London is a thriving city for entrepreneurs, and many amazing business opportunities are available.
In 2022, there were 1.0 million businesses in London, the most of any region or country in the UK.
Combined, London and the South East of England accounted for just over a third of UK businesses.
Starting a small business in London can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but knowing what types of businesses will be successful is important.
To help aspiring entrepreneurs get started on their small business journey, this article presents the 11 best small business ideas for London entrepreneurs.
Here you will find ideas designed to take advantage of the local market and capitalize on some of the most popular trends.
With these ideas, you can start planning your venture confidently and enthusiastically!
A. Food & Beverage
1. A Tea Shop
One small business idea Londoners may want to consider opening up a tea shop.
Tea has become increasingly popular in the UK, with the average purchase amount of tea per person increasing from 18 grams in 2018 to 20 grams in 2019.
A tea shop would provide Londoners with an array of teas from across the world, including classic blends like English Breakfast and Earl Grey, as well as more exotic teas such as chai and matcha.
Customers can sample different types of teas before they buy them, or they can even subscribe to have their favorite blend delivered directly to their home regularly.
Opening up a tea room would be fun and profitable and also give customers something unique that’s not offered anywhere else in London.
2. Farm-To-Table Meal Delivery Services
This is increasingly popular in London to bring fresh, locally sourced ingredients straight to the customer’s doorstep.
By providing local restaurants and farms with a direct connection to the consumer, these businesses offer a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to impact their communities.
These meal delivery services are proving especially popular amongst those living in more urban areas of London who may not have access to fresh produce otherwise.
With convenient pick-up and drop-off points throughout the city, customers can order from various local suppliers and have their meals delivered within hours.
You can also provide detailed information about the origin of each ingredient so that your customers feel empowered when making their food choices.
B. Health & Wellness
3. Personal Training
Personal training is an ideal business venture for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the booming fitness trend in London.
Statista.com shows over 7.2 thousand health and fitness clubs in the United Kingdom, with over 10 million combined members.
As one of the world’s most vibrant cities, it offers a wide range of unique opportunities for personal trainers willing to put in the work and dedication needed to succeed.
The key to success as a personal trainer in London is delivering high-quality services that leave clients feeling energized and confident.
To achieve this, you must be knowledgeable about various exercise types, dieting approaches, and safety protocols.
Stay up-to-date with industry trends through continuing education courses and networking events with other professionals.
In addition to offering traditional one-on-one sessions, you can expand services by offering group classes or online programs that target specific goals such as weight loss or muscle building.
4. Yoga Studio
Yoga is a popular activity in London, and there is no doubt that starting a yoga studio would be a great small business opportunity for any entrepreneur.
A yoga studio requires minimal upfront investments.
With over 10,000 yoga teachers in the UK and an average salary of £27.54 per hour, it provides an excellent way to make money while helping others improve their physical and mental well-being.
When setting up a yoga studio in London, consider offering different classes such as:
- Hatha Yoga (focusing on breath control, simple postures, and relaxation)
- Ashtanga Yoga (a more intense form of physical exercise) or
- Yin Yoga (a gentle practice focusing on stretching).
This will provide students with plenty of options to suit their individual needs.
C. Beauty & Fashion
5. Hair Salon
London offers a wealth of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the hair salon industry.
With its dynamic, creative atmosphere and vibrant fashion scene, the city is home to many trendy salons that cater to various tastes.
From boutique-style operations to full-service establishments, hair salons can provide stylists with an excellent platform for success.
Location is one of the most important considerations when setting up a new business in London.
Hair salons must be situated where they will attract customers while still being affordable, for example, Stratford.
Ensure that your premises are well connected with public transport links and are within easy reach of local amenities such as shops and restaurants.
This allows stylists to draw in customers from both near and far locations.
6. Nail Salon
Besides Hair, nail salons are a popular small business idea for entrepreneurs in London.
With the latest trends in nail art and techniques, it’s easy to see why this is an attractive option.
Nail salons offer various services, from manicures and pedicures to acrylics, gels, and 3D designs.
They can cater to all types of clients – from those who want simple and classic looks to more adventurous customers who want something unique.
Investing in quality supplies, such as polishes, tools, decorations, etc., will be key for success within this market.
Whichever you pick, remember the beauty industry is ever-growing.
Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and products to keep your business competitive.
D. Technology & Digital Services
7. Content Writing Business
Around 252,000 new websites are created every day worldwide!
And that’s why content writers are in high demand.
As a content writer, you can work on short-term projects and long-term contracts or offer your services as an ongoing freelancer providing content solutions.
Your responsibilities vary.
It includes creating anything from blog posts, website copy, ebooks, whitepapers, product descriptions, and more.
The key to success here is creating quality content that meets customers’ needs and keeps them returning for more.
For those interested in starting a content writing business in London, all you need is a portfolio showing your past work.
To get work, go to job boards like ProBlogger.com and Upwork.
8. Social Media Management
Social media management is an essential tool for small businesses in the UK.
With 57.6 million active social media users in the UK as of 2022, small business owners have access to a huge potential customer base on these platforms.
SADLY, not everyone knows how to use the platforms to drive results and build a strong online presence.
Luckily, some experts can help entrepreneurs develop strategies to make their businesses stand out from the competition.
A good social media manager can create content that resonates with customers while also providing them with valuable information about products or services offered by the company.
They can monitor conversations on these platforms to respond quickly to customer inquiries or complaints and provide timely feedback when necessary.
If you love working online and in your schedule, this is a perfect small business idea in London.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a Social Media Manager is £33378 per year in the United Kingdom.
This is your chance to shine.
E. Education & Tutoring
9. Test Prep Tutoring
Test Prep Tutoring is another of the best small business ideas for London entrepreneurs.
With so many students needing help to reach their academic goals, tutoring can be a successful and rewarding business venture.
In fact, 2.66 million students were studying at UK higher education providers in 2020 (Source: HESA Student record 2020–21 ).
So there is demand?!
As a test prep tutor, your job is to provide guidance in building the necessary skills and knowledge to pass important tests like SATs, GCSEs, and A-Levels, as well as entrance exams for universities, colleges, and other post-secondary education.
Focus on offering personalized instruction plans tailored to each student’s individual needs.
At the same time, you should be able to identify areas where the student needs improvement and give helpful advice on how they can move forward with their studies.
Top up by providing resources such as practice tests and study materials to ensure that students remain motivated throughout their test preparation process.
10. Online Tutoring
This is a great option for London entrepreneurs looking to make extra money.
You can use your knowledge and expertise to help students worldwide with their studies.
And there are many online tutoring platforms available, such as TutorMe, Skooli, and Preply, which allow individuals to tutor remotely.
This means you can work without leaving London or taking time away from your day job or business.
Most online tutoring services also offer flexible hours and competitive pay rates, making this an ideal option for busy entrepreneurs who don’t have much free time.
And according to Indeed.com, the average salary for a Tutor is £20.75 per hour in the United Kingdom.
F. Entertainment & Events
11. Event Planning
Event planning can be a great way for London entrepreneurs to use their creativity, organizational skills, and network connections.
From large-scale corporate events to small intimate weddings, there’s plenty of potential for success in the event industry.
With this city being home to many prestigious companies and wealthy individuals, there are numerous opportunities for aspiring event planners to capitalize on.
Let’s talk logistics.
One of the most important aspects of organizing an event is ensuring guests have an enjoyable experience.
This includes finding suitable venues and caterers to provide entertainment options and audio/visual setup.
It also ensures enough staff is available on-site during the event, so everything runs smoothly throughout the night.
To succeed in this industry, YOU must possess strong communication skills to interact with vendors and clients effectively.
This is another one of the best small business ideas in London.
It is a city full of beautiful scenery and historical monuments. And anyone would love to keep a memory.
Although this business isn’t tied to tourists alone.
Photography can range from portrait to landscape, product photography, wedding photography, and more.
In the age of social media, photographers have many opportunities to market their work online and reach a wider audience.
To start a successful business in photography in London, have an understanding of the industry and good equipment.
A portfolio that captures the potential customer’s attention will be key in attracting new clients.
Having some experience with photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop will also give you an edge over competitors.
And don’t forget to build relationships with other professionals in the industry so that they can refer clients your way and vice versa.
G. Home Services
13. Cleaning Services
Cleaning services can be an excellent business opportunity for London entrepreneurs.
With the average salary for a cleaner in the United Kingdom at £10.16 per hour, it is possible to make a substantial income by providing cleaning services.
You will need basic equipment such as mops and buckets and cleaning products such as detergents and disinfectants to get started.
It may also be beneficial to become certified in first aid, CPR, and other safety protocols so that your clients know they are in good hands with your service.
Consider marketing your business on social media or local advertising outlets like flyers or brochures to find clients.
You can also reach out to businesses directly, offering professional office cleaning services during evenings or weekends when their staff isn’t present.
Working with other businesses to provide end-of-tenancy cleans for landlords could also prove beneficial for getting regular work.
Related: Want to Start a Cleaning Business in the UK? Here’s What You Need to Know
14. Dog Walker
According to studies, 34% of UK households own a dog.
And that’s why a dog-walking business is making one of the best small business ideas in London!
The pay is fair as well.
The average salary for a dog walker in London is £11.93 per hour, and this can be increased with additional services like pet sitting or grooming.
To start your own dog walking business in London, you will need to know canine behavior, be physically fit and able to handle larger dogs, possess basic first aid skills or be willing to obtain them, and have access to suitable transportation.
You will also need public liability insurance and any relevant licenses that may be required by local law enforcement.
Advertising your services through online platforms such as Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace can help you find clients quickly and build up your customer base quickly.
Related: How To Advertise A Dog Walking Business in the UK
H. Business & Financial Services
15. Accounting Services
Accounting involves taking care of client’s financial needs, such as filing taxes and managing payroll.
And getting into this business is easy.
You need to have a finance or accounting background and the necessary licenses from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Also, invest in professional software to help with bookkeeping and other record-keeping tasks.
To get clients, have a strong online presence, join local networking groups, and offer competitive rates on your services.
You can also create relationships with other businesses looking for someone to manage their finances.
Above all, stay up-to-date with changing tax regulations to serve your clients better.
16. GDPR Compliance Company
This type of business is especially relevant in today’s digital age, as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ensures that personal data and privacy are protected by law.
If you understand the GDPR and compliance issues, this could be a great business opportunity for you.
What do you need to start such a business?
First, know legal aspects such as data protection law, IT security principles, and online safety measures.
You should also consider becoming certified in cybersecurity or Information Governance to demonstrate your expertise.
Additionally, having strong customer service skills will assist when dealing with clients who require your services.
We’ve looked at some of the best small business ideas in London.
But deciding what venture to start is entirely up to you as an entrepreneur.
Many opportunities and risks come with each business venture.
The most important thing is to choose something that utilizes the entrepreneur’s strengths, interests, and experience while also being viable as a financial investment.
For those looking for a low-risk option or one with a high potential return on investment, services such as digital marketing, catering, or property manager may be the best.
For entrepreneurs who want to break into new markets and find creative solutions for their clientele, tech consulting or app development could be the way forward.
Ultimately, do thorough research before investing in any opportunity. This is the only way to make an informed decision about which small business idea will work best for you in London.
With enough hard work and dedication, any of these ideas can succeed!