What are the most successful local businesses?

Couple partnership the bakehouse with how to make their e-business online successful using Go Sitebuilder

Starting a business can be a daunting prospect. But if you’re ready to take the leap, starting a local business could be a great idea, especially if you already have a good set of contacts and a good reputation – that’s the hardest part!

You might already have a useful skill that could easily transfer into a business setting, but even if you’re just looking for ideas, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the most successful businesses that work in a local setting – but don’t rely on word of mouth, you’ll need to find a good website builder to make the most out of each business. 

Pet grooming, boarding and walking

According to Pets Business World, the value of UK pet products and services is forecast to reach £2.1 billion by 2023, which would be a 25% increase from 2018. 

Across the country, owners are treating their pets with more care and attention, meaning they are ready to spend money on accessories as well as high quality dog food and treats – did you know that dog beer existed? By becoming a one-stop-shop for everything pet-related, you’ll stop pet owners having to drive to the speciality shop further away. 

If you have the space, having pets boarding at your home can be incredibly lucrative; many owners baulk at the idea of sending their precious pet to kennels and would rather they stayed in a comfortable domestic home. 

Another low-risk way to capitalise on this industry is to start off walking dogs. As many people work all day, they don’t have time to walk their dogs in the day, opening up a market for a dog walker. Once you’ve gained a reputation as a knowledgeable dog walker, people are more likely to trust you if you start selling other pet-related products. For all these services, convenience and distance are both factors for potential customers, making this a great idea for a local business. 

Speciality food shop

Even in mid-sized towns in the UK, speciality products can be difficult to find as smaller supermarkets only offer a limited selection. The rising demand of alternative, free-from products is on the rise; according to a survey by Compare the Market, in 2016 there were 542,000 vegans in the UK, and by 2018 this number had skyrocketed to 3.5 million. The market for organic food has been steadily rising for nearly a decade, with the UK market set to be worth £2.5 million this year. 

By opening a local business that sells allergen free, vegan friendly and organic food, you can capitalise on the change in eating habits currently sweeping the UK. The good part is that it’s not a fad, as increasing awareness of the negative environmental consequence of eating meat has seen a rise in long-term flexitarianism, where people eat a mostly plant-based diet but occasionally eat meat or fish. This means they will also be looking for vegan options for their everyday meals. 

If you live in an area where people could be daunted by the prospect of meat alternatives like tempeh and seitan, do some local marketing by making recipe cards or organising a small cooking class to show them how to cook with it.

Coffee shop 

Every area needs a local coffee shop! If you don’t want to commit to a full shop straight away, start with a small coffee van and set it up in an area with a lot of foot traffic. This is the best way to do some local marketing; you can grow your reputation and gauge the demand in your area. 

Once you do start having your own space, it’s a good idea to get an alcohol licence. There’s no need to invest in beer taps, but as coffee consumption begins to tail off in the afternoon, offering an alternative like wine or craft beers could keep people in your cafe until the sun goes down. 

The most important part of creating a coffee shop is to find a gap in the market. Does your area need a cafe that is comfortable for people to work and study with their laptop? Or are people prepared to spend a little extra for speciality coffee and home-baked treats? Do some market research to find out. 

Capitalise on your skills and tools

If you’ve got skills and tools then use them! If you’re great at DIY, have no problem fixing some broken pipes and can help fix a door hanging morosely off its hinges, then you’ve got a skill that many others don’t. And, if you also have the tools – or you’re ready to make a small investment to get them – you just need to market your services to make sure people know where to find you. 

The same goes for sewing and alteration services. If you’re a dab hand with a sewing machine and can hem a pair of trousers with your eyes shut, this is a great avenue to go down. The rise of slow fashion and second-hand clothing means that there is a growing demand for clothes alterations, but many people lack the skills to do it and the resources to buy a sewing machine. 

There are many other good local business ideas that might require a qualification, like becoming a personal trainer or a massage therapist, but the most important part is making sure that there is demand for the services you want to sell. Once you’ve decided on your niche, then you’ll need to create a website to market your skills!

Although local businesses can use word-of-mouth to gain traction, those new to the area or those in a different social group are likely to search for services on the internet as their first port of call. Try a website builder like Go Sitebuilder to make your first website – it’s easy, fast, and with our ready-made templates, you can have a professional-looking website up in no time! Try out our 14-day free trial today.