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Business ideas you won’t want to miss in 2014

Looking for a new business idea? Here are some exciting business opportunities to watch this year...

We showcased our selection of the best business ideas in our major feature on What Business to Start in 2014, but it doesn’t end there. Here’s our pick of emerging start-up ideas for the year ahead…

Or click the button above or below to read our 14 big ideas.

Become a property developer

An established concept, starting up as a property developer is a bankable business for 2014 as the housing shortage reaches breaking point.

In November 2013, Westminster think tank Policy Exchange unveiled findings that with swelling demand and limited supply the UK “must” build 1.5 million new homes by 2020. This equates grand total of 300,000 houses every year from 2014 onwards.

Therefore the housing market is booming and if Office for National Statistics’ recent prediction that the UK population will grow to 10 million in the next 25 years, are correct a property development business could be very lucrative indeed. Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors argues this case:

If more houses aren’t built, it is first-time buyers who will inevitably be pushed out of the market, as prices are propelled higher. Looking ahead, potential interest rate rises, could also impact on lending levels as they will push up the proportion of income that buyers will need to spend on repayments.

“It’s vital that first-time buyers take this on board now to prevent any upsets further down the line. In the meantime, an increase in house building will help put a lid on house price rises, keeping property accessible to the whole market.”

Read our guide to find out how to become a property developer here.

Become a camping pod supplier

An eco-friendly offering, ‘camping pods’, pre-manufactured pop-up huts, are becoming ever prevalent as more people begin to appreciate their versatility; as home offices or play areas in gardens, a fishing or hunting lodge, or even as a beach shack.

The rise in UK “stay-cations” with the domestic holiday segment growing 19% since 2007, has lent itself to an uptake of camping pods as more Brits look for alternate ways to enjoy the British summer time.

Some farmers have caught on to this trend in order to diversify their offering, adding pods to their sites as an option for those looking to camp in more glamorous surroundings, otherwise known as “glamping”. Huge in the US with companies such as The Pod dominating the market, UK pod manufacturers have begun to appear on the scene creating an opening for entrepreneurs to help take these pods to market.

Start a tea shop

Now a billion pound market, tea is big business and just like independent coffee shops, a trend we successfully identified would sky-rocket in 2013, independent tea shops are fast becoming all the rage.

Appealing to a cross sector of society, tea shops are no longer just an attraction for an older demographic and have gained a ‘trendy’ label.

Cafes are scrapping high-end food and instead focusing their efforts into providing amenities such as tea and biscuits, alongside a comfortable experience. Café Ziferblat in Shoreditch is one of the businesses leading this market offering just tea, biscuits and WiFi for free in exchange for a pay-as-you-go fee.

If you’re interested in starting a café, read our guide on how to start a café.

Buy an American fast food franchise

Not to be confused with starting a fast food franchise in the US, there are growing opportunities for UK entrepreneurs to open an American franchise outlet this side of the pond.

More American brands are looking to extend their reach overseas and with leading multi-million US fast food chains Denny’s Inc and Taco Bell calling on UK franchisees to join their team, this could be a great market for 2014. Sam Parton, founder of sports marketplace OpenPlay agrees:

“Popularity has exploded for eating out at establishments priced between fast food and conventional restaurants, particularly beefburgers. Franchises could therefore be interesting.

“Five Guys successfully crossed the Atlantic this year, perhaps there could be scope to bring other franchises across the pond which aren't yet in the UK. American Wendy’s, Taco Bell and In and Out Burger all spring to mind, although the location is absolutely crucial.”


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