Business ideas: What business to start

Unsure what type of business opportunity could be right for you? Read this launchpad article to help discover your perfect start-up

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and become your own boss, the myriad options available can be as daunting as a blank canvas.

Follow the links below to narrow down your opportunities and get a clearer idea of the direction you could take.

1. Start a part-time business

If you’re not quite ready to quit your day job but want greater financial freedom and independence, why not start a part-time business? Read our part-time business guides for in-depth articles on how to start a range of flexible occupations, including starting a driving school, an eBay shop business, catering and freelance ventures – and more.

2. Consider franchising

Franchising is a particularly popular option for entrepreneurs who want to rely on the security and support of a big-name brand, whilst still growing their own business from the ground up. Check our in-depth franchise section for detailed guides to all aspects of becoming a franchisee, including buying and selling a franchise, building a successful marketing strategy and obtaining a loan.

3. Launch a tech start-up

If you have a pedigree in the tech sector or think you have the next big digital idea, a tech start-up may be for you. The internet has made it possible to launch a business with very low start-up costs; read our four golden rules for starting a lean tech start-up.

4. Buy an existing business

Buying an existing business can be a safer route to becoming your own boss, although it’s not for everyone. Our dedicated section on buying a business includes guides on how to find, value and buy a small business, as well as guides to buying a business in various different sectors.

5. Run a business from home

Modern technology means we are no longer office-bound, and many businesses can be entirely run from home – many entirely online. Startups’ home-based businesses section contains business ideas, survival guides and many more in-depth tips for those of us with childcare responsibilities or who are simply attached to their pyjamas.

6. Start a business for less than £10,000

Start-up costs needn’t be prohibitively high – read our section on under £10,000 business ideas if you’re an entrepreneur on a budget.

7. Think about a green or social business

Perhaps you want to start a green or social business. If you’re thinking about launching a social business, find out more about the difference between a social enterprise and a charity here and read our guides on starting a charity and launching a social enterprise.  Or if you’re interested in going green, read more about the benefits of running an eco and sustainable business.

Still waiting for inspiration to strike? Startups’ business ideas section has guides to some of the hottest opportunities available: emerging technologies, big data and luxury products are just some of the sectors enjoying a vogue at the moment – or if you’re in it for the (extremely) long term, read Startups’ guide to starting a business in 2062.

For a broader overview, check out our start-up guides section.

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