300 UK Business Ideas Is Just Not Enough! Unlimited New Ideas Is Much Better!

business ideas

There are so many business idea lists on the web. And we started writing a list of new ideas at the bottom of this article. But we feel these lists are slightly flawed. They can definitely point you in the right direction, but who has time to read through an uncurated list of 300 business ideas going from launching a dog walking business to developing software that will manage therapist appointments?

So yes, if you scroll down, you will get a list of new ideas to launch in the UK. But first we want to give you a game plan to come up with as many business ideas as you want!

Idea training: How to get more and more ideas every day?

Getting new business ideas is a muscle that you can train. And that is a 3 step process:

1 - Don’t stop when you see the disgusting water

When you think about an old garden hosepipe, you plug it in, turn the tap on and then it spits out disgusting browny yellow water with bits in it. Then slowly the color fades away, the bits disappear and you’re left with a beautiful flow of fresh clear water. And the best bit is when you open the tap regularly, the water stays clear forever!

Hosepiping is what happens with coming up with new ideas. Your first ideas will be shit! Nobody ever comes up with the perfect idea from the start. It just never happens. Ideas come from experiences, iterations, failed attempts, successful attempts at other smaller ideas.

Whatever you do, do not get discouraged by the 1st set of ideas that you get. Do not get paralysed by the fact that your idea needs to be perfect.

2 - Practice like a ninja

Practice to get past this paralysed state. You need to stay with the shitty ideas (dirty water) until everything clears up and the quality stuff comes out!

So just practice. Every day you have to come up with 10 ideas. Not 2-3, but 10. Why because the first few ideas will always come quickly. And the final 8,9,10 will be more difficult and will force you to be creative. It’s like doing that extra rep at the gym. It needs to start hurting for your muscles to build.

3- Treat practicing like creating a new habit

  • Make your practice easy by listing ideas themes in advance
  • Block time: do this first thing in the morning for 20 minutes
  • Reward yourself for getting through your first 8 days, then 30 days
  • Give yourself structure/rules within your creativity. Find 10 ideas to make X software better. Find 10 ideas endings for sitcom X. Find 10 ideas of new tshirts.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. It doesn’t matter if the idea may exist already. It does not matter if you don’t know how to do it. This is practice! So practice :-)
  • Create accountability and put your idea making muscle on steroids: every week I schedule 20 minute chats with friends where we just tell each other which ideas we found cool during the last 7 days. This can happen face to face, but zoom is also a great way to do this as you can make the most of screen share. This does 2 things: - it forces you to take notes and have something to say at your weekly conversations and is a great way to start structuring ideas. - the other person will react to your idea and add other levels to it. They can basically become an extension to your brain and multiply your ideas at a lightning speed.

How to get ideas? 13 frameworks for you to generate unlimited business ideas

So we’ve told you to practice. And practice will work. But we thought we’d throw in some brilliant idea frameworks to take your daily idea generating to the next level.

1 - Bundling and unbundling

This is the classic idea framework. It’s based on a famous blog post from Mark Andreessen and Jim Barksdale. They stated that there are only 2 ways to make money in business: bundling and unbundling.

Craiglists (or gumtree) brought all ads together on one platform. Airbnb took the “flat share” section and specialised and created its own market. And now new startups are unbundling airbnb. Tech and the internet massively helps this bundling/unbundling phenomena.

A very doable version of unbundling is attacking dog walking platforms. Rover.com has built a marketplace where anybody can sign up and offer their dog walking services. Rover then takes a commission each time a dog walk is booked. It works, but the quality of each dog walker is very random, and you’re depending on reviews (sometimes very few reviews) to choose who will look after your best furry friend.

How about unbundling this and creating a local dog walking brand. All your dog walkers will be trained and vetted. The quality of each dog walk is standardised. You are a recognisable brand that your clients can trust. And by digging deep into this category you can also start offering spinoff products just as day care, toys, dog training courses etc.

2 - Are there very big players in a market: create a marketplace for the smaller players

Think digital agencies and fiver. If you have a large business you can go to an expensive agency to build out your different digital products. But what if you just need a voiceover for your facebook ad? What if you are yourself specialised in voiceovers? In comes fiver! Fiver allows small agencies and independent specialists to offer one off services to their clients.

3 - Walk through the alleys of supermarkets. Do all products look the same? Create a different one.

Obviously, we know that getting listed in supermarkets is a nightmare! But nothing is stopping you from creating a D2C (direct 2 consumer) brand.

Plasters have all looked the same for years with that pinky/orange colour plastic. Welly plasters entered the market with the most colourful plasters you can think of! https://www.getwelly.com/

Vitamins are very “in trend” however, until recently, they all looked the same. Plastic medicine type bottles with Omega 3 writing in large bold. Get-nourished is now killing it with multi-colored products focused on benefits. They are answering the question: “how will these vitamins help me?” https://get-nourished.com/

4 - Location Arbitrage: country / country. city / village

There is the obvious location arbitrage: buy in china on alibaba and sell in europe or the US with a margin. But location arbitrage can also be launching the first type of dark kitchen in your local city. It can be importing a trend from a “hip” location to a less “hip” part of the country. Or launching a local marketplace type product before the big boys have the time to attack the market (wink Rocketinternet).

4a - Local versions of best hits in IndieHackers/Product hunt

This is a spinoff of the location arbitrage framework. Indiehackers and Producthunt are great ways to discover new products. Some take off like crazy generally in the US. It is completely possible to jump on this craze and adapt this to your local language.

4b - Local version of Slack marketplace apps

If producthunt can give you ideas, doing this location arbitrage in marketplaces that exist and will do the distribution for you strongly reduces the risk.

4c - Local version of Amazon products

Same idea as the slack marketplace example. With a bit of marketing mastery, Amazon will sell your product for you. What you need to make sure is that people will want to buy your product. So simply look at what sells in other countries and adapt to your local market!

5 - Versions of forgotten IndieHackers/Product hunt products

A lot of products created by developers have minor successes and then die off. They die off for lots of reasons including because the marketing isn’t in place to continue growing or simply because the “win” is not big enough for the creator to pursue. This does not mean that the project is rubbish. A founder with a better idea-founder fit could take this and make it a home run!

In this case, sometimes you could even purchase the codebase from the creator at a very low cost.

6 - The “same but different”

There is the classic Coke vs Pepsi example. Pepsi came along with a slightly different approach to the famous red cola and created a massive niche for itself.

Another example: I was discussing making an AR based audio guide with a friend. You would discover a city with a walking tour using your telephone to discover hidden AR features. The content of the audio tour would be exactly the same: “this castle was built in XYZ”. But the “take your phone out to get a bit of AR action” makes it different.

Your MVP first version may be average but this AR addon it’s different enough to show a completely different angle on your marketing. Different enough to carve your niche and continue developing the product.

7 - The “same but better”

This is great for finding and developing new products to sell on Amazon. Discover the biggest sellers, read the negative comments and come up with a version of this product that fixes these problems.

8 - Import / Export model

Solve a problem that you have in-house and then export it as a product. Have you developed a structure to onboard your new employees? How about making it public in a SAAS format?

Have you developed an automation to save time for your regular tasks? How about making it public through an API?

9 - What do rich people / rich companies do and make it accessible to everybody

This happens so so often.

Wealthy people ordered private cars to move around: in comes Uber

Large companies paid Salesforce and hubspot for CRM offering. In comes Pipedrive and tons of other cheap CRM services.

10 - Branded version of something you like

This idea framework is targeted at the creator economy. Who are you? What are your values? What are you passionate about? What do you represent? Think Tim Ferries investing in a nutrient brand or joe rogan in an energy drink. In these examples, Timmy and Joey already had a large audience, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are living the vegan life, be a promoter for vegan products. It’s win-win, you will be developing your business and sharing information about what you really believe in.

11 - Make actions that take a lot of steps easier

The trick here is to think about when you (or others) need to have 14 tabs open on your browser to do something: travel, flat searching, selling a house, choosing a car

12 - Create tools for people to make more money on marketplaces.

Sellers on marketplaces want to sell more and to make more money. It’s their main goal. If you create a tool to help them do more of that, they will happily pay you for it!

Junglescout is an app that provides data and insights to help Amazon sellers sell more on Amazon and is valued at 1B$.

AirDNA is an app that helps airbnb owners optimise their rental value of existing properties and insights on where to invest next.

13 - Can this be done with a chrome extension?

Chrome extensions are not the obvious choices when founders start developing their products. But the numbers are very surprising.

Chrome web store: 2 billion users : 200 000 extensions = 10 000 users for each 1 extension

Apple app store: 100 million iphone users: 2 millions iOS apps = 50 users for each 1 iOS app

Google play store 2 Billion android users : 3 million apps = 667 users for each 1 android app.

So that’s 200 times more users for each app on chrome extensions! Obviously the value of an iOS user is different than a chrome extension user, but still the numbers are crazy!

3 big chrome extension winners:

Honey: valuation 4B$
Honey is a discount code extension that pops up just before you pay for anything

Loom : valuation1.5B$
Loom is a video recording extension that helps you interact with your team.

Grammarly: valuation 1B$
Grammarly is an extension that helps you fix your writing.

All three of these extensions exist in non extension format. In fact there are tons of them available. However going all in for these products as a chrome extension has made them category leaders. What else could be built as a chrome extension? B2B is probably the easier direction here but hey Honey has killed it as a consumer product.

How to validate your idea?

So you’ve now become an idea generating machine? You can’t stop yourself, each time you walk down the street you come up with at least 10 new ideas instantly? Great!! Well done!! Now, you need to find out which ideas you should work on. Which business idea should you start now? Which idea you should allocate the most time on.

Founder / Product fit

Are you the right person to develop this idea? You can find this out straight away, or during your research. And sometimes you won’t have an option but to invest money to see this idea out.

Also some of these hurdles can be fixed by recruiting a complementary co-founder. Think about who the dream team would be to fix this problem. Can you become or create that dream team?

  • Do you have industry knowledge or a way to get this knowledge or a way to get a cofounder that has this knowledge?
  • Do you know something that others don’t? Do you have a secret?
  • If this is a tech idea, are you remotely tech savvy?

Distribution beats (or validates) ideas

Just because it’s a good idea that solves a real problem doesn’t mean that it will be easy to find clients. Do you know how you will distribute your idea? Do you know how much each client will cost you? Is it possible to make more money than you spend to acquire each client?

In other words, will the unit economics actually work?

Reverse test your idea

If this idea actually takes off and you start getting sales. Will your users like this enough to not want to ever go back?

Think uber: once you try the experience of clicking on your phone and an Uber driver suddenly arrives, it is very difficult to go back. The whole thing is very easy and pleasant and you will not want to go back to waiting on the pavement in the rain, hopefully waving at taxi drivers flying past.

The Musk framework

This is not for everybody. It really depends on who you are as a founder. But if you are swinging for the fences, Musk has built his 2 biggest businesses this way: Space X and Tesla.

Are you solving a problem in a market that is big enough? Do you believe in it enough? Does it excite you enough? Do you feel this is what the future is going to look like?

And then focus on money making roots.

These projects are very difficult to pull off, but the vision and belief that this is the future will pull you along.

That's it for unlimted business ideas part of this article. We'd previously made a list of business ideas to launch in the UK below, so do please have a read. However we strongly suggest that you put the time in to work on your very own idea muscle!

21 New UK Business Ideas To Launch In 2021

There has never been a better time to launch a business! Every year we make a list of the top new business ideas to launch in the UK. You'll see that some ideas are new and exciting, and some are not so new but as the trend keeps growing you should definitely not miss out.

1) Sell products on Amazon

Selling on Amazon is a business idea that has been around for years, but in the last few years it's exploded in popularity. You can sell pretty much anything these days with Amazon and there are many easy to follow courses online teaching you how to do this from home.

Before you do anything, head over to Alibaba to find a product that you like and start negotiating with a supplier. This will be a key part of successfully selling products on Amazon, so make sure you're comfortable with the hustle.

Talking to suppliers will give you a better idea of what’s possible with your business and will help you understand whether this business idea is worth it for you.

Amazon makes the process as easy as they can for sellers, but there are definitely some things to remember such as choosing the right products and making sure that suppliers don't take advantage of you.

2) Write a blog

First build a website, then write about what you love and monetise your traffic. If you like writing, this could be the dream business to start. You'll be surprised how many ways you can monetise a website.

3) Start a shipping company

Specialise in a mode of transportation (ocean, air, road, rail), a type of cargo or even a route from A to B. Negotiate wholesale rates with local suppliers and offer a great customer service. This a very profitable business to get into but it is highly stressful.

In depth guide: how to start a shipping company``

4) Build a comparison website

We all need help buying products online. Build a website, review and compare products and get paid each time a client buys with affiliate links.

5) Open a dark kitchen

A dark kitchen is a delivery only food business. Whether you create your own food brand or rent out virtual kitchens to restaurants, dark kitchens are the biggest growing trend in the food industry right now. Your clients will order online and your food will be delivered to them directly.

New food brands can work with local chefs or even start their own dark kitchen business if they have the resources.

A business like this is great because it doesn't require a lot of money to start, and the business can work with local chefs or even hire new staff. There's also an increase in services that deliver food so there will be more people who buy from dark kitchens than before.

Find out how much money you can make when you start a dark kitchen.

6) Sell engraved dog tags

Dogs need to have a tag, it's the law. Why don't you start selling engraved dog tags online?

You will basically be selling personalised dog tags to owners who want to keep track of their dogs. Engrave the owner's name and contact information on one side, along with a phone number that will allow anyone who finds the lost pup to connect with the owner. You also have the option of engraving your business' contact information on the other side so that anyone who finds their pup can easily get in touch with you to return it!

You will need to invest in an engraving machine (they start at £1000), order some tags on Alibaba and start promoting your service to dog lovers owners. Instagram is a great place to start!

7) Build websites for local businesses

As business websites become more essential than ever to business success, there are lots of opportunities for new digital business ideas. One area is building sites for local businesses that need a website but don't have the skills or time to create one - this could be done full-time, part-time or as an online business idea on the side.

Learn how to build websites with Wordpress, create a clear offering and then start knocking on doors. There are tens of webdesign services you can offer from logo making, SEO content to fully working eCommerce websites.

8) Create an online course

The next business idea is about teaching. We are all experts! Find something that you know how to do really well. It can be anything from healthy eating and creating power points to finding the best series on Netflix. A then double down! Become THE expert in that field. Document your method with text, audio and video and sell it.

Platforms like Udemy and Skillshare are a great place to start creating your course.

9) Build a travel activity website

There are tons of travel activity suppliers near you. They are all trying to sell their services in their corner of the internet. Bring them all together on your own travel activity website and receive commission each time somebody books an experience. You can learn how to build a travel website in our "make a website" section.

10) Launch a personalised gift business

personalised gifts

Think about all the gifts given around Christmas and Birthdays and find a way to make them personal. People want their gifts to be special and demand for personalised products is growing every year.  Find your niche, launch your very own personalised gift business. Why not start selling on Etsy? This is one of our favourite business ideas.

11) Build a local business directory

It's more and more confusing to find a local businesses online. Too many comparison sites, too many "get 5 quotes" offers. If you suddenly have run out of hot water and you're looking for a plumber nearby now... you're stuck. Build a online directory, sell advertising space to local businesses and use the funds to send them quality clients.

12) Open an Ebay shop

When you're trying to sell a product online, 50% of the job is getting visitors to see your offer. Opening a shop on Ebay will give you access to a marketplace of millions of buyers from day one. You can also study sales volume from your competition to figure out the next market you should jump into! Ebay is quick and low risk.

13) Become an Instagram influencer

Build your following on instagram and sell promoted posts and sponsored messages. You can even build your own brand selling directly to your followers.

14) Start your own marketplace

Running your own online store is great but managing inventory can be a real nightmare. Build an online marketplace, get other sellers to add their products on your platform for free and take a cut each time a sale happens.

15) Open a clothing line

16) Sell second hand clothes

This business can be started really fast. Open your bedroom cupboard and look for any clothes you haven't warn in a long time. Then head to Vinted or VestiaireCollective and start selling. Once you get the hang of it, it's time to hit the charity shops and car boot sales to replenish your stock. This is another low risk business idea.

17) Sell used books on Ziffit (or Amazon)

The last activity in our business ideas list if about your old books! Yes, Ziffit and MusicMagpie will buy your old books. By scanning the bar code with their app you can find out how much each book is worth and then send them off in exchange for real money. You can go one step further by finding the most valuable books and then listing them on Amazon and Ebay. You may need to hold your stock of books for a while but if you're patient you can get a return of x10 on their value.

18) Start a paid newsletter business

We love this idea at StartUpMag. Write awesome quality articles about things you are passionate about and get paid accordingly. That is every writer's dream and it can make a lot of money with paid newsletters too!

19) Start a pet-sitting service

The business idea of pet-sitting is becoming more and more popular.

Pet owners are constantly seeking for someone who can take care of their pets while they're away on business trips or holidays. There are also business possibilities for pet-sitting services on popular holiday destinations like Spain and Italy.

With about 10 million dogs in the UK today and just as many cats, there's definitely a great opportunity to start this kind business.

How to start a pet-setting service?

You only really a phone or tablet with a camera, so you can send your customers some photo updates every day.

As an option you can also get:

  • insurance cover in case anything bad happens with your potential customers' pets during their stay at your home.
  • business cards and flyers ready with all the necessary contact information on them in order to get new potential clients over the phone or email.

Sign up to pet sitting sites and apps

You can register your services for free first by creating an account with them

Rover.com is the worlds biggest business-to-pet care site and business idea for people who want to start a business around their pets.

But there are lots to choose from: trustedhousesitters.com, housesittersuk.co.uk, pawshake.co.uk.

20) Start an Etsy shop

Etsy is a great place to find your creative spirit. Whether you're looking for handmade goods or vintage treasures, this site has something that will suit every taste and interest level! You can start an Etsy shop in just minutes with these easy steps:

Here are 7 steps to setup your Etsy store

  • 1 - Create a username.
  • 2 - Choose your Etsy shop name and the category it fits into best.
  • 3 - Designate an address where you can receive packages from Etsy.
  • 4 - Verify that Etsy has correct contact information for you, including phone number and email address. You may also want to consider adding social media.
  • 5 - Choose your Etsy shop payment preferences

    You'll pick how you want to receive payments first; you may take PayPal, a check or money order, "other," or Etsy Payments, which is the most common way sellers are paid. You can accept credit cards, debit cards, Etsy gift cards, and store credit with this choice.

  • 6 - Customise your Etsy shop by adding a bio and a photo, your policies, sections to group your items into categories and your about section.

    Just like your personal "about" section, you deserve a bio too. You have 5,000 characters to tell customers about the origins of your company - keep in mind that they value transparency and openness so don't worry too much when it comes down write traditional marketing copy just be genuine!

    If you want your bio to stand out, let it shine with all the help that makes you who are. Listing any individual or group members will do just fine as long they have helped in some way: from creating and producing products for sale; running a store where customers can purchase whatever is on offer (or by referring clients); showing off photos or video clips showcasing creative process at home studio space--whatever their contribution has been!

  • 7 - Add items to your shop with photos and descriptions

    This is probably the most important part of your shop. This where you will get most of your visitors to buy your product. To write your product descriptions, ask yourself why people would want what you have available on in your store? Be specific about how your products/services might benefit them.

3 bonus tips for writing highly conversting Etsy product descriptions:

  • Tip 1 - Add sections (with their own titles) to your product descriptions

    Sectioning off your Etsy product descriptions keeps them easy to scan through. Most Etsy customers are browsing Etsy and looking at tons of listings at once to make a decision on what to buy. If your product descriptions are in one huge paragraph, the buyer will feel overwhelmed and not want to read it so keep paragraphs to 2-3 sentences max.

  • Tip 2 - Answer any questions that your buyers may ask
  • One thing to remember is that any confused buyer will move on. If they're left with lingering questions, most won't bother reaching out for more info- but you can make sure your potential customer has all their bases covered by answering these common questions in a clear and concise way!

  • Tip 3 - Add a Call to action and a link to your Etsy shop
  • A great way to encourage your buyers is by including a call-to action in the description. For example, instead of just saying "buy" at the end, be creative with how you ask them for their business! Be specific and add an Etsy link that will take them directly into your shop where they can find more products like this one. Or to other products similar enough so it's easy decision making process.

21) Build a local “I will fix your geeky stuff” service

Tech is everywhere. More and more people are connected and more and more people are working from home. This is a great opportunity to launch a simple “i’ll help you fix your tech” service where for a monthly fee you will run over and fix printer setups, make sure the speakers are connected to the TV, add a booster to a router. And why not offer some software lessons: everybody wants to learn how to make their pictures better on instagram!

You could also offer a Zoom version where you can also fix setups from a distance. This type of business can be as small or as big as you like. There’s a great franchise model to create here.