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!