Top 10 Small Business Concepts in UK

To identify the fastest-expanding small company categories, we examined all new business insurance policies issued in 2020 and 2021.

Here are the top 10 most common small business ideas:

  1. Artisan market
  2. Traders on the market
  3. Online merchant
  4. Photographer
  5. Handyman or handywoman
  6. Caterer
  7. Teaching/tutor
  8. Baking at home
  9. Pet sitters
  10. Accountant

The small company landscape is shaped by the pandemic.

As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Covid-19 epidemic, a new generation of businesses has arisen from a tumultuous two years.

The epidemic has inspired many of the most popular and imaginative small business concepts, from selling online or converting a passion into a business, to operating outside or offering services for an increasing number of pets.

1. Artisan market

Craft stalls were the fastest expanding small business trade in 2021, gaining 237 percent over the previous year.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, more individuals have converted their hobbies into full-time business operations, paralleling the increase of the side hustle.

Craft enterprises are in high demand, whether you manufacture candles or knit your own garments.

2. Trader on the Market

Outdoor enterprises have expanded since 2020 as a result of continued Covid-19 regulations and individuals feeling less comfortable in congested inside areas.

Market dealers were the second fastest-growing small business trade in 2021, with a year-on-year increase of 113%.

3. Online merchant

While high streets in the United Kingdom have faltered in recent years, internet businesses have thrived.

Because selling on sites like Etsy and eBay is so simple, new sellers can get their companies up and running quickly. As a result, the number of new internet stores increased by 62% between 2020 and 2021.

For an overview, read our guide to launching an online store, and if you’re not sure what to offer, get some ideas from our article on how to select the ideal goods to sell online.

The self-employed service sector will continue to thrive.

There are several advantages to becoming self-employed, including improved work/life balance and greater creative flexibility.

According to our research, the number of freelancers and tradesmen providing services to clients increased last year.

4. Photographer

The number of freelance photographers climbed by 56% between 2020 and 2021, making it the fourth fastest-growing small business trend.

And 2022 might be a banner year for wedding photographers – the number of weddings is predicted to increase by 205% between July 2021 and June 2022, according to Truly Experiences.

5. Handyman/handywoman

Another effect of the epidemic is that homeowners have spent more money on house improvements.

This has resulted in a substantial spike in demand for handymen and women, with our statistics showing a 44% year-on-year growth in this sort of activity.

Despite increasing demand, trades firms have faced increased expenses and supply chain concerns.

6. Caterer

According to our statistics, the number of new catering enterprises grew by 39% between 2020 and 2021.

In recent years, there has been a greater awareness of food safety, with new regulations such as Natasha’s Law being implemented.

Furthermore, demand for sustainable packaging is increasing, so it is something that all catering firms should be aware of. We’ve compiled a list of top ideas from meal-sharing firm Olio for making your business more sustainable.

Home-based enterprises are still thriving.

Because flexible working appears to be here to stay, it’s no wonder that enterprises that can be managed from home were among the most popular new trades in 2021.

Running a company from home might be less expensive and more convenient than renting a space, but there are laws to follow, such as registering with HMRC and determining if you need to pay business rates.

7. Teaching/tutor

If you are considering launching a teaching or tutoring business this year, you may be on the right track since the number of new firms in this area climbed by 21% year on year.

8. Baking at home

With individuals spending more time at home as a result of the epidemic and the popularity of TV series like The Great British Bake Off, the home baking business has seen tremendous development.

Following a 157% increase between 2019 and 2020, the number of home baking enterprises climbed by 24% between 2020 and 2021.

9. Pet sitters

We’ve traditionally been a dog-loving nation, and according to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, 3.2 million of us have purchased dogs since the outbreak began.

This implies that demand for dog walkers is stronger than ever, which explains why the number of new dog walking firms climbed by 22% year on year.

10. Accountant

According to our analysis, the number of self-employed accountants will increase by 21% between 2020 and 2021, making it the seventh fastest growing small business concept.

According to, the average freelance accountant’s pay in the United Kingdom is £52,650 per year, or £27 per hour.

Where are the hotspots for developing small company trends in the UK?

We also looked at where the top ten most popular small business concepts have grown the quickest in the UK.

South West England saw the greatest increase in new business insurance policies taken out for the top ten trending trades between 2020 and 2021. (70 percent).

Other high-performing areas included:

  • England’s South Central (65 per cent)
  • England’s North East 64%
  • East Anglian Region 63%
  • England’s North West (62 per cent)

London and Scotland had the lowest yearly growth rates (34% and 34%, respectively) (32 percent).

The following areas had the most new business insurance policies purchased for the top ten small company concepts in 2021:

  • East Anglian Region
  • The West Midlands
  • England’s North West

“A new generation of entrepreneurs seizes the chance.”

“Thankfully, small business owners have demonstrated resilience, inventiveness, and originality at every step of the epidemic,” Alan Thomas, UK CEO of Simply Business, said.

With a slew of obstacles – from employee shortages to supply chain concerns – it’s heartening to see UK businesses leading the way in our recovery.

“To put it simply, our economy and communities rely on small companies to recover, so it’s encouraging to see a new generation of entrepreneurs grabbing the chance to launch.”


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