37 Best Small Business Ideas for the UK

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If you live in the UK and are interested in starting your own business, you may be in a great spot.

Self-employment and exciting new business ideas in 2020 are on the rise, particularly in the UK.

We've put together a diverse list of 37 successful business ideas that all started in the United Kingdom.

Here they are:

Start a gift boxes business

Tom Strickland started Bookblock, which sells gift boxes and is making $260,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 2 co-founders and has 30 employees.

In 2010-11 I was just out of University and I took some financial exams. I realised very quickly that finance was not the way forward for me, but I did enjoy the world of entrepreneurism and business, so I decided this was the path to take.

In 2014 we decided it was time to quietly let Monsieur Notebook go, set up our own factory, and rebrand the business to focus on corporate gift manufacture.

This was around the time that Moleskine, the little black notebook, was really taking off around the world. I looked at their product and brand and thought it was such a simple, but well-executed, idea.

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Tom Strickland, on starting Bookblock ($260,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a cycling tools business

Chris Parr started Pro Bike Tool, which sells cycling tools and is making $750,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 2 employees.

We both built our careers in commercial roles, with Chris working in sales, marketing and eCommerce across a range of multinational brands such as the BBC, Royal Mail, and The Post Office, while Nicole’s background is in sales and commercial relationship management in the airline industry.

PRO BIKE TOOL was born when Chris decided he’d reached the stage where he wanted to try something new in a field, he felt passionate about. Being an active runner and cyclist, Chris saw his future in the sports industry. As a bike rider, he’s always thought that bike tools sold through traditional retailers were expensive and sometimes over-engineered, while online brands lacked quality.

The single most important thing in the early years, and maybe the hardest thing to develop initially, is the right mindset. Resilience is key.

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Chris Parr, on starting Pro Bike Tool ($750,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start an engagement rings business

Nikolay Piriankov started Taylor & Hart, which sells engagement rings and is making $385,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 27 employees.

It all started many years ago in South Africa where I grew up, originally born in Bulgaria though. At the age of 17, I got a job as a sales representative in a diamond store tailored for Chinese customers. That was the first time when I developed an interest for diamonds. After finishing high school, I headed to the U.K. to study digital marketing.

During this period, me and my high school friend David Sutton decided to start several websites and e-commerce businesses while studying at the University of Manchester​. Some teenage experiments and years later I reunited with David and we decided to start a real venture this time. That’s how the brand Rare Pink ( the first name of Taylor & Hart) was born in 2013.

Think whether or not you need an investment and when exactly to make an investment round. An investment makes you grow faster and potentially bigger than growing organically, but you need to think about what you are getting into.

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Nikolay Piriankov, on starting Taylor & Hart ($385,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a startup legals business

Anthony Rose started SeedLegals, which sells startup legals and is making $375,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 2 co-founders and has 40 employees.

I used to head up BBC iPlayer. After leaving the BBC, I built a startup -sold it- built another startup -sold it. I then invested in a few startups and got tired of paying lawyers. In a stroke of luck, I met my business partner Laurent Laffy, serial angel investor, and ex-VC.

We got together and decided it was time to transform the way we do funding rounds.

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Anthony Rose, on starting SeedLegals ($375,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a natural health products business

Kel STUART started Sanuku APM, which sells natural health products and is making $75,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 2 employees.

I worked a few different jobs after high school before deciding to tackle University in my early 20s. When I was one subject off finishing a Bachelor of Commerce degree (with a major in Accounting) I decided to venture to Japan – my neighbor and I planned for a 4-week summer vacation and both of us ended up staying almost 12 months. The working holiday visa program between Australia and Japan offers a fantastic opportunity for such experiences. There was something about the Japanese culture and structured manner of the society that really pulled my strings.

Be flexible and be open to the possibility (and real likelihood) you cannot get everything right all the time. Accept mistakes and move on.

I returned to Australia, completed my degree, and headed back to Japan the following year for a 6-year stay. During that time, I worked in a management position that I was fortunate enough to wrangle. That was an amazing period. I worked hard and taught myself Japanese to a reasonably proficient level. Most weekends during the winter season I went snowboarding, and every other weekend throughout the year, when there were waves, I went surfing.

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Kel STUART, on starting Sanuku APM ($75,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a team calendars business

Andrew Rogoff started Resource Guru, which sells team calendars and is making $177,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 12 employees.

My cofounder, Percy, and I decided to build it while we were working in marketing agencies where we experienced the headaches of resource scheduling. In almost every agency we worked in, people were using ugly spreadsheets to schedule their teams.

Starting out wasn’t easy. We had to figure out how to survive without our existing jobs and neither of us had any savings. I realized that, if I became a freelancer, I could earn more money in 7 months than I normally made in a year.

I’m from an entrepreneurial family. Both my grandfather and my father ran their own businesses and I was really keen to follow suit. There’s something about watching company profits going into other people’s hands when I’m working my ass off that I find really hard to take. So, when Percy made the suggestion to start our own company, it was an immediate “yes”.

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Andrew Rogoff, on starting Resource Guru ($177,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a bid writing services business

Dave Thornton started Thornton & Lowe, which sells bid writing services and is making $130,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 20 employees.

Thornton & Lowe is my first and only business. What I still get asked regularly is, ‘who’s Lowe?’ Well… as I always wanted the company to be more than just me I knew I needed a name, which could ‘hint’ at being larger and more established. Lowe is my wife’s, Cassie’s, maiden name. It sounded right to me, and I was then known as Dave Thornton ‘trading as’ Thornton & Lowe, which then developed into a limited company a couple of years later.

So how at 23 did I decide to set up a bid writing and management consultancy? After completing my undergraduate degree I managed to secure a Graduate Trainee position at a large Social Housing Provider. This was a great opportunity for me to work across their divisions, from supported housing (working with vulnerable groups), through to traditional housing management and dealing with contractors and suppliers, to report writing for the Board of Directors. A great opportunity to develop a broad skillset.

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Dave Thornton, on starting Thornton & Lowe ($130,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start an authentic thai food business

Alex Moore started Rosa's Thai Cafe, which sells authentic thai food and is making $2,000,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 373 employees.

My wife and I used to own a small restaurant in Hong Kong called Tuk Tuk Thai, which is still going strong today, but it’s now owned and run by others. After 17 years in Asia, we moved back to London in 2005. After moving back to the UK we craved Thai food but were disappointed by the Thai offerings in the UK which felt more to us like a representation of what a Thai person thinks an English person would want a Thai restaurant to look like! Photos of waterfalls, elephants and mediocre Thai food didn’t feel representative of the places we’d eaten in Bangkok and Hong Kong. With this in mind we decided to set up our own business and do it better.

Rosa’s started life as a market stall and office catering company, which served food cooked in our small flat in East London. We’d wake up at 4 am to prepare and cook, the kitchen was so small Saiphin would have to use gas canisters to cook the food, before ferrying it down in a taxi to the market stall in London’s famous Brick Lane. The stall was an instant success, we’d sell out every Sunday. Saiphin would cook amazing authentic Thai food using locally sourced ingredients, wherever possible, and in doing so adapted traditional dishes that are still incredibly popular in our restaurants today, such as the butternut red curry and soft spring rolls.

The market stall went from strength to strength, and so we opened more stalls nearby. I’d support all the logistics behind the stall, such as signage, electricity, pricing, and receipts. I’d jump on my bike to go back and forth to Chinatown to buy supplies as they ran out. During one of these trips, I saw a for rent sign in the window of a former English cafe called Rosa’s Cafe. I gave them a call, spoke to the landlord and put together a business plan, we then pitched against 20 other businesses to open a restaurant, and in June 2008 we opened our first brick and mortar site, using money we made from the market stall, some friends and family seed investors and Alex’s credit card! Due to our incredibly tight budget, we opened without a dishwasher and not enough money to finish the basement, it was left bare. We also had no money to change the sign, so we kept the name Rosa’s and so Rosa’s Thai Cafe was born.

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Alex Moore, on starting Rosa's Thai Cafe ($2,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start an entrepreneur education business

Iman Gadzhi started Grow Your Agency, which sells entrepreneur education and is making $120,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 2 employees.

I was born in a small Russian village, much like the one depicted in the movie Borat! Growing up, I really took in a lot of the sociological factors of wealth. When my family moved to London--so I could get a better education--my perspective changed.

The U.K. is full of opportunities for entrepreneurs. I was never a fan of what was taught in schools, but I was grateful to have a seat at the table. In response to this, I became self-educated in business, personal development, and leadership. When I was seventeen, I tried out various online businesses. I was not successful at first. But as soon as SMMA came along, I knew it was the right business for me. I could see how it was disrupting the marketing and advertising industry. I had to be a part of it.

You can quickly scale a company if you have the right resources and you provide a service that businesses genuinely need.

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Iman Gadzhi, on starting Grow Your Agency ($120,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a shopify ecommerce agency business

Dan Sheard started Velstar, which sells shopify ecommerce agency and is making $107,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 16 employees.

I went straight into work after leaving high school and my first few roles were in sales which have helped enormously in starting this business. Sales quickly teach empathy and understanding and give you a fast introduction to the hard commercial realities of running a business.

Although I learned a lot, I quickly realized that working in sales wasn’t my calling and so taught myself to be a web developer by reading tutorials online and signing up for an overpriced distance learning course. This was before the time of online code schools, I think it’s a lot easier to become a developer these days there are some great online coding schools and also some great free tools such as Codecademy to get started with. After that, I worked at a number of large agencies in London. Again, I learned a lot and gained valuable experience, but I also wanted to focus on helping brands that didn’t have million-pound budgets. My ambition then became to start my own business combining ‘big agency’ experience with simple, intuitive platforms, to help democratize what can be a very expensive and inaccessible agency process, and to help eCommerce businesses to thrive.

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Dan Sheard, on starting Velstar ($107,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a digital marketing services business

Matt Tomkin started Tao Digital Marketing, which sells digital marketing services and is making $19,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 4 employees.

I’ve had a few businesses and have a strong passion for entrepreneurship. I started my first business at 19 years old which was online personal training; sadly this didn’t go very far as I had a full time job and not enough resources or time to dedicate to it.

My first big business was a Business Telecoms company called Comms Consult. We ended up being pretty successful with this business. At 26, I had a flash sports car on the drive and more money than I knew what to do with. We had some really big clients and call centres were relying on us, and the technology we sold, to keep their businesses moving.

Failures happen! If we didn’t fail we wouldn’t move to the next step. That member of staff, that expense that went wrong. Things just go wrong and sometimes it’s no-ones fault! Just keep going!

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Matt Tomkin, on starting Tao Digital Marketing ($19,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a tree tents business

Alex Shirley-Smith started Tentsile, which sells tree tents and is making $50,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 16 employees.

I am a qualified architect that specialized in treehouses for the most recent part of my career.

This was a childhood dream realized, as my love for treehouses was born when I was 6 years old and saw the first glimpse of the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. I knew from that early age that putting people in trees, could be the only long term solution to saving the world’s forests.

From treehouses, I moved into tensile structures made from fabric materials, trying to create the biggest amount of usable space, using the least amount of materials. By combining the engineering practices of suspension bridges, with the biomimicry of a spider’s web, I was able to create space, made from pure tension, that created a 3D structure that could hold the load of a human.

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Alex Shirley-Smith, on starting Tentsile ($50,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a weighted blankets business

Abeer Iqbal started Remy Sleep, which sells weighted blankets and is making $50,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 4 employees.

My wife, Azka, and I started the business a year ago after searching for ways to help her sleep better. Ever since I’ve known Azka she’s struggled with sleep - waking up numerous times at night, not sleeping well, and rarely getting a full 8 hours of snooze. We’re always looking for solutions for her. We came across weighted blankets and tried a few on Amazon. They had a positive impact on her sleep! The issue was they were an eye-sore and were not as soft as the duvet’s we’re used to. Frankly, it felt like a cheap product. That’s when we decided to create our own. One that uses premium materials, is cozy and complements your bedroom aesthetic.

When we launched the business at the end of 2018 it was a side-hustle. We were in our late 20’s and financially very comfortable. I was working at Shopify at the time and Azka was/is at Linkedin. Our combined experience in eCommerce, tech, sales, and customer experience would be the stimulus in launching Remy Sleep. We had zero experience in creating a brand and running a business but always wanted to try our hand at entrepreneurship so we took this leap of faith. Six months later I quit my six-figure paying job to pursue Remy full-time.

Early on, we wanted to understand if there was a market for weighted blankets. We searched #weightedblankets on Twitter and used Google's Keyword Planner to see if people were searching for weighted blankets - the results were promising. Then, we had to understand the competitive landscape. Aside from Amazon sellers and one direct to consumer brand offering a very basic version the market was unsaturated.

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Abeer Iqbal, on starting Remy Sleep ($50,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a performance marketing for online business business

Gilbert Corrales started Leaf Grow, which sells performance marketing for online business and is making $120,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 4 co-founders and has 25 employees.

Leaf got started as a consumer-play offering music fans a different kind of music experience in the form of Leaf Music, one that would put the artist at the center (vs the playlist of most other services) and one where sharing your favorite music was built in its DNA. We wanted to connect fans and artists together and in doing it, to give artists a direct way to engage, grow and monetize their fanbases. Little did we know that the very same foundation we build to help us grow Leaf Music would become the future of the company in the form of Leaf Grow, and that just as we helped musicians and their teams to reach the right people at the right time, we would go helping brands, commerce, and companies of all sizes to deliver on their growth objectives by empowering to reach and engage their perfect customers.

When we started Leaf Music we didn’t know anything about marketing, the founding team was product people and as such, we took a very engineering approach to marketing. Using as a starting point a hypothesis about who our target customer would look like, very soon we found that acquiring customer was expensive, very expensive, and knew that for it to work we needed to nail down the right audience really quick, one that would find our offering perfect for their needs and one that would allow us to scale.

Make it profitable, then scale. Focusing a profitable business from the get-go will give you the right blueprint for when the time is right to scale.

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Gilbert Corrales, on starting Leaf Grow ($120,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a corporate stationery business

Dominic Irons started Ferrotype Ltd, which sells corporate stationery and is making $30,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 2 employees.

Ferrotype is a new company but we have been working in this industry for over 20 years. Previously we ran a company called Bureau but this was forced to close at the beginning of 2019. However, fate took an unexpected turn when we were asked to start again by one of our suppliers who realized that they would lose our business. With a ready-made order file (we were able to purchase the assets of the old company back) this meant we could hit the ground running with a solid set of inquiries, plus a client list that we had established over the years. In most cases the order file we launched with was for clients we knew from before, and it was simply a case of putting a new operation in place to allow us to fulfill those orders.

That is not to say that it was plain sailing - any disruption will cause lost sales and we did lose some customers as a result, but the overall response was one of the people wanting to continue working as there was a good relationship between us and them.

The background to the previous company Bureau is that we set up a retail shop in London’s West End back in 1995 selling quality stationery that wasn’t available in the UK at the time. Very quickly this shop acquired a name for itself, and we had business customers who would ask for bulk orders of our stationery, with their logo printed on it. And so our branded stationery business was born. At Bureau, this was always business on the side, as our focus was on running a shop. Now with Ferrotype, we are quite happy to not be involved in retail, and we can focus on branded stationery for business clients instead.

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Dominic Irons, on starting Ferrotype Ltd ($30,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a testosterone replacement therapy business

Alastair Kennett started OptiMale, which sells testosterone replacement therapy and is making $83,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 2 employees.

When I was around 27 years old I started to notice that I was tired all day, I lacked motivation, my libido was dropping and I was moody and grumpy for no reason. This was very unlike me. After speaking to my brother we realised that he had been suffering from the same issues. He’d been to see life-coaches, psychologists and tried various health and lifestyle changes with no effect.

I had some blood tests done and realised I was suffering from low testosterone. Shortly afterward both my brother and I were on treatment and realised how life-changing testosterone replacement could be in all aspects of our lives. We saw that this area was poorly provisioned and services were really lacking compared to the US, where it is a more widely recognised treatment.

This inspired us to start up OptiMale, and what followed was one of the most frustrating, interesting, tough, and yet ultimately rewarding experiences. It was made all the more satisfying that we managed to succeed together as brothers and has really strengthened our relationship. It is a great feeling to be helping many men to realise their worth and potential, changing their lives and creating a successful business all at the same time!

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Alastair Kennett, on starting OptiMale ($83,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a referral marketing business

Manuel Frigerio started ReferralHero, which sells referral marketing and is making $18,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business as a solo founder with no employees.

ReferralHero is my 3rd company but when I launched it I actually didn’t think it’d be a company one day. The back story is actually kinda funny; I was working in London at my previous startup called EventNinja, an analytics tool for Eventbrite (today you’d call it “Baremetrics for Eventbrite”).

One day, one of our customers (and friend) suggested we could do something to help him get more attendees to his event. Around the same time, a startup in a pre-launch phase called Monzo, a “challenger” bank in the UK, was making headlines for their hyper-viral waiting list; in short, people could sign up and get in the queue but they could also “jump” the queue by inviting their friends. The more people they invited, the higher up they’d get in the queue and the sooner they’d get their invitation to download the app.

However, at the time we brushed off the suggestion since it wasn’t relevant for EventNinja and I wasn’t exactly sure how it’d work, especially inside a product like EventNinja. A couple of months later, exactly on Boxing Day’s morning, I woke up with the idea I had been waiting for months. Instead of adding this feature to EventNinja, I made it a stand-alone widget that could be added to any website in minutes. I jumped straight into building the same day and the MVP was completed four days later.

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Manuel Frigerio, on starting ReferralHero ($18,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a memberships to help people accelerate their non-fiction reading habits, learning and network business

Ben Keene started Rebel Book Club, which sells memberships to help people accelerate their non-fiction reading habits, learning and network and is making $13,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 0 employees.

It was a bad habit. Buying books and not finishing them...

One tap on Amazon, and bang, there it was on my kindle or my doormat the next day. I’d fleetingly read a review or even just a crunching blurb and my key words, curiosities or aspirations had slapped me round the face and before I’d considered a sensible swipe-by it was too late.

I’d become a heavy user. Buying non-fiction books at quite a click. But the problem was not so much the cost — at the most I was spending £20 a month — which I saw as a solid investment in potentially 2–3 life-changing reads. The problem was I couldn’t get past page 100 (or 25%) of almost all of the books I’d bought.

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Ben Keene, on starting Rebel Book Club ($13,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a hot sauce business

James Bryson started Flaming Licks, which sells hot sauce and is making $13,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 3 employees.

Our journey started back in 2014 when James decided to make his own piri-piri sauce to gift to friends and family members as a Christmas present. His sauce didn’t quite go to plan, but we gifted them anyways, and everybody loved it. From that, Sidekick sauce was born in 2015, selling at UK chili festivals and to a few retailers.

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Not happy with just making sauces, we opened a chili shop in James’ hometown, Wimborne in Dorset, and then shortly after acquired the first hot sauce subscription box in the UK (named Lick My Dip at the time). The love for discovering new hot sauces in the UK and finding out about new amazing producers is what made us jump at the opportunity to take it on.

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James Bryson, on starting Flaming Licks ($13,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a crochet yarns business

Sue Blacker started Blacker Yarns, which sells crochet yarns and is making $13,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 16 employees.

I originally was a customer of our Natural Fibre Company spinning service, where I had the fleeces from my pedigree Gotland sheep flock spun into yarns.

There is only one piece of advice really: keep at it and don’t be discouraged! But always listen because you are never the only person with good ideas.

Before the sheep I had been in business and finance in the City, returning to my Cornish roots to get jobs in community, economic and environmental development. Then we ran holiday cottages, with the sheep to keep the grass down, and I had always knitted since childhood.

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Sue Blacker, on starting Blacker Yarns ($13,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a crossfit gear business

Joel St John started Thor Fitness Europe, which sells crossfit gear and is making $12,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 1 employee.

Believe it or not, I came up with the idea whilst on my honeymoon (don’t tell my wife Emma!). I have always been very interested in design, art, music and so on. During my youth, part of it was probably misspent as I learned how to try and draw, handle a spray can and do graffiti at the legal paint hotspots in Brighton and London.

Further down the line, I purchased some turntables and learned how to mix, scratch (and beat juggle, badly). This lead onto music production where I read magazines and taught myself how to produce music over a 6 year period using programs such as Logic 8, Cubase and Reason. In total, I made a collection of around 170 tunes, mainly drum and bass, but also House, Hip Hop, Dubstep and other Electronic music. A very small number of the tracks got signed, but nothing was ever serious. I would literally spend hours in my little studio, every evening after work, before I started doing Crossfit. Unfortunately, all the DJing and studio time resulted in chronic tinnitus from constantly hammering my poor delicate eardrums, so I had to give up music as it were, leaving a creative vacuum was all that that time was once spent.

Thor for me became a creative outlet once it got going. I learned how to use Abode Illustrator and Photoshop, plus some other handy apps. I have a desire to read only books that I can glean knowledge. Never fiction - always self-help, learn-how or in some instances autobiographies - if I can learn from them. There is so much in the world we have been given, and don’t feel as humans that we should waste time with emptiness being lazy. We all have different gifts and talents - we should look to use and refine these skills - for the greater good of others if possible. I personally enjoy learning, solving problems and hearing other peoples' experiences. I also love to experience life for what it has to offer. My main work background is in electrical engineering and project management. My career has been multifaceted, so I’ve been able to apply many of the skills learned in this trade for e-commerce and ultimately the base-work that’s required for the founding of a brand.

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Joel St John , on starting Thor Fitness Europe ($12,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a travel experiences business

Andrew Norton started SkyAlliance, which sells travel experiences and is making $2,800 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 1 employee.

It all started at Heathrow Airport. I was and currently still work at the airport as a security officer in Terminal 5.

When I first started the role I had learned how to develop software, code and also web design. However, I didn’t know what direction of business to pursue with these skills. In the role of a security officer, you interact with the masses of passengers passing through every working day.

It all started at Heathrow Airport. I was and currently still work at the airport as a security officer in Terminal 5.

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Andrew Norton, on starting SkyAlliance ($2,800 revenue/mo) full story

Start a digital products design business

Abb-d Choudhury started Curate Labs, which sells digital products design and is making $10,500 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 2 employees.

Curate Labs stemmed from an initial publication we created called Curate Magazine. The concept behind CM was, ‘one theme, many interpretations – Challenging perspectives through conversation, expression, and curiosity’. Traditionally, I and Sara had worked in large agencies working with big international brands.

Through our roles, we hit a saturation point and fell out of love with the work. From here we decided to set up our own practice, launching from the popularity of Curate Magazine, and creating Curate Labs as a creative, experimental design practice focused on ethics and design for good.

Links to previous issues of Curate Magazine…Issue 4, Issue 5, Issue 6.

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Abb-d Choudhury, on starting Curate Labs ($10,500 revenue/mo) full story

Start a standing desks business

Ashley ‘JP’ Lockwood started Deskmate, which sells standing desks and is making $30,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 2 employees.

We were working from a coworking space and wanted standing desks. We asked the community managers if they’d considered them. Answers ranged from, ‘too expensive’, ‘space doesn’t allow them’, ‘why do you need one?’, I guess that was the lightbulb moment.

I’d recommend anyone launching a business in an area they don’t understand to research but not to overthink it. Learn on the job.

The idea behind Deskmate was quite simple really, there was no affordable standing solution in the UK. We did the typical google search, amazon check and there was nothing there. We saw the gap and went for it.

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Ashley ‘JP’ Lockwood, on starting Deskmate ($30,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a startup resources business

Thomas Oppong started Content Intelligence Media, which sells startup resources and is making $10,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 2 employees.

I love exploring new ideas, innovations, and technologies that are changing how we live and work. I started AllTopStartups in 2009 whilst studying software entrepreneurship at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST-Ghana).

AllTopStartups used to be a personal platform where I aggregated some of the best and top technology ideas at the time. To stay informed, I subscribed to TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb now ReadWrite, OnStartups, AngelList, Venture Hacks, and Mixergy. Back then, my focus was on sharing startups I thought were promising. Most of the sites I used to visit were focusing on too many topics. I wanted to write about only the top startups that were growing rapidly, attracting funding, or changing how we live or work on a large scale.

A few years after publishing hundreds of innovative startups, many people were interested in the ideas I wrote about and the startups behind them. My personal quest to find the best technology ideas turned into a startup blog. Today, I work with hundreds of content marketing agencies.

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Thomas Oppong, on starting Content Intelligence Media ($10,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a tiny books business

David Dewane started Mouse Book Club, which sells tiny books and is making $10,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 3 co-founders and has 0 employees.

Mouse started as a genuine Eureka Moment. I was sitting on the bus and noticed everyone was on their phones. It was amazing to me that as a species we’ve effectively trained ourselves to read constantly.

Then, I simply asked myself the questions: what are they reading? Social media? Online journalism? Will they remember anything they read this morning in a day, month, week, year, decade?

Within an hour of coming up with the idea, I had got off the bus, ran to my office, and made a prototype.

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David Dewane, on starting Mouse Book Club ($10,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a marketing agency business

Sam Wilcox started Tribecto Automations, which sells marketing agency and is making $10,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business as a solo founder with no employees.

I’ve been in the sales and marketing space for over 10 years now, starting from the bottom and working my way up. I started out as a lot of sales professionals do, hitting the phone in a call center environment. I was pretty good at it but it wasn’t something that got me excited about getting out of bed in the morning so I decided I wanted to get involved with marketing and the agency space.

I should have prioritized my physical and mental health sooner. In the beginning, the business was all consuming. I was working extremely long days and not seeing much of the outside world.

I came up with the idea for Tribecto while working at InvisiblePPC a white label PPC agency. I had re-designed and re-built the sales process a few times while working there and had really learned how to wield the CRM and automation tools to build better experiences for our customers.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-business-developing-marketing-and-sales-automations

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Sam Wilcox, on starting Tribecto Automations ($10,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start an online video editing business

Sabba Keynejad started VEED, which sells online video editing and is making $6,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 1 co-founder and has 1 employee.

Tim and I met during an online hackathon. During the hackathon participants were encouraged to meetup for real. We actually got on really well, and stayed friends and kept spitballing ideas for a startup for years.

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At this time, I was a design student at Central Saint Martins and I had recently won a competition for Sony Music creating an interactive music video for the band Hurts with my friend Virgil. Then soon after graduation, I started working as a creative technologist in London for a bunch of different advertising & branding agencies and a few startups too.

how-we-developed-a-6k-month-online-video-editing-software

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Sabba Keynejad, on starting VEED ($6,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start a zapier consulting business

Andrew Davison started Luhhu, which sells zapier consulting and is making $5,500 revenue/mo.

They started the business as a solo founder with no employees.

I’ve had quite a varied background up until this point. I started a web design business while studying computer science at university before dropping out in my last year and heading to London - bored of learning and wanting to make money.

After an internship at one design company and a sales job at two others, I finally burned out, traveled Asia and then landed in Budapest, Hungary and never ended up leaving. After a quickly abandoned attempt at teaching English, I pivoted to building an online marketplace that helped language teachers find students - and it’s through that I learned to use Zapier - a very fortuitous decision in hindsight.

Fast forward two more years, that business was doing OK and I was onto another side hustle as a writer for various ex-pat websites. In need of more work, I tried to join Upwork, only to be rejected because they were swamped with writers.

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Andrew Davison, on starting Luhhu ($5,500 revenue/mo) full story

Start a designer hygiene product business

Mano Manoharan started AMANO Tongue Cleanser, which sells designer hygiene product and is making $5,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 5 co-founders and has 1 employee.

My career started out pretty conventional … qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young (EY) in the 1980s and then heading into Blue-Chip land.

Albeit this was the Film and Music sector, doing accounting work but in a slightly surreal environment, where famous Directors, Actors, and Pop Stars would drift around the offices.

I ended up in the marketing department of EMI Records (known as Capitol Records in the States). Moving from finance to a general management role, where I got the chance to really hobnob with the likes of Iron Maiden (once even playing darts with the band in a pub on Sunset Boulevard), Heart, Pink Floyd and the Pet Shop Boys.

how-i-started-a-5k-month-business-selling-tongue-cleansers

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Mano Manoharan, on starting AMANO Tongue Cleanser ($5,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start an user design inspiration business

Ramy Khuffash started Page Flows, which sells user design inspiration and is making $4,487 revenue/mo.

They started the business as a solo founder with no employees.

I studied accounting and information systems at university, but by the time I graduated I realized I didn’t want to be an accountant or work in Information Systems. After a few years of working various jobs, experimenting with WordPress, and co-founding a failed consumer startup, I started my path as a web developer.

Throughout my career, I built side projects to improve my skills and make progress towards starting a business of my own. One of those side projects was a newsletter called UI Movement, which is a design inspiration newsletter. It was by far my most successful side project and quickly gained thousands of subscribers after launching on Product Hunt.

If you’re a solo founder, I also highly recommend joining a mastermind group. I and two other founders get on a call every Monday. Having a group of likeminded people to keep me accountable has been massively helpful.

how-i-started-a-4-5k-month-website-with-user-flow-design-inspiration

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Ramy Khuffash, on starting Page Flows ($4,487 revenue/mo) full story

Start a seo tool business

Nick Swan started SanityCheck , which sells seo tool and is making $2,800 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 1 employee.

I have been building websites and doing SEO since around 1998 (yes I’m 39!) which was pre-Google. The good old days of Alta Vista, Excite, keyword stuffing and transparent text on pages!

I studied Software Engineering at University and helped fund this by building websites and doing SEO in the evenings and spare time.

After a few years of employment after leaving University, I co-founded a business that built tools and extensions for Microsoft SharePoint. Part of my role in this business was looking after the marketing website and so I continued to work in the SEO space.

how-my-daughter-s-leukemia-diagnosis-gave-me-a-new-perspective

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Nick Swan, on starting SanityCheck ($2,800 revenue/mo) full story

Start an online fitness coaching business

Oliver Anwar started Ro Anwar Fitness, which sells online fitness coaching and is making $2,000 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 1 employee.

Growing up as a kid I was always active and fit and had a huge passion for football (soccer). I played a high level of football for most of my child/teen years – playing for both Bristol City Academy and Bristol Rovers Centre of Excellence growing up (this is the highest level of youth football in the UK). When I got to 16/17, I, unfortunately, didn’t make it as a professional footballer so began starting to train in the gym and I realized early on this was something I was going to invest my life into.

I was sat on a friend's sofa one summer and he was looking on his laptop at domains. He told me that the website www.roanwarfitness.com was available for £0.01. Having experience training myself and friends and family I saw an opportunity to begin a blog to share my fitness story. Over summer as I built this website purely by myself, I realized I could create a business from selling online training and nutrition plans and therefore coaching people online.

how-i-channeled-my-passion-for-fitness-into-a-successful-online-business The early stages of my website

how-i-channeled-my-passion-for-fitness-into-a-successful-online-business

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Oliver Anwar, on starting Ro Anwar Fitness ($2,000 revenue/mo) full story

Start an urban fashion business

Cotilda Makhumula-Nkhoma started Cotilda's Fashion Limited, which sells urban fashion and is making $1,144 revenue/mo.

They started the business as a solo founder with no employees.

Originally from Malawi in South-Eastern Africa, my sister and I helped our mother create wedding accessories for family and friends. However, it was not until 2001 at age 9 when my family and I relocated to the United Kingdom in Middlesbrough. We had to adapt to a different culture and blend in. This is where the inspiration of being of two cultures and two homes came to mind. #MalawiToMiddlesbrough

When you relocate to any area, you want to become part of the culture and not an outsider. In other words, you want to belong. But you do not want to lose who you are, your roots. Therefore, COTILDA is aimed at encouraging people to embrace who they are, not just blend in, but to create their own style, an identity that embraces culture and that is appealing to both African and Western markets.

From a young age, assisting our mother with wedding accessories is what got me interested in making clothing, but I did not pay much attention to this until I took textiles in school and creative fashion and enterprise in university. I then took a year out of studying to travel by working as an inventory stock taker, before gaining a Master’s Degree in Future design in 2015. Working as an inventory stock taker for such stores like Zara, Ralph Lauren, Pull and Bear added to my desire of creating my own clothing brand. Supported by Teesside University after graduating helped my business idea become a reality.

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Cotilda Makhumula-Nkhoma , on starting Cotilda's Fashion Limited ($1,144 revenue/mo) full story

Start a food diary business

Laura Mulkerne started The Food Diary, which sells food diary and is making $750 revenue/mo.

They started the business as a solo founder with no employees.

The diary was born, like so many things, out of my own needs.

I had spent nearly two years feeling sick from constant nausea, cramps, bowel issues and a complete lack of energy. Eventually, after pinging back and forth to several GPs, I met with a specialist - a gastroenterologist - and was diagnosed with IBS and possible Coeliac Disease.

At that point, I knew it was finally time to get a grip on my diet and figure out exactly what was causing my symptoms.

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Laura Mulkerne, on starting The Food Diary ($750 revenue/mo) full story

Start a bibliography generator business

Cenk Dominic Özbakir started Citationsy, which sells bibliography generator and is making $500 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 1 employee.

One thing I really enjoyed at university, believe me, or not, was writing essays. I used an online citation generator called RefMe to help me with this – I never really learned to manually do my references. One day, long after I had finished university and moved to Stockholm to work at a startup, I got an email from RefMe informing me that they were being shut down and replaced by CiteThisForMe.

Keep a blog, write a newsletter, get your thoughts out there. Tell people why you did something, not just that you did it. The more people know about you and your product the more they want to use it and like it.

It was immediately obvious that the reason people loved RefMe — a clean interface, speed, no ads, simplicity of use — did not apply to CiteThisForMe. My girlfriend at the time kept telling me I should build an online reference generator to replace RefMe, and eventually, I did! It turned out to be easier than I thought to get a rough prototype up. After the blog post I wrote about the process got mildly popular, people started signing up and sending me feedback.

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Cenk Dominic Özbakir, on starting Citationsy ($500 revenue/mo) full story

Start a bridal, special occasion wear business

Melanie Newman started wanttheoryBridal, which sells bridal, special occasion wear and is making $0 revenue/mo.

They started the business with 0 co-founders and has 1 employee.

I am currently in full-time work. I’d been feeling deflated. I needed something that felt like it was mine. Something that feels like it is giving me purpose. Something that will put a smile on people’s faces. I looked at mobility aids and wellbeing products. Before coming to the conclusion that wedding dresses and evening wear would be on my website.

Go for a product/s you believe in. If you aren’t inspired or feel positive about the products you are selling. You will find it so boring having to find the products and put them on your website.

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on-launching-a-bridal-and-special-occasion-wear-store

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Melanie Newman, on starting wanttheoryBridal ($0 revenue/mo) full story

Conclusion

Thank you for reading! Visit us at Starter Story to learn about more successful businesses!

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Samantha Walls,   Founder of Starter Story Blog