Be your own boss. Five business ideas you can start in 2020

Starting your own business is one of the biggest growth areas in the employment industry as more people than ever want to be their own boss.  If you want to make a start on your own company in 2020, then you may want a bit of inspiration. Here are five ideas you could consider for your first or next business concept.

Business ideas

Starting a business should ideally be a balance of something you enjoy or are passionate about and something you can make money from.  No matter how much you love something, if you can’t make money from it then it isn’t an ideal business model. Here are five ideas that people are already using that might inspire you.

Start a beauty salon

If you have the skills as a hairdresser or beautician or even want to run the shop without being hands-on, then opening a beauty or hair salon could be a great move.  Not only do most people need a haircut at some point but there’s a growing appetite for beauty treatments and pampering – especially close to home.

There are a few things to consider when looking at this business.  You will want to look at the cost of opening a salon – things like rent, utilities, business rates and wholesale product costs.  You also need to consider costs such as staff wages, your salary and other costs for people such as a cleaner or accountant.  Understand what your break-even number is before you start.

Start a local coffee shop

Another similar concept is to open a local coffee shop.  While many types of high street business are declining, the coffee shop is one that is increasing.  People want somewhere to go and meet friends, grab a quick drink or take the kids on a rainy day. That’s why local coffee shops are a popular business idea.

Cost considerations are similar to that of a beautician or hair salon.  You need to look at basic costs for the building, the equipment and the wholesale products you will need.  Also look at things like the cost of staff, cleaners and accountants.  

Start a dropshipping business

Dropshipping is a relatively new business model but one that has endless variations and ideas.  You can sell furniture, for example, sell jewellery, design your own mugs that are created on-demand, even your own books.  There are hundreds of different ideas and the key part with the business model is that you don’t need to physically stock the item to sell it.

With a drop shipping business, you have a website and sell the products.  When someone orders them, the order goes to your dropshipping partner to fulfil.  They send the item to the customer and provide relevant tracking or posting information.  You then handle any follow up queries or customer service. You don’t handle the item yourself which means no warehouse space, no stock to hold and a very easy business model to scale and grow.

Start an e-commerce website for your hobby

Lots of us have hobbies that involve making something and often, you can use this passion to create a business, especially if this is a side hustle to a main job.  E-commerce continues to grow every year as more people than ever turn to online shopping to get the stuff they want and there’s no reason you can’t grab a bit of this.

The key is to make sure what your hobby creates is something you can sell.  There are plenty of examples from handmade jewellery to furniture, kids’ toys to art kits.  You do need to consider how to store these items between making and selling or whether you offer a ‘create on demand’ style bespoke service.  

You will also want to look at costs for a website, although you could start through big-name marketplaces like eBay, Etsy or Amazon Handmade to begin with.

Sell digital information products

At one time, creating information products such as courses or books was something only people with degrees or qualifications did.  But the modern world of digital information products means that if you have knowledge about something that you could share with others, you can create a digital product about it and sell it.

Let’s say you are brilliant at home organisation, decluttering and making the most of a small home.  You could create an eBook full of tips or even a digital course that walks people through how to declutter and optimise their storage.  You could then sell this to people, using various marketing techniques to get in front of them.

How to market your business

Creating the idea for your business and getting the foundations in place is very important – but it isn’t the end of it.  Once you have decided on what type of business you will start and how you will run it, you need to learn about marketing your business.

The key to marketing your business is understanding where you will find your customers.  Will they hang out in Facebook groups? Do you need to connect with them at the local shopping centre?  Can you use search engine optimisation and content marketing to bring them to your business?

Once you have outlined where you will find your customers, you can think about how to connect with them.  You may want to go down the route of email marketing, getting them to sign up for a freebie in return for the ability to contact them then build relationships that way.  You may want to start a customer loyalty scheme, a referral program or any of the other ways to engage with your audience.

There are two main routes to doing this – you can DIY it or use a marketing company.  Lots of businesses use a mixture of the two, learning some basics and using professionals to handle the most important areas.  You can even hire someone to do specific tasks such as a freelancer for your SEO to help your business show up in search rankings or a social media manager to grow a social media profile and drive traffic.

Start your business in 2020

The new year is the perfect time to start that business you have been considering for ages.  Make the move away from the world of the employee and into the world of the entrepreneur. With the right planning and preparation, you can set yourself up in the business of your dreams and join the growing number of small business owners across the UK.  There’s no time like the present!