The New Year is a great time to finally pursue your start up dreams and set up that business you’ve always wanted.
Starting up can be intimidating and scary. You may have a plethora of ideas or maybe you have no clue what to do, you just simply want to start a business. Many start-ups know they want to be in business, but struggle to decide what that product or service should be.
To help you get your creative juices flowing, consider these trends for 2017…
- Personal Brand
In 2016 we saw many YouTube personalities and bloggers hit the jackpot through creating big social media followings, advertising on their content and working with big brands. Anything from Life Coaches, make up bloggers, cooking channels and fitness trainers – the list goes on.
Developing a personal brand is a great way to showcase your expertise and make money, but if you’re not a fan of the limelight, you can still be part of the hype.
With more and more people jumping on the personal brand bandwagon, there is a higher demand for digital tools to create and market these brands online. If you’re into technology or the digital world, creating a tool/product/service that helps this market could be of great use to a lot of people.
- Target Millennials
Millennials are now the largest age group alive on earth meaning they hold the majority of the worlds buying power. Creating a product or service that a millennial market will want makes your business much more likely to succeed.
If you’re a millennial yourself, think about how you live and the things you do every day. Could you create something that fills a gap or makes your life easier or more enjoyable?
According to Ad Age, ‘Young people aged 17-34 today – the millennials or Gen Y – will spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017.’
- The Health and Fitness Industry
2016 was a big year for the health and fitness industry with a record 9.2million UK active gym memberships. We also saw a surge in health gadgets as more people are aware of their health and interested in looking after it.
84 million wearables health gadgets were sold in 2015, and the forecast is for threefold growth to 245 million by 2019.
Whilst 2016 focused largely on wrist worn devices such as the FitBit and Apple Watch, the success of these products has proved that the health-technology market is bigger than ever and ready for other similar products to enter the market. Millennials, Women in particular, are more concerned with their health than any other past generation. Last year, Forbes predicted the wearable tech industry would reach $14 Billion.
Other areas of growth are predicted for non-conventional fitness classes such as floating yoga and virtual boxing, and mental health apps to encourage mindfulness and a healthy mind-set.
- All Things Tech
Year on year technology continues to grow and 2017 will be no exception. As the digital world advances, people are more open than ever to using tools and products that can make their lives easier and more enjoyable. Virtual reality and artificial intelligence are set to have their biggest year yet and it is predicted that in 2017, more and more companies will connect with consumers through “immersive interfaces” including augmented reality and virtual reality.
American President Elect Donald Trump’s recent meeting with some of the worlds biggest technology leaders, such as Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Tesla/Spacex CEO Elon Musk, reassured the industry that his presidency would be in full support of growing the technology industry further this year and in the future which will not only benefit Americans but effect the global tech industry as a whole.
- Going Green
‘Going Green’ is a term that’s been around for a while, however, Millennials are more conscious than any other age group about the products they buy and the effects they have on the planet. They make an effort to find products that are created and distributed ethically with a carbon footprint as low as possible. They opt for locally sourced products as much as they can. Globally, a report from 2014 says that 55% of consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay higher prices for goods from environmentally conscious companies.
If you’re thinking of creating a product-based business in 2017, consider this when planning your manufacturing and distribution. A product that is ‘green’ is more likely to be purchased than one that is not.
- The ‘Hygge’ Hype
The term ‘hygge’, which is a Danish word for cosiness, was a huge craze in 2016 with Hygge Coffee Shops popping up all over the country. The trend it set to continue into 2017 too and Hygge coffee shops have also influenced the interior design world. The term ‘hygge interior design’ has been searched on Google 163% more times in the last 3 months than it was in the previous quarter. So, if you’re the creative type and into design, this could be a market worth exploring in 2017.
- Food and Drink
2016 saw a huge influx in pop up food shops and craft alcohol companies. Craft gin was the most popular and in October alone was searched on Google 182,000 times, that’s 285% up on 2015. ‘Craft beer shop’ searches were also up 86% more than in 2015. 2016 also saw a rise in people turning vegan, maybe due to the ‘going green’ trend, with the search term ‘vegan food’ up 83% on 2015. If you’re a passionate ‘foodie’, now is the time to create your quirky product or pop up eatery.
8. How To Fund Your Idea
If you have your idea nailed and you’re ready to go, you may be wondering how on earth you’re going to fund your start-up.
If you’re setting up a serviced based business, fortunately there are minimal start-up costs. A product based business is a little trickier as you’ll need capital to get your product manufactured and distributed/set up shop. If this is the case, consider selling services first in order to generate cashflow, then you can introduce your products.
Depending on where you live in the UK, there is some government funding available to start-ups within certain sectors. Research your local government online for more information on the funding in your area. Be aware though, the application process can be long winded and the requirements include a lot of information such as an extensive business plan and cash flow.
If you’re willing to give some of your business’ equity away in return for funding, you can approach a private equity firm or use a crowdfunding platform. Both options will have backers and investors, who will in most cases, also be willing to provide mentorship as well as investment. This method will also require a business plan, however, it’s very common for experienced investors to back the business founder and not just the project. Demonstrating a solid belief in your idea, confidence in your abilities and a passion to succeed will go a long way with backers.
If credit is compulsory to get going, you could opt for a low interest credit card or even a start-up loan. Many are available for start-ups and you can pay back the minimum payments each month. Like any financial borrowing, you will need to meet the lenders requirements and have the desired credit score to successfully borrow. One in every eight (13%) small and medium-sized business owners in the UK has used a credit card or personal loan to fund the growth of their company.
If you’re not confident your business will work, avoid getting yourself in debt and try to bootstrap your venture. Bootstrapping is a great alternative if you’re still in a paid job and can afford to put money aside. Start off by working on your new venture out of hours and funding it yourself until you feel comfortable to quit your job. By making lifestyle changes, such as, eating out less and shopping less, you’ll be surprised by how much you can save and put into your business instead.
Money is not the be-all and end all to your start-up success. If you’re creative, focused and have persistent work-ethic, plenty of opportunities will appear.
Where there’s a will – there’s a way.
If you’re ready to start your new business, check out our FREE Ultimate Guide To New Business Insurance to find out more about the insurances you may require.