Six future-proof business ideas

3D printing shop – Printing whatever people are buying

3d printing shop smarta

How close is it: It’s not cheap yet, but it’s ready to go. Get started if you have the cash!

From art and fashion to toys and tools, the shop of the future is one that can create anything, right in front of the buyer’s eyes. You’ll cut out all the storage costs and, if you’re in a good location, people will pop in just to see 3D printing in action.

It’s definitely not the cheapest way of making or selling products, but it could be one day. If you get your name established now, your business could be a market leader by the time the hardware hits its prime.

Who’s already doing it?

iMakr is doing this well. There’s a lot to learn from its branding if this is your choice for a future proof business.

Car charging station – The profits of the oil industry, without the oil

car charging station smarta

How close is it: Go, go, go! The time is now.

The electric car industry is reaching new heights every day. It will take a brave entrepreneur to produce the next eco-friendly car with all the competition around, but it’ll be the smart ones that create places it can be charged up.  Demand for charging stations is only going up, but you need to act quickly if you’re going to secure the prime locations.

You might not have ever seen them, but electronic car chargers are popping up everywhere. It’s an industry with a lot of start-up costs, but they could be recuperated quickly if you find the hot spots of eco friendly car ownership.

Where’s already taken? has a great map of charging stations around the country. As you can see, spaces are going quickly. Start up now or forever hold your peace with this business of the future.

Holographic theatre – The past time of the future’s middle class

Holographic theatre smarta

How close is it: It’s ready to go, if you’re up to the challenge

So, it’s not what you might think of when you hear the word hologram, but illusionists are building a big industry out of it. The idea is to use highly reflective polymer, invisible to the audience, to create life-size images. "People walk into the room and say, 'now that's a hologram,'" says Ian O'Connell, director of Musion Systems in London.

If you’ve got a flair for the artistic and enjoy making people go “oooh” and “ahhh”, holographic theatre could be just right for you. It won’t be the quickest earner in the world, but it could be the most fun you ever have while starting up.

Who’s already doing it?

Ian O’Connell’s Musion, check it out here.

Jetpack shop – The sci-fi dream is finally a reality

Jetpack shop smarta 

How close is it: If you’ve been waiting for this one, it’s time to move now!

James Bond has used them dozens of times, but, until now, the dream of selling jetpacks to the masses has remained unattainable. Now it’s time for every entrepreneur who ever fantasised about giving someone the gift of personal flight to celebrate, and rush to their business plans. It’s time to move on jetpack sales!

Before you think of setting up on the high street, get your website in order and your SEO sorted. Then, maybe even make a few sales before investing in your first stock. After all, maybe the public isn’t quite as eager to buy jetpacks as you are to sell them.

Who’s already doing it?

There’s no one even close to cornering this market in the UK, but the world’s quikery countries have already started the sales. A New Zealand company, Martin Aircraft, got the ball rolling and others are jumping on board.

Robot doctor – Save lives with a screw and a welding iron

future-proof business ideas smarta

How close is it: Close enough to consider getting trained up

The robot population has never flourished like it is right now. With more and more mechanical companions making their way into people’s homes around the world, people are starting to realise there’s a lot of money in knowing how to keep them healthy. 

The UK hasn’t adopted the metal friends in the same way as some other countries, but we can’t ignore those cute robotic helpers forever. When the time comes and we all start to have a robot of our own, the first person to be an expert in robot health will have a very good business on their hands.

Who’s doing it already?

No one’s there yet. You can still be the first.

City farming – Bringing natural food to concrete jungles

city farming smarta

How close is it: So close, your ship is sailing as you read 

If you love the idea of city farming, you’d better register a domain name and get thinking of a location now. City farming is a great idea to solve a few of modern living’s inherent problems. It brings great food and great views to people living in some of the UK’s busiest areas and it’s got lot of people taking notice. 

There are tons of great businesses already making the most of the natural audience for this, including Smarta favourites Grow Up, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for you to budge in. Pick an area in need of some healthier eating and more natural views and get going, the start-up costs are as low as they’ll be in any future proof business.

Who’s doing it already?

Sadly, lots of people. But you can do it better than them, right?


For Brad Burton's tips on future plans, click here


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