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Business ideas: The next steps

Looking for start-up inspiration? Look no further than our launchpad guide on hot business opportunities, trends, funding and more...

Whether you're researching promising market opportunities, thinking about business ideas or already have an idea which you think could be the “next big thing”, we've got an array of features, guides and inspiring entrepreneur profiles to help you on the path to start-up success.

Read on to learn more about this year's growth trends and exciting business opportunities, where to source start-up finance and even how to get your start-up featured on…

14 best business ideas for 2015

From quirky cafes to care home services, we've assessed some of the best business ideas for the year ahead using data from leading research bodies such as Mintel and Euromonitor and insights from successful and emerging start-ups.

Should you start one of the following businesses in 2015?

1. Protein products                       8. ‘Free from' foods
2. Peruvian food                           9. On-demand service app
3. Quirky cafes                             10. Ethical fashion brand
4. Pet sitting                                  11. Social network
5. Custom-made 3D products     12. Care home services
6. Bike safety accessories              13. Growth hacker
7. Property tech                            14. ‘Tech for good'

Have we missed anything? Leave your comments below on promising business opportunities for 2015.

Still looking for business inspiration?

If the business opportunities above haven't whetted your appetite then you can find a wealth of other great business ideas in our features on what business to start in 2013 and 2012, as well as these business ideas that you won't want to miss.

Thinking about starting a product business? Take a look at these 15 fantastic product ideas and the start-ups behind them. Or if technology's more your thing then take a read of these upcoming tech trends of 2015 which includes driverless cars, drones and even hoverboards. Perhaps the stories of great businesses inspired by travel will inspire you.

If you're a budding young entrepreneur, make sure you take a look at the start-up stories of these 14 founders aged 25 and under.

If you're keen to start and run a business but are worried about the risks, then you may want to consider becoming a franchisee.

Ready to get started?

Once you've identified your start-up and want to turn your idea into a reality, you'll need to think about the business basics such as creating a business plan, choosing a company name, building a website and more.

Raising finance may be top of your ‘to-do' list – start-up funding is available in several forms including loans, grants, angel investment and crowdfunding. The Start Up Loans company offers loans of up to £10,000 to promising, new businesses. For young entrepreneurs, the Prince's Trust has grants available to those aged 18-30.

Just launched your business?

If you've just launched your business then you're going to want to get your name out there to get noticed and attract customers; marketing is an essential tool to help raise awareness of your start-up and you shouldn't underestimate the power of social media.

If you've launched your business in the last three months, you can apply to feature in our Just Started section. Alternatively, if you think your business is one of the UK's most innovative and disruptive start-ups, keep an eye on our Startups 100 site as we'll be opening entries for 2015 later this year.

Applications for the prestigious Startups Awards 2015, the annual awards ceremony which looks to to recognise the country's most outstanding start-ups, will also be opening later this year. Register your interest for the Startups Awards 2015 here.


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