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New report- mobile apps and smart phone repairs in top 10 business opportunities

by david.nunes

Startups.co.uk reveals the top 10 business opportunities for 2012

LONDON, UK January 21 2012: mobile Apps and Smart Phone repairs are among the top business opportunities for entrepreneurs in 2012, according to a new report from Startups.co.uk.

The report, entitled What business to start in 2012, pinpoints the 10 specific business openings which offer the greatest potential for the year ahead. Other sectors mentioned in the report include independent coffee shops, smartphone repair services and mobile apps.

According to recent research by Creditsafe, the number of new businesses launched in the UK in 2011 was almost 20% higher than 2010, and early indications show this rise looks set to continue in 2012. Prime Minister David Cameron this week echoed last year’s declaration that “to drive our economy forward we need thousands to make that step and strike out on their own” when he said on BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: “The growth will come, I think, from start-up businesses, new businesses, small businesses choosing to employ one or two more people.”

Meanwhile, January is typically one of the busiest months for start-up activity, as people resolve to make a fresh start for the New Year.

With more and more people recognising the benefits of going it alone – such as the ability to do something you love and the freedom to do things your way – Startups has uncovered the most promising business opportunities this year.

The report, released today, is the product of two months of research, which involved analysing market trends and data, as well as more than 50 interviews with industry experts; prominent investors; business and thought leaders, and entrepreneurs – both seasoned business owners and brand new start-ups.

Interviewees included former Dragons’ Den star Doug Richard; Carlos Espinal, a partner in the influential business accelerator Seedcamp; Paul Skeldon, mobile industry expert and author of M-Commerce, and Alistair Crane, CEO of award-winning mobile app developer Grapple.

Startups’ top 10 business opportunities for 2012 are outlined below:

1.      Frozen yoghurt – With annual UK sales currently standing at around £4m – and forecasted to soar to £150m by 2013 – and the US market now worth around £4.9bn, this sector hold opportunities for start-ups and franchisees alike.

2.      Independent coffee shops – With 2011 coffee sales of £2.1bn, up 10% on 2010; a shift towards independent establishments and a coffee shop market expected to grow by 25% between 2009 and 2014, now could be a great time to grab a slice of the action.

3.      Hobby and crafts – Thanks to the recent economic downturn, home-made wares and craft-based businesses have experienced a recent boom, while online marketplaces such as NotOnTheHighStreet and Etsy have provided a new route to market. As a result, this sector holds much opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs in 2012.

4.      Social gaming – With Facebook users now spending a billion hours a month playing games on the site, and the social networking giant expecting to hit one billion users by August 2012, social gaming looks set for significant growth.

5.      Mobile apps – According to global market intelligence firm IDC, 183 billion apps will be downloaded by 2015 – that’s 26 apps for every person on the planet. The simultaneous rise in mobile commerce (m-commerce) makes mobile retail apps in particular a huge growth market.

6.      Smartphone repairs – Capitalising on the meteoric rise of the smartphone and the forbidding cost of off-contract handsets, smartphone repairs represent another key opportunity this year.

7.      The Olympics – With commentators predicting that the Olympics will benefit the economy to the tune of £5.1m, the report outlines a number of ways for entrepreneurs and opportunists to get in on the action.

8.      Cycling – More and more people continue to get on their bike: sales in the cycling sector are set to rise from £2.1bn in 2010 to £3bn in 2015, offering a number of opportunities for start-ups.

9.      Careers advice – With an increasing number of people losing their job as a result of the downturn, creating increased competition for vacancies, services helping people to hone their CV, interview technique or pitching skills look set to do well this year.

10.  Dance & fitness – 2011 was the year of Zumba, and while there are now many classes up and down the UK, the opportunities surrounding bringing dance to the masses – and the power of combining fun, fitness and a social environment – shows no signs of abating.

Steph Welstead, editor of Startups.co.uk, said: “During our research we uncovered dozens of fascinating business opportunities, and it was extremely difficult to drill down to a final 10.

“We also unearthed some fantastic entrepreneurs who are already capitalising on these opportunities. One designer we spoke to has brought out her own range of upmarket leather bags for cyclists – an innovative solution perfectly tailored to Britain’s infatuation with cycling, and a prime example of what we’re looking for.

“However, it’s important to stress that starting up in one of these sectors is by no means a guarantee of success. Starting a business is a huge commitment and there are no golden tickets. With any business, you need the right business model, pricing, location, people and attitude to make it work. That said, we hope our report will provide much inspiration for anyone thinking about becoming an entrepreneur in 2012.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), said: “Start-ups and small firms are at the heart of the Government’s economic plan for growth and we are striving to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business.

“That’s why we are cutting the main rate of corporation tax from 28% to 23% and have already slashed the small firm’s rate (for companies with profits of up to £300,000) to 20% We are also getting to grips with the regulatory burden and have scrapped planned regulations to save business £350m each year.”



Further information

For more information or to request a pdf version of What Business to Start in 2012, please contact Ella Gascoigne 0n 07896 595 527 or at ella@startuppr.co.uk.

About Startups.co.uk

Startups is the UK’s most popular web-based resource for entrepreneurs, attracting more than 200,000 unique users a month. Recent contributors include Peter Jones, James Caan, Theo Paphitis and Doug Richard, and articles provide a mix of practical advice and informed opinion. The site also underpins the Startups Awards, held each year in London to honour Britain’s most disruptive and innovative young companies.

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