12 Best Small Businesses to Start in the UK

Do you dream of being your own boss? If you’ve had enough of the corporate life and would love to start your own business, you might be contemplating which path would be best for you. Fortunately, there are loads of ways to run your own business in 2020, from the more conventional jobs such as making and selling food to the very millennial careers of vlogging and instagramming. 

Read on for some inspiration about how to start with your next business venture!

12 Best Small Businesses to Start in the UK

Bookkeeping Services

If you are good with numbers, you might want to offer yourself to other businesses as a bookkeeper. Bear in mind that you can’t call yourself an accountant unless you have the relevant training and qualifications, but you can organise figures and work out tax estimates to help out other local businesses.

If you would like to set up your own accountancy firm one day, this is a great stepping stone. Nowadays, it’s very easy to get started with a good software for accountants.

Copywriting Company

Do you love to write? Many people will tell you that writing for a living is a pipe dream, and while it is true that most authors aren’t millionaires, there are plenty of ways to write for work while you are creating a best selling novel! 

You could think about starting your own copywriting company. If you want to do so, it’s recommended to make a portfolio website, to pitch to news outlets and websites for story opportunities (these may be unpaid at first), and to look for work on websites like Fiverr and Upwork. Once you have a solid portfolio, you can cold pitch to businesses offering your services – and maybe even hire a small team!

Virtual Assistant

Being a virtual assistant means helping someone, or a few people, out with tasks that can be done online. Virtual assistant businesses are normally a one-man-band, but you can definitely register it as a company, make a portfolio, and advertise your work online. Many people make a very decent income as a virtual assistant by working for a few different companies. To get started with this type of work, it’s recommended to take a virtual assistant course to get your feet off the ground!


Blogging is a business that hasn’t been around for that long, but can now be a very viable source of income. You can blog about anything – something that you have a keen interest in or that you are an expert in is best – but the best rule of thumb to make it into a business is to write for your target audience. 

You can build traffic through SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media, and once you have a good readership, you can put advertisements on your blog to make money. Bloggers also make money through affiliate links and brand partnerships. While it may take a while for your blog to get off the ground, many bloggers can make an impressive income with their platform.

Business Plan Designer

If you have a business qualification, or have set up your own business in the past and are confident about your abilities to build business plans, this could be a job for you. Believe it or not, people will pay a specialist to draw up a business plan for them – so many people have business ideas floating around their heads, but no idea how to dictate them, and need this kind of service


If you can speak another language, consider starting an online translation business. You could do this on your own, or with some other bilingual friends – you could even get together with people who can speak different languages, and offer a multilingual translation service.

Think carefully about the language that you want to translate to – you might find it easier to only translate to your native tongue, unless you know the other language really fluently. Translation work can be found all over the internet, as well as through freelancing databases. 

Meal and Exercise Planner

If you have a qualification in a field like nutrition or sports science, this could be a business that you could think about setting up. Many people are more involved in their fitness than ever before, but have no idea how to create healthy, balanced meals. You would plan someones daily meals for a week, give them a shopping list, and suggest exercise to do every day to reach their goals.

You’ll also have to take into account any dietary requirements and work around them. People will pay good money for this kind of service from an expert – so if you think you have what it takes, a good first step is to publish some sample plans online. 


What are you an expert on? Chances are, there’s something. Think about using this expertise to create your own consultancy business. Whether you want to give people travel advice, teach them how to manage their finances or give photography tips – there’s an audience wanting to know what you have to share.

To get the ball rolling with this, you should start your own website offering what you can do and share it, and you can also create your own course and sell it on Skillshare. 


Being a YouTuber is similar to blogging, in that you create content and make money through ads. YouTubers generally have the benefit of being able to be more personable, and many people garner audiences’ interest by doing challenges or chatty videos.

If you want to be this kind of YouTuber, you’ll need to have a warm, open, often funny personality, and a thick skin – nearly every YouTuber can tell you about a time they have received a barrage of hateful messages. However, there are plenty of other successful YouTubers who offer videos about their particular interests and expertise as well.

Video Editor

If you don’t want to be behind the camera, but you love editing videos, you could start your own video editing business. People doing this will need to have a great knowledge of iMovie or Final Cut Pro, and will work with YouTubers to create the best edits of their content.

Payment for these roles, particularly for experienced editors, is typically very high. You could do this as a freelancer, or if you find you are getting a lot of work, you could hire a band of other freelancers. 


Do you like to make things from home? If you can create crafts, you could think about making these to sell. Etsy is a great place for first time sellers to start, but you could also create your own online Woocommerce store to sell your products. You could also get together with some other crafty people and all sell under the same umbrella company – you might find the business admin tasks are a lot easier when there are a few of you. 

Food Delivery Business

If you love to cook, consider starting your own food cooking and delivery service. You could make fresh, homemade meals and deliver them around your neighbourhood for a fee, or maybe you could make and sell homemade jams and chutneys!

Remember, if you are starting a business involving food, it must be registered 28 days before trading commences, and depending on what you are making, you might need to be verified by a health officer before you can begin. 


There are plenty of businesses that you can set up easily and quickly, either by yourself or with a small team. These are popular across the UK, and have been proven time and time again to reap good profits.

The internet and social media makes spreading the word about these businesses a lot easier, and with some hard work, before long you will have a dedicated customer base. So get some inspiration from this list and start your new small business today!

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About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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