10 Profitable London-based Business Ideas for the Neat-Handed

10 Profitable London-based Business Ideas for the Neat-Handed

Tired and dissatisfied with your day job? Dreaming about being your own boss?

Well, maybe, it’s time to get off that fence, you’ve been sitting on and pursue your dreams! Dig out that entrepreneurial spirit of yours and stop worrying about Brexit. Asking yourself constantly whether it’s a good time to undertake your business venture will get you nowhere. Now is a good time as any.

There are dozens of original, unusual and innovative ideas for people who are not sure about what business to start. They have been based on new trends, gaps in the market and well researched business niche opportunities. Do a quick search on the web and you will inevitably get bombarded with the weirdest ideas about strange and unusual vocations. We find experts dishing out generously newly embraced terminology. The budding entrepreneur is encouraged to identify themselves as the kidulthood specialist, the edtech or insurtech business owner, the new hygge merchandiser or the professional Brexit consultant. There are, of course, the quick money making home-based business opportunities, veering towards scam and enticing you with unrealistic promises. We’ll leave those well alone.

* This piece of advice is provided by Lisbeth Larose, a professional at the Join Fantastic Franchise (UK) – a franchise company in London and throughout the UK.

What do you need for a successful business?

Well, we will stay well away from these pipe-dream endeavours and focus on the realistic and tangible business possibilities that you can succeed in by simply using your hands, invest your time, put your soul in and bring to fruition through pure determination and self-belief. We go traditional, here, and invite you to stay firmly on the ground by checking out our profitable startup business ideas for the dextrous, hard-working and honest individuals who are not afraid to make their hands “dirty” and shed a drop of sweat.

Whether you choose to start out as a sole trader or form a limited company, there are certain prerequisites for each occupation in our list. We have outlined them below along with the job description and the potential annual salary you could expect to earn. Do not forget that you will also need to tackle the legal side of setting up a small business, which would involve different registrations and a good understanding of various tax compliance issues.

1. Show Off Your Green Fingers as a Professional Gardener

Your love for plants can be channeled from a weekend pastime into a gardening or landscaping business that brings you a satisfaction and a decent salary..

What skills and certifications you need

  • Gaining formal qualifications with the Royal Horticultural Society simply won’t hurt if you want to improve your skills and become a successful landscaper or gardener. The organisation has over 80 approved centres across the UK. Becoming a member of the Gardeners Guild will also boost your credentials. You can invest some of your time by working as a volunteer with The National Trust, as well, and gain further experience. You should be creative, practical and physically fit at the same time, in order to be able to use a range of tools and apply your imagination. A strong eye for detail and an extensive knowledge about plants are also a must.

Special tools and requirements – premises and/or a vehicle

  • You can spend tons on gardening tools and equipment, so build up gradually your selection, starting with what you really need. A trimmer is a gardener’s essential. But will you bother with obtaining a chainsaw licence? So, maybe, leave this tool out of your purchase list for now. A good van will be your biggest investment, but don’t be afraid to spend a bob. It is your mobile advertisement, which will “pay you back” in no time.

What will you do

  • It is entirely up to you whether you will offer general garden maintenance services, specialise in lawn care, or you are an artist at heart with technical skills and want to dive into the world of landscape design. From planting, weeding, hedge trimming, lawn mowing, pruning and garden clearance to bespoke garden makeovers (if you are a landscaper) – is what would be expected from you.

Salary

  • Depending on your location and experience, you can earn from £16,000 to £32,000 per year.

2. Good with the Wood Chisel? Start a Carpentry Business

Why waste your natural talent for making stuff from wood on building birdhouses and sheds when you can make a living out of it and be your own boss? We know it’s true that folks these days would rather nip to IKEA for their flatpack book cabinet but there are still people out there who value craftsmanship and quality furniture.

What skills and certifications you need

  • If joinery or carpentry has been more of a hobby than a profession for you, then you will need to do the legwork and get properly qualified through a modern apprenticeship or get your certifications with City & Guilds. In addition, you can apply for membership with the Institute of Carpenters and take advantage of the Master Certification Scheme they have developed. You should have an affinity for Maths to be able to calculate measurements and be good at following technical drawings. Being artistic will also enable you to create bespoke and uniquely carved furniture.

Special tools and requirements for premises and/or a vehicle

  • It is a known fact that the percentage of self-employed carpenters in the UK is much smaller than those who are in some sort of employment. Still, this does not need to put you off from starting out a small carpentry home-based business, where the running costs are much lower than if you were to rent a workshop. Just kit yourself out with the essential tools to start with and go from there. If you take up joinery and offer your services at building sites, you will need to get a CSCS card and an appropriate tradesman liability insurance cover.

What will you do

  • You may specialise in fitting wooden structures, frames, roof timbers, wall partitions, required in construction projects. A carpenter is called out to make and install interiors of a business/public establishments. You can be a stagehand in a theatre/TV production. Or your vocation could be to create custom furniture.

Salary

  • Based on your location and experience, as well as on what type of carpentry/joinery services you specialise in, you can earn from £17,000 to £39,000 per year.

3. There’s a Shortage of Welders in the UK

Welders are employed in different industries from manufacturing individual metal elements like pipes, metal plates or parts for cars to applying their skills in the oil and gas industry or even specialise in welding under water, if involved in the shipbuilding sector. If you are fed up with working for someone else, you can start your own welding business as self-employed.

What skills and certifications you need

  • You can acquire your certifications with TWI (The Welding Institute), gain different levels of welding qualifications through one of the recognised Awarding Bodies in the UK, such as City & Guilds, or gain the EWF/IIW Diploma if you are new to this field and extend your experience through an apprenticeship. You should be technically-minded, with strong math and measuring skills, and good at reading technical plans.

Special tools and requirements for premises and/or a vehicle

  • There is a trend for welders going mobile, offering their services on the go, instead of setting up a workshop and investing in kitting it out. You will need a reliable van, which can be equipped with a generator, specialised welding machines (or an all-in-one MIG & TIG welding machine), safety equipment and a variety of other tools. You should hold the appropriate insurance to offer welding services.

What will you do

  • You can grow your client base from doing a range of small welding jobs on site to getting involved in a large private engineering or construction project, where welding is required.

Salary

  • Depending on where you are located, how experienced you are and what specific certifications you hold, you can earn anything from £16,000 to £40,000 a year.

4. Electricians are Very Much in Demand

Starting out a small electrician business is appealing and rewarding, especially when you know that the demand for electrical experts is high. So much that the number of ladies who are taking up the profession is steadily increasing in the UK. Female electricians are usually sought after by elderly women, living on their own.

What skills and certifications you need

  • The trade is varied and depending on what sector you wish to specialise in, you will be required to gain one or more special certifications. As a minimum requirement, you should register with the Competent Person Scheme to self-certify that your work is in compliance with part P of the Building Regulations if your services target the domestic sector. If you offer services within the commercial or industrial sector, you should gain a ECS certificate in line with the Wiring Regulations.

Special tools and requirements for premises and/or a vehicle

  • Electricians travel quite light in terms of the set of tools they take to a job, in comparison to other trades. You can acquire those, along with quality safety equipment from any reputable tool supplier. Tradesman usually opt for a nippy van or a pickup truck.

What will you do

  • Electricians can specialise in a variety of services – from fitting lights and fixtures, installing wiring, equipments and circuits or doing electrical repairs to fitting and fixing the electrics in motor vehicles. Most self-employed electricians in the UK work in the domestic sector.

Salary

  • Your annual salary will vastly depend on what specific services you provide, based on your certifications, as well as on where you live. An electrician’s earnings range from £18,000 to £42,000.

5. Design Your Future as a Custom Tailor

Always knitting or sewing in your free time or making clothing alterations for your friends? Well, you can earn an honest wage from your sartorial skills and choose your own hours to work in the process.

What skills and certifications you need

  • You should be naturally good at sewing, at making patterns and have the ability to visualise designs. Attention to detail and creative approach are also prerequisites for a successful career as a custom tailor. College qualifications can help you grow a business in this field, although there are no entry set of requirements for the job. You can also improve your skills and gain the most valuable qualification in bespoke tailoring – the Savile Row Bespoke Association Apprenticeship Certificate – if you do the SRBA apprenticeship, while working part-time for yourself as a clothing alteration hand, for instance. This will set you ahead of your competition at a later date.

Special tools and requirements for premises and/or a vehicle

  • Most tailors or clothing alteration hands set up their workshop at home. And probably, you have already acquired all the necessary equipment like a sewing machine and tailoring tools.

What will you do

  • You should have a good knowledge about fabrics and textiles to be able to design custom garments. You will be expected to create, draw, cut, sew the pattern and fit it to your customer. Making adjustments and alterations is also part of your role.

Salary

  • Well, unless you are Stella McCartney, you should settle for an annual salary that ranges from £14,000 to £22,000. Still, it’s not unheard of for highly popular custom tailors in London to exceed £40,000.

6. Make Others Relax as a Massage Therapist

Did you know that some massage therapists charge between £50 and £60 per hour? Well, the experienced ones, who are pre-booked for months ahead, that is! But who says that you can’t be one of them?

What skills and certifications you need

  • You will need to have a Certificate in anatomy and physiology and obtain appropriate qualifications, depending on the type of massage you want to specialise in. Those should be recognised by a professional body for massage therapy, which is governed by the Council for Soft Tissue Therapies. You can also become an expert in sport massage and get accredited by gaining membership with the SMA. The massage therapist should be a fit person with a positive outlook, a good listener and professional on all levels. You will be expected to be able to spot health problems with your client, which are outside of your expertise, and refer them to a medical practitioner.

Special tools and requirements for premises and/or a vehicle

  • Massage therapists can work as self-employed from the comfort of their own home, in private beauty or fitness centres, at spas or rented premises. Often, clients prefer to be treated at home, so the massage therapist may choose the path of going mobile. Whatever you opt for, you will need to set up your own equipment like tables, chairs, pillows, sheets, towels and lotions.

What will you do

  • In general, massage therapists work on the client’s soft tissue and muscles by applying pressure with their hands. There are many conventional types of massage, as well as alternative massage therapies, some of which – with a questionable effect on the customer’s health. Sport massage therapy is more specialised and often compliments sport injury recovery and rehabilitation.

Salary

  • The salary you can earn varies and it depends on the type of massage you offer, the hours you work per week, the size of your clients base and your location. Furthermore, the level of your running costs are also a factor. A massage therapist can earn from £14,000 to £52,000 per year.

7. Hair Stylists Are Never Out of Work

To become a self-employed hairdresser is not necessarily a business idea for women only. Some of the most famous hair stylist are men, as we all know. So, as long as you are an individual who is interested in fashion, style and the world of beauty, you can easily change your career path.

What skills and certifications you need

  • You can learn everything about training and courses from the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority, in order to obtain the relevant qualifications. Doing an apprenticeship with a salon is also a viable option and a preferred choice of many budding hair stylists. It is recommended that you have the following set of skills: creativity, willingness to learn, have an interest in fashion and changing trends. You should also have the ability to listen, be sociable and tactful at the same time.

Special tools and requirements for premises and/or a vehicle

  • A lot of hairdressers rent a chair in a beauty centre or a hair salon and purchase all the tools and supplies themselves. Some hair stylists choose to go mobile and offer their services at the client’s home. There is also the possibility to combine both by renting a space and doing home visits. If you are good at marketing yourself, you may decide to set up your hairdressing business at home.

What will you do

  • You will be expected to know how to cut, shampoo, condition and colour your customer’s hair. You should be able to understand, design and interpret different hair styles. A good hairdresser usually hаs the ability to spot scalp conditions, hair problems and recommend an appropriate treatment or advise the client to see a medical professional.

Salary

A hair stylist can expect to earn from £14,000 to £32,000 per year, depending on their location, experience and overheads.

8. Set up a Handyman Business

Do you find yourself tinkering around and always fixing stuff at home on a weekend? Well, then maybe, it’s time to pursue your dream and set up a handyman business. If small repairs and odd jobs is what you love to do, then you are a half way there.

What skills and certifications you need

  • There are no set entry requirements to become a handyperson. However, to start a handyman business, it will help if you are experienced and qualified in basic plumbing, joinery and electrics. Most DIY courses can give you the practical skills that will enable you to do home repairs and basic fixture/fittings installations, etc. You should be a very practical person with a talent for problem-solving. The successful handyman is friendly and polite. He has good organisational skills, in order to provide value for money services. Note that if you work with the elderly or people with disabilities, you will need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Special tools and requirements for premises and/or a vehicle

  • A pickup truck or a van will be handy for the self-employed handyman. You probably already have a selection of tools, which you can upgrade and extend gradually as you go. Note that a professional handyperson always brings basic supplies, like nuts and bolts, and other industrial fasteners, when called to do a job. As there is no need for you to rent or set up a workshop because you will be visiting people’s homes, your running costs will be relatively low.

What will you do

  • Experienced handymen can instal bathroom fittings, light fixtures, curtain rails/tracks to the wall. Performing small electrical repairs or basic plumbing jobs, like unblocking a drain, all fall in the range of the handyman’s skills. You should be able to mount TV sets, hang curtains, hang pictures and mirrors, adjust and install doors, perform small outdoor repairs and more. Many handypersons are good at assembling flat pack furniture, as well.

Salary

  • Depending on where you live and the hours you do per week, you can earn anything from £14,500 to £25,000 per year. Experience is also a factor when it comes to how much you can charge per hour for your services.

9. Get to Know the Colour Scheme as a Painter

To start out a painter & decorator business, you will need to have an experience as a painter and willingness to work on your own terms.

What skills and certifications you need

  • Often, a working experience through an apprenticeship is what you need to improve your natural painting and decorating skills. However, to enhance your credentials if you are starting out as a self-employed painter, you will be better off doing a course with organisations like City & Guilds or Specialist Trade Courses. You can also get your NVQ Certificate by getting assessed for your skills and already gained experience. Note that you will need a CSCS card to work on building sites. Apart from having an eye for colour, a good understanding of colour schemes and strong attention to detail, a good painter should have basic mathematical skills, in order to calculate correctly surface areas and quantities.

Special tools and requirements for premises and/or a vehicle

  • Most contracting jobs provide all the materials, supplies and tools, but this does not mean that a self-employed painter should not kit themselves out with all the necessary painting tools and decorating equipment, required for the job. As you do not need to rent a workshop for your business, you can easily invest in a reliable vehicle, which will advertise your services to the public.

What will you do

  • An experienced painter and decorator has the skills to strip off old wallpaper or paint, fill cracks and prepare the surface with a primer. You should have a good knowledge of different types of paints and an understanding of how to mix them. The same goes for adhesives, if wallpaper is involved in the decoration project. It’s the painter’s job to calculate the surface area, the quantity of paint needed for the job and the time that the latter would take to complete. You should have the ability to apply paint in several coats to a perfect finish and also, have great wallpapering skills.

Salary

  • Your annual salary could be anything from £15,000 to £34,000.

10. Dog Groomers Must Be Animal Lovers

More and more dog owners in the UK resort to the services of professional dog groomers on a regular basis. So, if you are a dog lover and have a dog yourself, taking up on a career as a self-employed dog groomer could be a life-changing event for you in the good sense.

What skills and certifications you need

  • Doing an apprenticeship with a dog grooming salon or enrolling in an accredited private grooming training centre to do a course are all possible paths for you to take in order to get relevant qualifications. City & Guilds also offers different levels of dog grooming courses. To be successful at this job, you should have a good rapport with dogs, possess great customer care skills and know the Animal Welfare Act by heart. You should be able to demonstrate patience and the ability to work with nervous dogs.

Special tools and requirements for premises and/or a vehicle

  • You can offer your dog grooming services as a self-employed and set up a space in a kennel, a pet shop or a specialised dog grooming salon. You can go mobile and visit your customers in their homes, usually at weekends, or set up your business at your own house if suitable, of course. You will be expected to equip yourself with all the necessary tools, supplies and equipment to perform your services.

What will you do

  • A professional and experienced dog groomer should have a vast knowledge of different dog breeds, in order to trim their coat into a specific style. This is especially valid if you specialise in preparing pedigree animals for dog shows. Nail clipping; shampooing, conditioning and drying of the dog’s coat are all part of the services, a dog groomer would offer. Flea or tick treatment may also be included in your services list.

Salary

  • A dog groomer can charge anything from £25 to £70 per hour. So, depending on the number of hours you do per week, your experience, location and how business savvy you are, you can earn from £13, 000 to £22,000 and over per year.

To succeed in your business venture, you may also need a bit of luck. Just don’t give up believing in yourself and you will be surprised at what you can achieve.

Author

Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them – their passion for sustainability.

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