So, you’ve come up with a brilliant idea that you think has the potential to change the world? Or you’ve created a product you think will sell like hotcakes? If you’re a bright spark with a determined nature and an entrepreneurial spirit, you should definitely consider turning your visions and ideas into a business. Starting a business is definitely exciting, but it isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. It takes guts, patience and usually a big chunk of cash.


Single person enterprises make up 76.3% of all businesses in the UK. Self-employment has gone up 93.9% since 2000[i].


With the Coronavirus pandemic ripping across the world in 2020 and 2021, many businesses have been forced to move online. This has affected trends, with many of the most popular business ideas being online due to lockdowns and social distancing restrictions being in place.


Are you ready to get an idea of what the most successful business plans are this year?


Let’s get started.



Teaching online

Teacher teaching online

Because of the pandemic, there has been a major push for online education as children didn’t attend school physically for months on end. Unfortunately, this change left a lot of children falling behind in their education. To get students back on track or simply to help them boost their grades, you can easily start teaching online on a freelance basis if you have the qualifications. Either teach in a specific subject or give all round support. This is a great option for those who have just finished degrees or training and need something to fill in gaps in their CV.


Dropshipping business

Dropshipping eliminates the need for manufacturing or having to store products, which is great for those just starting out in the world of business who have a limited budget and space. When you dropship, customers order products through your platform and a third-party supplier fulfils the order.

Limitations to this include a lack of personalisation and a lot of running around to figure out what went wrong if any mistakes are made. We’d always recommend doing market research and finding a niche to fill, but some ideas for products to dropship are:

  • Clothes and jewellery
  • Beauty products
  • Accessories
  • Home furnishings
  • Healthcare products
  • Posters and artwork
  • Practically anything you could think of

Dropshipping does require setting up a website, creating a brand and going through the motions of setting up a business. Although it could be considered easier than other routes, it’s still a hard graft.


Want to sell personalised prints? Choosing a white label printing service is the way forward.



Cleaner with products in hands

With more than 970,000 people employed in the cleaning sector to meet increasing demands, cleaners are unlikely to run out of business anytime soon, especially with the need to sanitise much more frequently whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. Cleaning is a task that can bring you genuine joy, and a service that people are more than willing to pay for. If you want to help others out and you love the satisfaction you get from a sparkling surface or tidy room, setting up your own cleaning company is a brilliant idea.

Whether you target domestic or commercial markets, you can quickly grow once you have your foot in the door and people start recommending you to others.

The cleaning industry’s turnover has increased by 28% since 2013[ii].


Graphic designing

Graphic design is increasingly important as brands fight it out to be seen and to get recognised. If you’re particularly good at art, you have an idea of what customers want to see and you’re experienced with design software – starting up your own graphic design company is within reach.

All you need is your desk, laptop and the ability to sell your services to a number of audiences. Be prepared to design logos, posters and even design brand guidelines for your clients.


Content writing

content writer

Over 85,000 retailers having launched online in the first UK COVID-19 lockdown alone[iii], and more websites battling to secure an online presence means more opportunities to sell written content. Starting out as a freelance copy or content writer or branching out from an existing job to set up your own company is more viable than ever with the number of platforms available. Here are some of our favourite platforms where you can start selling your writing services to build up a portfolio and make a name for yourself:

  • People Per Hour
  • Upwork
  • Fiverr

It will take a lot of patience and determination to secure a steady flow of work.


Don’t make these common mistakes

In your rush to get your business off its feet, you can be in a lot of danger of slipping up or making a silly mistake that could derail your progress. We see it all the time – eager entrepreneurs laying down the foundations for success, but being sloppy with the all-important brickwork. If you want to succeed, avoid making these common mistakes:


Underpricing or overpricing

One of the hardest parts of starting a business is knowing your services or products worth. If you underprice to get more business, you run the risk of not being able to cover your overheads. If you greedily overprice, you’re unlikely to get the sales you need to stay afloat; especially when your company is new and you don’t have an established customer base. It doesn’t matter how great you think your business is, a steep price-tag with no data to back it up is super off putting for new customers and clients.

Avoid this mistake by doing your research and be prepared to adjust your pricing if needed.


Being impatient

Another common mistake we see all the time is people who have recently started a business giving up after they hit their first few hurdles. Whether their idea doesn’t take off as much as they’d hoped it would, they aren’t raking in as much money as they wanted to, or they simply don’t think they can handle the stress of managing a business – it’s all too easy to throw the towel in and give up.

Patience is key to a successful business. The first couple of years are usually slow business and profit-wise, and unexpected events can always put a hold on progress.

In 2020, 49.5% of businesses reported less turnover because of COVID-19.


Not having a plan

When you start a business you need to plan out where you want it to be in the next few years, what you can afford to spend and what you expect to earn. Treat yourself like you are about to pitch to the dragons on Dragon’s Den – always know your businesses finances back to front, as well as your company message and ethos.

If you don’t have any direction, you’re almost guaranteed to fail. Remember that one of the bravest things you can do in business is to admit failure and change your path – you don’t always have to stick to your plan 100%.


Related article: How will COVID-19 Change Retail?