After the challenges aspiring new business owners have faced amid the rising cost of living, 2024 can offer fresh opportunities to begin your start-up journey.
You might be thinking of starting a business opens in new windowbecause of a change in circumstances, such as a loss of employment, or simply because you want to be your own boss opens in new window – but whatever the reason, you need a good idea for your new business before you begin.
Perhaps you have a skill or hobby you can make the most of, or you’ve found a gap in the market opens in new window that could open the door to running a successful business.
We’ve collected 24 business ideas for 2024 to get you started if you’re looking for inspiration.
24 business ideas for 2024
Secondhand trading platforms such as Vinted have surged in traffic since 2022 opens in new window as sellers look to make extra money and buyers shop on a tighter budget.
Many people start by selling unwanted items they already own, but you can shop for bargains to trade at a profit or find items that need repair.
While many secondhand marketplaces are dedicated to clothing and vintage wear, you could consider reselling previously loved books, accessories, technology, bicycles, toys, and jewellery.
If you’ve ever been complimented on your cooking and organisational skills, you might consider a career in event catering opens in new window.
From weddings and parties to corporate events and charity functions, there are countless ways to turn your love of food into a successful start-up.
You might need a licence to get started and invest in professional equipment and transportation, but you can provide catering services nationwide.
Discover how a Start Up Loan can help cover these costs opens in new window.
There are more than 40 million vehicles in the UK opens in new window, but surprisingly few people know how to fix their cars when they have a breakdown.
You might consider starting a vehicle repair firm if you’re a talented mechanic.
You could consider offering general motoring services or specialising in specific repairs, such as restoring classic cars or maintaining electric vehicles.
Other ideas include car body shop and upgrades – from adding accessories and audio equipment to cars – to capitalising on trends for vinyl-wrapping cars for a distinctive look.
The average person in Britain has 200 parcels delivered each year opens in new window, while more than a third of us have takeaway food delivered at least once a week opens in new window.
There is a thriving demand for delivery services, covering deliveries directly to homes and businesses.
Services can be local, have a specific selling point such as using electric vehicles, or be targeted at long-haul requirements as part of business supply chains.
You’ll need appropriate vehicles and qualified drivers, but it’s perfect for people who like to be on the move or operate a fleet of vehicles.
Animal boarding services
Millions of UK workers have second jobs opens in new windowand need someone to take care of their pets while they’re away.
A kennel service can be a great way to capture this growing demand if you enjoy caring for dogs.
You could consider providing boarding for cats and other pets – or even offer ‘plant sitting’ services where you store and take care of prized houseplants for owners.
When a business expands into a new market, it might need translation services to reach a wider audience.
If you know a second language, you can tap into this demand by creating your own business.
It’s easily scalable and requires almost no start-up costs, making it a low-risk option with plenty of potential upside.
You could specialise in a particular field of translation, such as technical or business documentation, or more sectors, such as travel and tourism translation services.
Even after the pandemic, more than 25 million UK workers still work from home opens in new window at least one day a week.
It’s created a rise in demand for technical support, with many workers relying on personal computers, broadband, and home printers – all of which can be prone to connection issues, malware, and glitches.
A technical support start-up could be ideal for anyone with relevant skills, and you could expand your operations and services as the business grows, such as offering mobile home servicing or opening a repair store.
To comply with government health and safety standards opens in new window, some UK businesses must regularly clean equipment and workspaces to an acceptable standard.
An industrial cleaning start-up opens in new window could provide regular income, particularly if you highlight a niche in the market.
The average UK resident now spends more than £300 a year on houseplants opens in new window, as they make the most of the health and decor benefits that come with indoor greenery.
If you love growing houseplants and want to create a dedicated space to nurture them, this could be an ideal business idea.
You could create a website opens in new window showing your range of plants and ship them directly to customers after they are ordered online.
Amid a sustained period of financial difficulty, many of us spend less on clothing opens in new window to save money.
This could be a reliable income stream if you’re skilled at fixing damaged clothes or performing alterations.
Specialisms can be alterations for partywear, bridal dresses, or suit alterations.
Owning a vehicle can be a significant expense, especially when you have to pay high insurance rates, repairs, and road tax.
It’s created an increasing customer demand opens in new window for rental options throughout Europe, so a vehicle leasing start-up could provide customers with cost-effective, short-term private transport.
You’d need to invest in a fleet of vehicles to lease out, and options could include short-term rental, such as general car hire, to specialist vehicle leasing, such as commercial vans or vehicles for special occasions such as weddings.
Many UK businesses are considering the ways they can reduce their energy consumption opens in new window and operate more sustainably.
If you have experience in this area, you could consider becoming a sustainability consultant.
With consumer interest in sustainability growing year-on-year opens in new window, you could find a demand for in-person or virtual sustainability consultancy.
Some businesses may need specific consulting help, such as becoming a B Corp or gaining an environmental certification such as ISO 14001.
For those who don’t have the time or skills to clean regularly, a contract cleaning business could be a profitable business idea.
With low start-up costs, a contract cleaning business can cover domestic and corporate premises, with plenty of room for growth as your client list expands.
Mobile car wash
A mobile car wash is a simple but in-demand business idea for people who want a simple, low-cost start-up.
Although it might not require you to invest in expensive technical equipment, mobile valeting services can specialise by offering a range of different valeting services.
Sweets have always been a welcome treat during hard times, and selling confectionery could be a tempting move.
Options to consider include creating and selling your own confectionary products – from sweets to cookies – to buying sweets in bulk and reselling them in innovative ways, such as sweet hampers and chocolate bouquets.
Upcycling might be the business for you if you enjoy renovating old clothes or furniture.
Upcycling involves taking unwanted items and giving them a new lease of life.
It can be rewarding work and a great way to promote sustainability opens in new window.
Specialist waste disposal
Some UK industrial businesses might have large volumes of waste that need to be disposed of using special methods.
This could be the business for you if you have a background in environmental regulations and safety protocols.
More general collection and recycling services – from manufacturing waste to office rubbish such as cardboard, batteries, and paper are all candidates for collection for a fee.
Rather than buying new, some people would rather have furniture repaired and restored so it gains a new lease of life.
This can be sentimental reasons – such as restoring or repairing a family heirloom – or simply saving money and having a positive environmental impact.
From sofas and chairs to bookcases and sideboards, you can specialise in plenty of areas – or you can take a general approach.
Other specialisms to consider include furniture cleaning, from polishing to cleaning upholstery stains.
Baby and toddler group
Parents who take on second jobs may struggle with a shortage of childcare availability in the UK opens in new window.
A baby and toddler group opens in new window can give working parents a safe space for their children to socialise with others of the same age.
You might need to gain a licence and ensure safety regulations are in place, but it can be a rewarding and lucrative business.
A Start Up loan could help cover the costs of creating appropriate premises, along with supplies and the necessary licenses and qualifications.
Making your own products opens in new window can be a creative outlet, but you might also turn your skills into a successful start-up.
Jewellery opens in new window, soaps, and clothing can make profitable homemade products, and you can consider ranges that are sustainably made or entirely vegan.
With UK residents going out less opens in new window to save money amid the rising cost of living, many are focusing on making their homes more enjoyable.
This often means sprucing up their gardens, from rockeries and manicured lawns to patios.
A landscaping start-up opens in new window could tap into this demand, and you could consider specialising in hard landscaping, such as fencing and patios, through to lawn care.
Dropshipping can be an excellent option for budding entrepreneurs who might not have the space to store stock for an e-commerce business.
It’s a business model that allows e-commerce websites to sell goods without investing heavily in stock.
Find out how you can start a dropshipping business opens in new window.
Virtual fitness coaching
The fitness industry has significantly shifted towards online platforms, especially since the pandemic.
With many people opting for home workouts, there’s a growing demand for virtual fitness coaching opens in new window.
If you have expertise in fitness and health, you can offer personalised workout plans, diet charts, and live virtual workout sessions.
Digital design skills workshops
Many aspiring artists want to hone their skills in digital mediums – from graphic design and digital painting to 3D modelling.
You might consider launching online workshops or courses if you have expertise in any digital art domain.
Thinking of starting a business? Check out our free online courses in partnership with the Open University on being an entrepreneur.
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Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.