15 small business ideas in 2023 – Forbes Advisor UK



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More and more people are deciding to work for themselves – devoting their energy to their own small business in an effort to have more flexibility and control over how their time is allocated.

There are over four million self-employed people in the UK – a number that has grown steadily over the past two decades.

But if you’re considering going it alone, what are the best small business ideas that require minimal setup costs and professional training? We’ve compiled 15 of the most popular:

1. Tutoring

If you’re an expert in a particular subject — whether it’s math, languages, or violin — you could make money teaching.

You don’t need any formal qualifications to be a tutor, but some students (or their parents) may expect you to have a degree. Previous teaching experience is likely helpful as well.

Tutoring is now more accessible than ever with widely accepted remote lessons via Zoom or similar. You can also choose to go solo or join a tutorial platform. Although you’ll likely have to pay to register online, this approach is likely to expand your customer base.

2. Animal Care

Pet lovers might consider starting a pet sitting business – where you spend time with your clients’ pets while they’re at work or on vacation. It can be theirs or yours.

If you have the space at home for the right equipment, you can invest in a grooming business – or, if not, the mobile equivalent. Dog walkers are also in high demand, and other than trust and reliability, they don’t require any special qualifications.

3. Household and gardening

Cleaning and gardening are flexible when it comes to earning extra money. You may wish to bring your own cleaning supplies (which may be factored into the price), but it is also acceptable to ask the client to provide them.

You may consider adding laundry or ironing services if it can increase your income. For gardening, diversification could mean garden design, landscaping or clearing.

4. Cake making

Good at baking and decorating cakes? Or maybe artisan sourdough is more up your street? It is possible to turn such skills into a successful business.

However, if you prepare food at home for sale to the public, you will need a food hygiene certificate and you will need to register with your local council’s environmental health department. Think about the best ways to market your new business through the local press, for example, and on social media.

5. Personal training

Personal trainers are both training and motivational experts. It’s their job to develop workout plans to help clients lose weight or achieve other fitness goals.

Training and qualifications are needed if you want to work in a gym or as a freelance physiotherapist, which will take time and money. But it could pay off, with trainers earning £40-50 an hour or more depending on your location and target market. In addition to 1-2-1 sessions, you can also take group classes and bootcamps.

6. Personal assistance services

Workers who thrive on organization and an Excel spreadsheet could thrive providing services to individuals, businesses, and business executives.

Duties may involve organizing a diary or calendar, booking travel and other tickets and appointments, and other personal administrative tasks that save the client valuable time.

7. Sewing and alterations

If you’re good with a needle and thread, you can start a sewing and alterations business for those who don’t have the skills.


While alterations alone can keep you busy, you can specialize in a particular area, like handmade wedding and bridesmaid dresses or dance costumes.

You will need to invest in a high quality sewing machine and some basic equipment and supplies. You might consider partnering with a local dry cleaner or laundry company to expand your customer base.

8. Editor or publisher

Most businesses have an online presence, but many won’t be up to speed with blog writing, customer emails, or website content. It should be written and edited by a professional.

If you have writing experience, all you need is a laptop and a good internet connection. Many writers and editors market their services on LinkedIn or other professional social media groups. You can also contact companies directly to offer your services.

9. Photographer or videographer

This is a great deal for composition-conscious creatives. You can be a generalist or choose to specialize, like creating training videos for corporate clients, for example.

You will need to invest in high quality camera gear and lighting accessories – or for a videography company, a good digital video camera, lights, microphones and bounce boards to get the best quality footage.

10. Accountant

Those who are good with numbers might consider freelance bookkeeping. Accountants sell their services to small businesses that need help managing their accounts, preparing payroll and collecting data for tax purposes.

You will need to be well organized and have a good understanding of the responsibilities that may come with managing someone’s finances.

11. Blogger

If you can create a successful blog and increase your number of subscribers, it is possible to monetize it. The most successful bloggers can earn an annual salary.

There are different ways to make money from blogging like advertising, affiliate links or subscriptions. Search options and successful blogs and bloggers to find the best route.

12. Removals

If you’re fit, strong, and patient, all you’ll need to start a moving business is a van. However, this job is very physically demanding. You’ll also need to be comfortable driving long distances and around town, as well as parking.

You will need liability and van insurance to cover you against all eventualities.

13. Market stall

Market stalls can make a lot of money – if you’re in the right environment with the right produce. Whether it’s a food or farmer’s market, antique or craft fair, you’ll need to book and pay for your location, as well as craft or source your stock.

14. Set up a virtual store

Buying and selling online is probably one of the easiest businesses to start. And finding a market niche should help your business succeed.

If you make your own items to sell, you can use Etsy, which is an online marketplace for unique and individual, often handmade, products. Setting up an Etsy shop is simple, although you do need to factor in transaction fees with each sale.

15. Car cleaning and cleaning

This type of business can be set up with very low overhead. You’ll need vehicle cleaning equipment – ​​and your own transportation if you offer mobile service – but there won’t be many other costs.

Liability and legal protection insurance is important in the event of disputes concerning accidental damage to customers’ vehicles.

Learn about all aspects of starting and running your own small business with our dedicated business center.

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