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24 new business ideas to launch in 2024

Kickstart 2024 with our inspirational list of businesses you could launch if running a start-up is on your list of new year’s resolutions.

Getting a business idea opens in new window off the ground can be challenging at the best of times.

With the UK in recession, you may think that chucking in the day job and going it alone opens in new window isn’t particularly sensible.

Yet, while all business ventures have some level of risk opens in new window, the pandemic, cost of living crisis, and recession has turned upside-down the way we work, shop and play – opening up new opportunities opens in new window for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

From a rise in online services opens in new window such as tutoring and fitness training, to work-at-home employees looking to jazz up their home office opens in new window, 2024 heralds a new start for different types of business ideas that may be worth exploring.

Ideas that build on your skills opens in new window and experience can be worth your time, and many a side hustle can mature into a fully-fledged business opens in new window.

It’s worth noting that it’s a long journey from business idea to commercial reality.

You’ll need to properly research your market opens in new window, draw up a realistic business plan opens in new window and you may need to secure funding opens in new window, such as a Start Up Loan, to help buy equipment, stock and premises.

Always get professional advice – our expert mentors opens in new window are available to help start-up owners taking a Start Up Loan to get their plan into shape and their business off the ground.

Maybe 2024 is the year your start-up takes flight.


Making business finance work for you

Starting a business doesn’t come with a set of instructions.

We know that understanding the many different types of financial product in the marketplace can be difficult.

Our Making business finance work for you guide is designed to help you make an informed choice about accessing the right type of finance for you and your business.

Download your free copy


24 business options for 2024


Pet sitting service

From pandemic puppies to fluffy kittens – Covid-19 has seen pet ownership soar.

A survey by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) opens in new window found that two million owners acquired a new pet between March 2020 and May 2021, with 34% of respondents claiming to be first-time pet owners.

With workers slowly returning to offices, there could be a need for the nation’s pets to be looked after during the day via pet sitting services.


Dog walking business

Just over a quarter (26%) of UK adults own a dog according to PDSA opens in new window – that’s a whopping 9.6 million canines nationwide – and most need regular exercise.

Starting a dog walking business opens in new window may be a good idea once pandemic restrictions have been lifted and more people return to the workplace.


Ebook publishing

If you’ve always thought you had a creative flair or you’re a passionate reader and writer, then trying to get your book published online might be an ideal business venture.

Online tools have made the process more straightforward, and you can self-publish your book to platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing opens in new window and Apple Books opens in new window for free.

You’ll remain in charge of the rights opens in new window, have creative control over your work, and typically take around 70% of the cover price.


Beauty salon

If you used Covid lockdowns and restrictions to develop grooming skills by styling your own hair opens in new window, nails, or eyelashes, then offering beauty services to others could be a potential business idea – and one that can be started from home opens in new window or run as a mobile service.


Courier services

Courier services opens in new window ferrying fast food and home shopping could increase over the coming years, as people switch to online shopping and takeaways following high street shop closures.

According to research by IBIS opens in new window, courier service revenue is expected to expand at an annual rate of nearly 10% in 2021/2.

It’s a scalable business opens in new window, from starting with a small van or bike to building a fleet of vehicles.


Online fitness classes

Thanks to the rise of video conferencing, fast broadband and a willingness to ditch the pounds to help combat Covid-19, online fitness could be a potential winner in 2022.

You’ll need space for a virtual studio and a way to take online payments, with subscriptions opens in new window to classes having the potential to generate a regular income.


Online tutoring

If you enjoy teaching foreign exchange students English, or are particularly knowledgeable in a specific subject, online tutoring using video conferencing tools could be an option.

Don’t limit it to school students, either.

Consider becoming an online mentor opens in new window, coach or advisor to businesses where you have valuable skills and experience.

Find out more with our free Exploring career mentoring and coaching course opens in new window.


Wellness coach

With the nation embracing its overall wellbeing, you could consider becoming a wellness coach to help educate people on how best to take care of themselves.

The skills required include good verbal and communication skills, a natural ability to coach and encourage people, and an excellent knowledge of health, fitness, and nutrition-related issues.

Understanding physical and mental health-related ailments can help you offer constructive advice and support to those looking to improve their overall wellness.


Gardening services

Starting a horticultural business could be ideal if you’ve always been a keen gardener and love the outdoors.

The Horticultural Trades Association is looking to make the £28bn horticultural industry opens in new window more sustainable opens in new window.

Consider starting a sustainable gardening business using peat-free and chemical-free products.


Online store

According to research by Statista opens in new window, the UK has the most advanced e-commerce opens in new window market in Europe, with Brits spending roughly twice the amount online compared to second placed France.

There are many tools to create an online shop opens in new window, such as WooCommerce opens in new window and Shopify opens in new window, allowing you to quickly open an online store that you can build from home.


Home baking

The UK bakery industry as a whole is growing and estimated to be worth £8.7bn according to Hallidays opens in new window.

According to Simply Business’ analysis of home baking insurance policies take out in the last few years, the number of home baking businesses rose by 157 per cent in 2020 opens in new window.

From cake-making for special occasions to home-baked sandwiches and pastries for nearby workers, the demand for home baking could continue to rise in the coming years.


Photography services

Demand for wedding, christening and party photography opens in new window may have fallen in the last few years due to the pandemic, but with restrictions easing and people wanting to capture their special moments, demand for photographers could soar.

You’ll need to invest in decent photographic equipment and study photographic techniques, but it’s a relatively capital-light business.


Bicycle repairs

Cycling is becoming more popular as people look to adopt healthier lifestyles and minimise their carbon footprint opens in new window.

According to recent government statistics opens in new window, people took more cycling trips and cycled further in 2020 compared to 2019.

If this trend continues, bicycle repair and maintenance may offer business opportunities – either as a mobile service or high street shop.


Second-hand sales

As environmental awareness increases, it could be matched with an increased willingness to buy clothing second-hand rather than plucking off the rack.

With nearly 4,000 stores in the UK selling second-hand products, according to Statista opens in new window, sales grew a healthy 17.6% in 2019.


Create sustainable products

From natural deodorants and skincare to sustainable cutlery, products made from organic ingredients and materials could be an attractive proposition to eco-friendly consumers opens in new window.

Research by Deloitte opens in new window found that 32% of consumers are highly engaged with adopting a more sustainable lifestyle.


Become a freelancer

Whether it be in graphic design, web development opens in new window, finance or project management opens in new window, freelancing means stepping away from working for a company and hiring out your skills directly opens in new window.

According to recent figures opens in new window, there were almost 2.2 million freelancers in the UK in 2020, up one per cent from 2019, with freelancers working in highly skilled or technical professions representing almost half of the 4.4 million solo self-employed in the UK.

You’ll need a strong portfolio of previous work and time to promote your services.

Online freelance directories are a good way to list your services and accept commissions from the comfort of your home.


Social media marketing

You don’t have to be an influencer to win at social media opens in new window.

If you know your way around social platforms such as Facebook opens in new window, LinkedIn and Instagram opens in new window you can run the social media accounts of other businesses, freeing up their time while you manage social media opens in new window posts, customer interactions and promotions.


Wedding catering

Thanks to easing restrictions, events such as weddings and parties could be back in the calendar for 2022.

With civil ceremonies now able to be held outside opens in new window and experts predicting that 2022 will be the biggest year in the wedding industry opens in new window, demand for catering opens in new window and wedding services opens in new window could enjoy a resurgence.


Sustainable energy

Perhaps not one to start at home, but green energy could soar as a sector as the UK bids to be net zero by 2050.

From solar panel installation services to creating small scale solar and wind farms, green energy could be a booming industry, with the solar power market expected to grow by 5% between 2020-25 according to research by Mordor Intelligence opens in new window.


Drone photography

Aerial photography could reach new heights thanks to the cheaper drones available to UK pilots.

From real estate photography and videography to weddings and events – around 14.2% of UK drone owners have used them for work according to the UK Drone Users Report opens in new window.

Visit the UK Civil Aviation Authority opens in new window for advice on drone piloting and licensing.


Interior design

With some workers having spent the majority of the past two years at home, the amount spent on house renovations has increased by 36% opens in new window with the median spent on home renovations hitting £15,000.

Whether you’re handy with a paintbrush or a whizz at choosing wallpaper, your start-up could help make every home a castle.


Subscription boxes

Almost half (44 per cent) of UK online shoppers now subscribe opens in new window to some kind of subscription delivery service according to recent figures from the Royal Mail opens in new window.

From healthy snacks and flatpacked flowers to replacement shavers and skincare products, subscription boxes can be profitable and save customers the hassle of remembering to shop for regular replacements.


Mocktail delivery business

Part of taking care of your wellbeing can involve reducing or stopping drinking alcohol.

Over 175,000 UK adults took part in Dry January in 2022 and this number is set to increase as the nation’s interest in wellbeing continues to grow,

So rather than a traditional home delivery cocktail business, creating delicious alcohol-free mocktails for home delivery or to parties and corporate events could be an excellent idea for a wellbeing business to start in 2023.


Create an app

With everyone seemingly glued to their mobile phones, it’s little wonder that the UK app development industry has grown 18.6% per year on average between 2017 and 2022 according to IBIS opens in new window.

There are lots of free and cheap tools for creating apps, and plenty of online courses that can teach you the basics.

You just need a good idea, development skill and a marketing plan opens in new window to help your app on its way.


Learn with Start Up Loans and help your business get off the ground

Thinking of starting a business? Check out our free online courses in partnership with The Open University on being an entrepreneur. Our free Learn with Start Up Loans courses opens in new window include:

Plus free courses on finance and accounting, career and leadership, marketing and commercial awareness.

This article and the content provided therein is exclusively for informative purposes. Nothing in this article or in its contents is intended to provide advice of any kind (including legal, financial, tax or other professional advice) and should not be relied on as such. You should get professional or specialist advice before doing anything on the basis of the content contained in this article.

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