The Best Small Business Ideas for 2018

Looking for some inspiration for your next entrepreneurial breakthrough? We looked at different industries to evaluate trends over the past year and help pinpoint ideas for an aspiring business owner. Whether you’re interested in the food industry or the tech scene, here’s a list of small business ideas that can catapult your career in 2018.

Small business ideas for the foodie

Hyperlocal restaurants

Hyperlocal is a growing buzzword which refers to restaurants growing their own produce and making as much of their food as possible – from harvesting to serving – on site. Don’t think you need an endless plot of land for it, either, London restaurants are also managing to get in on the trend. So, if you’re thinking about starting a restaurant this year, consider hyperlocal additions like a restaurant garden, housemade condiments or onsite beer brewing.

Food trucks

Starting a food truck business in 2018 can be appealing for several reasons. If you don’t want to commit to a full-fledged restaurant because of the considerable financial obligations, starting a food truck is a low-cost alternative that can help you get started in the food industry and build up a reputation.

Waitrose predicts the following U.S. food trends that can help ignite inspiration for your food truck business:

  • Tapas-style Indian street food: Instead of saucy meats and decadent flavours, smoked, grilled, or seared delicacies will be a hot trend of 2018 that you could capitalise on.
  • Japanese shared dishes: Izakaya bars and gastropubs have continued to grow in popularity and could be a great food truck concept.
  • The fourth meal: Rather than being a substantial meal, the fourth meal is treated like a snack. Whether it’s a late-night craving or a quick bite at the gym, this could be a solid idea for a food truck business.

Middle Eastern cuisine

The food trends of 2018 as predicted by The Food People says authentic ethnic cuisine will be a top trend of 2018, with ‘Modern Asian’, Thai and Middle Eastern flavours all predicted to grow in popularity over the next 12 months. You should make sure your business is primed for these trends by creating a menu with an ethnic twist, whether it’s a teriyaki take on a burger or a shawarma wrap offering authentic middle eastern flavours.  

Small business ideas for the environmental entrepreneur

Organic juice bar

Organic agriculture has seen a huge spike in interest over the past few years as consumers continue to be exposed to some of the realities of the agricultural industry. A report from IBIS World says that the juice bar industry can expect to grow by another 5% this year in the UK alone. So if you’re interested in all-natural foods and want to capture this opportunity, this may be the way to go in 2018.

Vegan skin care

Consumers continue to take interest in all-natural, organic beauty products. With the demand for cruelty-free, organic skincare growing 13% from 2016 to 2017, this boom can be expected to continue as more and more companies turn to the vegan way of life.

Whether you start a small business making soap, or you open a beauty salon and sell vegan products in your store, this trend indicates a huge revenue opportunity for your new business in 2018. (Given the variety of ready-to-use vegan products, you might also consider opening an online store.)

Dog Clothes

Recently enjoying a 500% spike in search volume, dog clothes are set to be a big trend of 2018. Perhaps its unsurprising as a fifth of workplaces now welcome four-legged friends, making them similar to office mascots in need of a suitable rota of outfits.

Expect to see boutique shops crop up with dogs in mind as Brits are set to continue the trend of doting on their pets.

Small business ideas for the tech lover

Virtual reality

Are you an entrepreneur who has a passion for tech? Studies say that virtual reality (VR) is expected to help the UK entertainment industry hit £72 billion by the end of 2021.

While creating VR products seems like a big investment that would require substantial funding, there are many virtual reality startup ideas you can capitalise on. Whether it be renting virtual reality headsets to other businesses, creating VR content for conferences or consulting on VR implementation, you can utilise this trend and your passion for technology to develop a profitable business.

Digital consulting

Are you an expert in the tech industry? Starting a consulting business might be something to consider in 2018. With small businesses in the UK spending over £60 billion on external consultants, you can be the small business that helps small businesses by starting up as a freelance consultant.

The digital space, in particular, is a promising sector. As technology keeps advancing and we continue to hear about blockchain and digital reality, businesses are looking for ways to help stay ahead. You can use your expertise in 2018 to assist in the digital transformation for clients and create a lucrative digital consulting business.

The business checklist that will make your idea into a reality

While it sounds simple, starting a business on your own can be a tough grind that requires patience. Before you get going, here are a few things that you need to have in order. Adequate industry training: In order to enter any industry successfully, it’s important to have extensive knowledge about the business and master the skills needed to be efficient.

  • A well-thought-out business plan: Your business plan will be the framework of your idea and the more time you put into creating a business plan, the better off you’ll be. Make sure to detail out all components including an executive summary, business description, market analysis, competitive analysis, product plan, business operations, employee and training summary and financial strategy. These will help you create well-defined goals and actionable steps for your business.

  • Entrepreneurial drive: Not every industry expert is suited to be a business owner. The drive and motivation you need to go your own way aren’t often taught. Time management skills, organisation and problem resolution are notable entrepreneurial traits that you should master before starting your own business, and successful entrepreneurs often form habits that help them become successful in their endeavours.

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