Small Business Ideas To Start This Year!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

This post contains sponsored links but all opinions are my own! 

Ever thought of owning your own business? I've always loved the idea of making money for myself and reaping what I sew. Starting a hustle and working from home means you can set your hours and make more money than at a typical 9-5. It also means you run the business your way! If you want to start a business but are stuck for ideas, here are some of the best small business ideas to try at home! 

Small businesses are growing in popularity. They offer an opportunity to get involved in a business that is more manageable and profitable than the traditional big company. Starting a small business is one of the best ways to build something from scratch and gain experience in the field you are passionate about. Some small businesses can be started with minimal start-up costs and offer a high return on investment.

Start-ups are all about taking risks and making changes. They also have a common goal of bringing in new ideas and innovations. The most common types of start-ups are online businesses. Some people may want to use Franchise Direct to set up a business under an established name but others will want to start from scratch.

Why You Should Consider Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business can be daunting, but many rewards can come from it. Not only do you get to decide your hours, but you can do something you're passionate about from home. If you're wondering how to quit your 9-5, here's some great advice on how to do it. Looking for some great reasons to start your own business today? Here are some that might take your fancy! 

  • You control your hours, improving flexibility
  • You pick deadlines that suit you
  • You can build meaningful and impactful relationships
  • You gain experience in lots of different areas
  • The limit to income is only down to sales and time
  • You can earn money doing something you enjoy
  • You get to stay at home or work where you like
  • Designing new things and making decisions is up to you
  • You have the creative freedom to do anything
  • You can solve big problems by finding gaps in the market
  • There's a sense of pride in earning your own money 
  • You can express your creativity
  • You can pick up new skills
  • You can do as little or as much as you want
  • You can hire people, building relationships and helping your community

Virtual Assistant

In a busy world with home working options, virtual assistants are helping to keep things running smoothly. Virtual assistants do lots of online admin tasks such as social media management, preparing reports and managing contacts. Virtual assistants have become increasingly popular since the lockdown. If you start this business, you have a lot of control over what tasks you take on. You're essentially a freelancer but with a few more admin based jobs. Make sure you're careful with the jobs you accept. I have found that businesses take advantage of virtual assistants as they don't charge a lot but can do nearly anything. Make sure you know your worth. Charge accordingly, and don't let businesses take advantage of your services.

Become A Freelancer

There are many ways to make money as a freelancer.  A freelance service is where you offer your services on an hourly basis and do not have any fixed contract with the client. You do work as you it pops up. You can also find gigs on places like Fiver. One off jobs can lead into more permanent work, but you're not employed by the person hiring you. It's important that you understand what your kind of clients are looking for in the market so that you can design your business accordingly. Make sure you price your services accordingly so you're getting a fair wage for your work. You could offer copywriting, ghost-writing, content creation and even create graphic for clients. I love freelance work as you can work on your own schedule and choose what you do. It can be time consuming and you need to stay on top of your work, but it's easy to set up a freelance business and there are even websites to promote your services on. 

Graphic Designer

The world is very digital, so graphic design is in high demand. You could design logos, banners, prints and more! Graphic designers can charge highly, depending on the quality of your work. It's worth building a portfolio of your best pieces so that customers can see what your designs are like. Brands like to use graphic designers to create adverts, while individuals may want a custom logo or print for their home. You could always offer personalised services where you add a name or even create a custom design based on their needs. Practice with your chosen software, so you know what your limits are and what you can offer.

Online or In-person Tutor

Home-schooling can be a nightmare, and there are lots of students who need to catch up. If you've got qualifications in certain subjects, you could offer to tutor! There are websites where you can sign up and tutor students, but you wouldn't have your own business. I've seen lots of people advertising their tutoring services on Facebook. You can ask for upwards of £10-15 an hour for your services, especially if your subject is niche or you're giving quality help. You could also come up with worksheets and recordings for when you're not there. It also allows your students to work through and relisten to your lesson when you're not there. 

At-home Bakery

Everyone loves a baked treat. Starting a baking business is easy to do. All you need is a standout recipe and high-quality ingredients. Some popular items at the moment include cake pops, chocolate-dipped strawberries, brownies and iced biscuits. Make sure you have food hygiene standards. You'll need someone to check your premise, and it's worth getting a food hygiene and safety certificate. Instagram and Pinterest can help to promote your brand as everyone loves scrolling through food pictures. There are so many different things you can make for your at-home bakery. You could try free-from and vegan recipes too, which can help your brand stand out a bit more. 

Nail Artist

Nail art is gorgeous, and if you have an artistic side, why not start a nail business? You could have an at-home salon, go to clients or even design press on nails. I love watching nail videos on Instagram, so you can use that marketing to an advantage. You can quickly gain a following by showing off your designs, increasing your potential customer base. If you have taken a nail course or have some training, that's even better and can make your business seem more attractive. Make sure you're familiar with all the types of nail shapes, colours and details. I didn't realise how much there was involved in nail art!

Stationery Seller

I am in love with stationery. This would be my dream business idea, so you may be seeing some in the future! From stickers to notebooks, there are so many different things to sell. There is a lot of competition in the stationery market, so make sure your product stands out. You could design your own characters for your creations or theme your products around something special. While there many people making stickers and notebooks, there will always be a need for paper products. Despite the world going digital, you'll never be able to beat the classic pen and paper duo. You could also take it one step further and make a wedding or event stationery.

Candles & Wax Melts 

Since the lockdown has started, I have seen candle and wax melt businesses pop up everywhere. Wax melts are really easy to make, and you can personalise them the way you like. There are so many scents, shapes and colours to play with to create a unique brand. You can also sell other accessories like make your own candle kits, custom moulds and wax melt burners. That way, you're not limiting your customer base. You may also want to consider using fun names or making personalised orders. Make sure you're correctly labelling your products with hazard stickers and consider insurance. There are lots of legal and regulatory factors to consider. 

Handmade Soaps & Smellies

Everybody needs some sort of bath and body product. Whether it's deodorant or a bath bomb, people use personal hygiene and beauty products every day. If you're able to create scented products, you should sell them on websites like Etsy. Niche products such as sensitive skin-friendly, eco-friendly and whimsical themed sell really well online. For example, you could create movie-themed bath products. Make sure you know how you're going to package the products, what ingredients you've used and how to source certain things. Bath bombs are fragile, so they require more bubble wrap than handmade lip balm. You could also make some of your products seasonal to keep up the hype and trends. Christmas scented products are popular in the winter, so you don't want to miss out on potential sales by sticking with your typical scents. 

Reselling Business

It's easy to start a reselling business with a bit of start-up capital. You don't have to make anything, just set up or find a platform to sell the things you buy. Reselling is where you purchase an item and sell it for a higher price. Some of the best things to resell include clothing, electronics and vintage board games. For many people, eBay is the place to resell items. You can find items to resell in thrift stores, charity shops or even clearance items in supermarkets. I have a guide to selling your old items online. You can always start selling items around your home before you buy stock. That way, you can see what works for you and get a feel for things. Remember, if you're buying with the intent to resell, you'll have to register as self-employed.  

Resin Décor

Resin has become a popular medium for décor items. I've seen satisfying videos where tables are made along with trinket dishes and more. If you love home décor, you could start your own resin business. I'd recommend you experiment with different types of resin, moulds and colours before selling. There are lots of the same things on sale, so make sure your items are different. You could line breakfast trays, create jewellery or even make personalised ornaments. I had a go at making resin trinket dishes, and the resin was more flimsy than I expected. Make sure you look into different types before making your pieces. This bendy resin probably won't be suitable for tables and furniture, but works well for phone cases! 

Write eBooks & Courses

Getting a book published is doable, but it can take a long time and be costly. Instead, you could publish an eBook. If you have a skill or knowledge base like no other, you could also write a course or eBook to share all of your knowledge! eBooks can be quite profitable as they don't have a lot of costs to create. You can sell on Etsy or Gumroad, both of which would take a fee for listing your item. There are lots of bloggers who sell eBooks or courses on the side, and they make a lot from it! Make sure the information you're selling is worth selling, original and ground-breaking. There is nothing worse than spending money on a course and seeing another blogger publish better information for free! 

House-to-House Hairdresser

After the lockdown is over, hairdressers are going to be fully booked up for a while. If you don't have the funds to set up your own salon, why not go to the people? A house to house hairdresser is a great business idea if you're willing to travel to clients. You can charge a slightly higher price to cover fuel costs, but you'll be saving on other salon expenses too. An at-home hair salon could also be a good business idea if you have space. Hairdressers will always be needed, so if you have a passion for hair, I'd recommend this business idea. You could also offer styling services or help people use at home hair kits. Our local at-home hairdresser dyes my sister's hair for her using the home kits, and she loves not having to do it herself! 

Event Planner

If you love organising things and have management skills, an event planner is a great business to start. After the pandemic and lockdown are over, I am sure people will be organising events every weekend. Take the stress away from them and plan their dream postponed event. There will be lots of weddings, parties and events that have been put off since the lockdown. If you can offer a magical event where all the stress is taken away, it's worth running your own event business. I love setting up events, creating favours and designing spreads. If you do too, why not start planning events for friends and then expand from there! 

Upcycled Clothing

Similar to reselling, upcycling old clothes and selling them on is a great small business idea. It's also better for the environment to give old clothing a new lease on life. If you're handy with a sewing machine, you could try to upcycle clothing. You could change the shape, add some new features or even turn the piece into something new. I've seen people create memory pillows and rugs with old t-shirts. Upcycling clothing can be an affordable business to start. Most people have old clothing to practise on, and charity shop offers affordable stock options. If you've ever wanted to have your own clothing brand, this is a way to start!

Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is a relatively new business model. You will sell products on your website. When you get an order, you'll place the order with a supplier who packages and ships the order for you. You essentially become the middle man as you are passing on customer details. Dropshipping is where you help connect customers to suppliers. There are large profits involved as you don't have many running costs. You don't own the actual product, which saves you money on shipping and storage. There are many benefits to dropshipping, but there can also be a few issues. Keep your eyes out for a dropshipping blog post that I have coming out soon!

Personal Trainer or Instructor

A lot of people have been motivated to work out during the lockdown. Other's are now hoping to lose weight before the summer. If you love fitness but aren't ready to go back to the gym, you could be a personal trainer or online dietician! Please make sure you have the appropriate qualifications before you give fitness or nutritional advice. I know that online groups like Slimming World have been beneficial to those who are nervous about meetings. You could run online workshops, workout routines and even a support group for your members. I know I've become accustomed to living at home full-time. I'm not ready to go to the gym, and an online class would be better for me! 

Card Making Business

I mentioned stationery before, but a lot of it will be printed, and the handmade aspect could be lost. Instead, you could make your own cards with card and scrapbooking supplies. I love making my own cards. This also allows you to personalise your cards per order, something that not all printers will let you do. Cards are making a come back, and there is so much creative freedom to work with. From witty to stunning, there are lots of cards to make. You could also bundle them up and create sets. 

Mystery Shopper

I have tried mystery shopping before, and it can be fun to try things. Mystery shopping is where you're given an assignment with different tasks to do. For example, you might be asked to go to a restaurant, ask about menu options, spill a drink and talk about deals on offer. You will take note of things like customer service, standards and cleanliness, amongst other things. It's designed to help businesses know what they need to work on and what people think when being served. You can be asked to do all sorts of things. I recommend Mystery Shoppers or Serve Legal. Serve Legal is for younger people. It has you purchasing restricted items like alcohol to check the places that are asking for IDs! 

Things To Watch Out For

When you're starting your own small business, you'll need to consider a few things. There are obvious decisions to make like name, logo and how you're going to promote yourself. You also need to think about the legal side of having a business. Here are some things to remember when starting a business:

  • You can earn up to £1,000 as a hobby before you have to register as self-employed. This is good if you're getting a feel for things and deciding on what you want to do. Remember, this is only really for hobbies like earning a little bit off of your blog.
  • Anything over £1,000 and you need to register as self-employed. You could also speak to your employer about tax codes and see if they offer anything to help you with your taxes. Even if you earn less than the personal allowance, you'll need to register.
  • There are some permits and safety regulations you need to comply with. For example, if you're selling food, you need to register with your local authority at least 28 days before setting up. You'll need an inspection of your premise, and it's worth looking into hygiene training. 
  • You'll need to consider if this is a full-time job or if you're doing it on the side. Either way, you'll need to dedicate time to work on your small business and help it to grow. It can be hard to balance lots of different things.

There are so many business ideas out there. You need to find something you have a passion for, otherwise, you won't be motivated to work on your business. It's also worth looking into gaps in the market or things that you think people will need. Running a small business is fun and a great way to make some extra cash. What business ideas can you come up with? I'd love to hear your small business success stories and what you've learnt along the way! 

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  1. So many great ideas in this post! I would love to start selling some of my creations, the problem is I change my mind so much on what I am going to make I wouldn't be able to narrow it down haha! To add to your precautions...selling anything cosmetic, like bath bombs or soap, you need to have safety assessments completed before you can legally sell them. This is one of the reasons why I haven't sold any bath bombs, it is quite expensive initially!

    Thanks for sharing :)
    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  2. Love all of these ideas! I have been thinking to have my own little business but never know how to narrow it down to one idea, everything seems a plausible idea! Will look more into it, thank you for sharing x

  3. These are good suggestions. I've been reselling for the past year or so and have loved doing it. It takes a while to get into the swing of it but now I love it.

  4. These are all such cute ideas! I think I'd love to have a little side hustle alongside my job!

    Katie |

  5. So many amazing ideas in this post Em! It makes me want to start a small business too! x

    Lucy |

  6. I love all your posts, they're always packed with brilliant info! So many great ideas here, thanks for sharing x

  7. Some fab ideas. I've always thought it'd be so lovely to create art or jewellery or cute things and sell them. But I'm not creative and would have no idea where to start so that's definitely not something for me! x

  8. I actually used to run my own handmade card business, about 10 years ago. It was a full time job at one point and I loved it, but it was hard work and people were not willing to pay what it actually cost.

    I do LOVE the idea of selling stationary though, It is a real passion of mine, I am not sure I could part with it though!

    Brilliant ideas here, working for yourself is so rewarding x x

  9. Love how informative this article is! Starting a small business has been a dream of mine for me and my partner. But I don't think it's smart to start a business right now in a pandemic especially here in the Philippines. Maybe we'll plan this out for now. Thank you for sharing! Lovely read x

  10. Love this post! Thank you for sharing this as it's so helpful! I want to start up my own small business in the future and these ideas are great!

  11. I love stationary too, so owing a stationary store would be a dream! :) I've done a bit of Mystery Shopping in the past and it was a fun way to make a few extra dollars. I've also sold upcycled items online and at craft fairs. Nothing so far that could be a full business, but certainly a fun side-hustle. 

  12. wow I love all of your ideas, there are just soo many. I considered creating my own business for selling candles at the start of the year but got too scared haha


  13. I always love your posts as they're packed with really useful info! Some great ideas, I didn't even think of the mystery shopper one x

  14. What a great list of small businesses to start! It was very interesting to learn about the legalities involved in starting a small business where you live. In Canada, if you are going to use any name other than your own you need to register your businesses.
    I too have done mystery shopping in the past and really enjoyed it.
    I now do affiliate marketing through my blogs, which is like working a commission sales job, but online.