What kind of business should I start?

So you know you want to start a business - but do you know what type of business? There's so much more out there than just setting up an office or a shop. Of course, one of those could be the perfect choice for you.

Before you decide, you might like to take a look at this guide, which will provide you with an introduction of different ways of starting up. You may find some categories overlap, or that two of three apply to the way you want to run your business. This just gives you an introduction to the different options out there.

Online business

  • Selling through your own website is good for those working part-time or who can't afford premises but can afford to set up a website.
  • It can be difficult to get people onto your site though.
  • Selling through an established site, such as eBay, may be a better way to attract business and will cut out the costs and hassle of setting up a secure payment system and site.

On-premises business

  • The merits of setting up a business that operates from a premises - such as an office or a shop - very much depend on what kind of business you want and on what scale.
  • Premises are typically expensive to buy, rent and maintain.
  • But if you have the money, premises can be a good way to draw customers to your business and give them a real experience and chance to try out your product.

Home-based business

  • A home-based business can be anything from a website to a delivery service to holding yoga classes in your front room.
  • Many entrepreneurs start from home, as you save loads money on premises, travel and costs.
  • Make sure you discuss things in depth with whoever you live with, as you need you own area and will inevitably have stacks of paperwork.
  • Consider noise, space, distractions and insurance too, and if you have a coffee shop nearby suitable for any meetings.

Family business

  • You may be joining parents or siblings by taking on the family business - this can be advantageous in that the business is already established, but may not give you much scope for taking things in a new direction.
  • You may also be setting up a business with other members of your family - this can work very well, but be careful not to end up owing each other thousands of pounds and falling out.
  • Read more in our guide on how to start a family business.

Social enterprise

  • A social enterprise is a business where the majority of profit is invested in helping either an environmental or social cause.
  • If you want to run a business which is more about charity than making a personal profit, this could be a good choice for you.
  • If you want to earn big bucks, this isn't really the right choice as the idea is that you put most profit towards worthy causes.

Business with a partner

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