and information. Many major news sites, such as Buzzfeed and TechCrunch began as blogs and became hugely valuable businesses.
More than 5 million blogs are published every single day, and this will continue to increase as the publishing sector moves almost entirely online. Of course, this means that blogging and content creation is a very competitive area to work in, but it is more than possible to make a living.
Start out by learning about search engine optimisation (SEO), editing, writing, design and content marketing. Add in an understanding of how to use digital comms channels including social media and you’re ready to set up your own website. You can either create a specific blog style website using WordPress or another provider, or you can use YouTube or other visual channels for visual content.
By working for a content agency or for a big brand, you can hone your writing skills and find your own area of expertise.
- Go freelance
Whatever your talent or experience, you can turn into a freelance gig. This gives you the control of working for yourself. Around 33% of workers in the UK are now on a contractual or freelance basis. This generally means they work an on a fee basis for specific services. You do need a specialist skill of some kind to go freelance. The kinds of experience that will allow you to command a good fee include copywriting, software development, programming, virtual assistance and business development among many others.
Start by joining freelancer platforms such as PeoplePerHour and rack up experience that way. You can also find work through any network you’ve built up in past roles. You need to develop a strong and powerful online portfolio of work to grow your client base.
- Equipment rental business
We live in a world where people increasingly want to recycle and rent equipment rather than invest in the expense of owning it. Business and individuals alike will often pay to rent all kinds of equipment for specific time periods. For example, you can rent things like carpet cleaners for around £50 a day while buying the equipment outright runs into much more.
This is a viable niche in which to start a business. First, decide on the market that you are looking to supply and ensure you have a base where customers and clients can collect equipment. You need professional and regulated payment systems and it’s always a good idea to have a well-designed website and marketing strategy.
While the outlay for this kind of business will seem significant, you could make the money back many times over. You can charge relatively higher rental costs that will quickly pay back the outlay for the equipment. Marketing is important with a business like this and is best approached through networking, both on and offline. Check out your local business networking group online through social media and consider getting involved with your Chamber of Commerce.
- Dog grooming
If you have a love of dogs and are prepared to get stuck in, this can be a really lucrative small business. You will need to get some training and ideally hands-on experience at an existing business. When you have all this in place, launch your business through the usual channels. Networking on Facebook and social media can do wonders in this kind of sector.
Grooming involves washing, cleaning and generally pampering pets. And it’s surprising just how much people are willing to spend on their four-legged friends. To launch your own business, you will need premises with the necessary facilities as well as all the required insurance.
When you build a client base, you will be able to make a living doing what you love – and that’s always the ultimate aim.
- Business consultancy
Businesses of all kinds will pay for high level consultancy. Typically, business consultants will work on a project basis and provide expert experience and advice on a specific issue. Commonly, these issues include management, finance and marketing, but can go into niche areas such as SEO and project management.
As a consultant you will generally charge either an hourly or daily rate, which can be as much as £500 depending on your experience and expertise. Working as a consultant means you can work from home or you can go into offices should the client need you to. It’s a very flexible way to work and as long as you have the skills and a strong network of potential clients, then success could be yours.
These are just a few of the self-employment, entrepreneurial and start-up business ideas that could kick start a new era for your career.