At the start of 2020, there were 5.94 million small businesses (0-49 employees) in the UK. Every year new businesses open their doors or set up an online business. If you’re thinking of starting a new business this year, then it’s worthwhile thinking about which ones are the most successful small business ideas over the last year. We will look at the following businesses:

  •  Home improvement
  • Cleaning services
  • Tutoring
  • Personal fitness
  • Delivery services
  • Digital marketing
  • App development
  1. Home improvement

In 2020, the housing market saw considerable growth since 2007. As a result, more people have begun to buy property, creating a massive demand for home improvement services. However, new homeowners may not have the skills or expertise to make improvements and, as a result, need to hire a professional to get the job. 

Home improvement services could include anything from interior design, carpentry, contracting, plumbing or landscaping. Most of these areas require training and access to tools or raw materials. So the startup costs are pretty expensive. This type of business is also more prevalent in specific locations across the UK.  

  1. Cleaning services

Cleaning services offer essential opportunities to residential and commercial properties, helping to manage tasks many people don’t enjoy or have the time to complete. These services can function as home-based support one or more times per week or as a daily resource for commercial cleaning. Cleaners bring home a substantial amount and provide a necessary service that will always be needed. 

Due to the nature of cleaning services – no physical office is required, equipment costs are low and are billed back to clients. You can also work flexible hours and build quite the enterprise in this industry. In addition, labour is very affordable. There’s also no education or experience required to work as a residential or commercial cleaner. So hiring costs can be relatively low if you choose to expand your business. 

  1. Tutoring

There will always be students and parents looking for tutors to help improve grades. Starting a tutoring service is a great way to help those struggling with core subjects or those looking to gain more in-depth knowledge in a subject. You could specialise in several subjects:

  • GSCEs
  • University tutoring 
  • Foreign languages
  • Popular school subjects: English, History, Maths
  • Teaching English as a foreign language  

Thanks to the latest software in teaching and video conferencing, you don’t need to set up a brick and mortar office. Instead, you can now tutor people all over the world from the comfort of your own home

  1. Personal training fitness

The Covid-19 pandemic largely impacted gyms and indoor fitness centres, but the fitness industry has proven adaptable and resilient. Many personal training instructors have moved their business online and outdoors to parks, beaches and other settings. The shift to remote work and quarantining has also created a need for exercise like never before. 

Trainers can use social media and an online website to find more clients and sell workout programs and meal plans. Getting started in personal training can be pretty straightforward. You can take a formal certification, or in some cases, you can use your passion for fitness to break into the industry. 

  1. Delivery services

As a result of the pandemic, food delivery companies such as Deliveroo and UberEats have thrived. Online food delivery services alone are expected to grow by more than $104 billion by 2023. To join the industry, you can register yourself as self-employed and simply sign up using one of their apps and use your bike to deliver the food. Alternatively, you could deliver food and groceries to your local community. 

  1. Digital marketing services

With more and more people setting up their own stores and services online, there’s a growing need for digital marketing services. They need help to build their brand, build an audience and get found online. A digital marketing agency typically offers one or more of the following services:

There’s lots of great content on YouTube, marketing-focused websites, free courses and books to help you boost your digital marketing skills. 

There are very few startup costs if you choose to work from home. All you need to have is a laptop, WiFi and the skills to make a difference for a business. Eventually, you will be able to hire some help or work with a freelancer. 

  1. App development

So many businesses, from coffee shops to corporate giants, are looking to build their own apps to reach their customers. App developers can set up their own business and help other companies to bring their apps to life on iPhone or Android.

While app development doesn’t require a formal degree, prior training and experience building other apps will help you break into the field. Many developers get their first few clients after completing a coding bootcamp or through free online courses. These are great ways to help you learn the fundamentals and learn how to set up your own app development business.   

Set up your business and manage your finances with Countingup

Countingup is the app that automates time consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

It’s a two in one business current account with built in accounting software. With automatic expense categorisation, receipt capture tools and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances and save yourself hours of accounting admin, so you can get back to doing what you do best. Find out more here.