Get the latest Startup news and information

4 industries you could start a business in and make a killing this year

Ready to start a business but not sure what to do? Online gambling, health food, and technology simplification could be hugely lucrative in 2018

Starting your own business is a pipe dream for millions of people. The attraction of making all the decisions, managing your own hours and taking a small idea and turning it into something huge can be exciting, but taking the plunge can be daunting.

As well as having the responsibility of both your income and potentially other people’s on your shoulders, start-up capital needs to be found before anything can gain traction.

The huge bonus of living in a hyper-connected world is that starting a business has never been easier. There is endless help and advice online, and doing things like incorporating your company and managing accounts is made easy with apps and online 24-hour accountancy services.

Things like advertising and sales can also be managed online, helping new businesses to reach more customers in those important first few months of trading. The internet can be a double-edged sword however, with the ease of access making it a highly competitive space.

Knowing what’s currently big and is going to get bigger (or is making a return) is the key to success, and getting in early can make for an even more successful and lucrative entry into the business world. 2017 saw the birth and return of many new products and services, with everything from virtual reality finally hitting the mainstream to the invention of the beloved / dreaded fidget spinner.

If you’re thinking of starting your new business in 2018 but aren’t sure what to do, then check out these ideas to help you get a feel for what could be huge in 2018.

A health food business

We’ve already taken some pretty big steps in 2018 towards improving the population’s health the hard way, with the long-discussed sugary drinks tax now leading to the manufacturer of one of the nation’s most popular drinks, Barr, reformulating the Irn Bru recipe to reduce the amount of sugar that goes into it. We’re also on the verge of banning the sale of severely unhealthy energy drinks to under 16s, paving the way to healthier lifestyles and a more sugar-free existence.

As more people learn about the dangers associated with refined sugar, health-consciousness is becoming more mainstream. We’ve already got healthier-option foods like Naked Bars and Innocent Smoothies that have been very successful over the last decade or so, and 2018 could be the perfect time to enter the sugar-free industry.

Whether it’s compressed fruit, sugar-free chocolate bars or a home-made chocolate brownie that still tastes amazing but doesn’t contain 1,000 calories, 2018 is the year to seriously start thinking about hitting this fast-growing industry.

An online gambling business

Yes, you read that correctly. Despite some negative press in the UK recently and the decline of traditional high street bookmakers, the online gambling industry is actually thriving, with impressive year-on-year growth over the past 10 years leading to online-only companies nabbing upwards of 33% of market share. It will take a while to hit the heights of sites like Wink Slots, but you could follow their lead on how to entice new players: they ensure that their players are greeted with special offers, such as the ability to play along with free spins and no deposit required.

With online casino gaming, overheads are kept low by paying for virtual machines that never need maintenance, and don’t use endless amounts of electricity. There are hundreds of games designers out there, and with a bit of help from a team of web developers, an online casino can be built relatively easily. The real battle however is getting the licensing necessary from the government, then competing with the existing market leaders who have marketing budgets well into the millions. This is where you’ll need to be innovative, and offer something unique that no other site has, a big ask when online gaming sites are becoming a lot savvier when it comes to winning new customers then retaining them.

A technology simplification business

Although becoming a software developer is sound advice, you could end up spending years learning how to code only for another-game changing technology to come along that is written in a different language, or even without the need for a human. Skills like web design, software coding and digital design have long been the preserve of committed people who spend years getting stuck into C / C# / C++, Photoshop, or web design software, but this could be changing soon.

The whole ‘bring it to the masses’ idea is already underway: sites like WordPress with thousands of website templates make web developers (practically) obsolete, and services like Canva allow anyone to design things like greetings cards and logos. It’s this simplification of technologies that are usually reserved for experts that could be the next big thing in 2018.

If you’re techy, then a simplified solution to a complicated process, like web design, 3D design or even app development could be a winner in 2018. Failing that, offering your knowledge and expertise in something that you find easy to someone that doesn’t is the next best thing, with the ‘tech knowledge outsource’ model also projected to get even bigger this year.

A monthly subscription box business

Let’s face it, going to the supermarket is a hassle. As well as navigating the other shoppers, you need to spend precious time picking out boring things like washing up liquid and toilet paper. So what if you could pay a direct debit for these boring things to arrive on your doorstep every month?

For lazy/ time-poor people, the monthly subscription model could be the solution. We’re already paying for phone bills, cars and various other household services monthly, so why not extend this to the other stuff we buy? Men can already buy razors that arrive once a month, and the growing trend for health food and gym supplement subscriptions is really taking off. Even pets are benefiting from the subscription box model with companies like delivering tailored meals for dogs to customers' doors.

If you’re convinced and want to set up your own business this year, then remember to use best practice from the start of your venture, such as keeping accounts and incorporating or registering as a sole trader. This not only helps you to look more professional, but it’ll be easier to file your taxes and avoid any problems at a later stage. Our top tip is to just do it; if you hesitate, then you’ll only put yourself further away from achieving your goal. Good luck!