Campgrounds are an ideal lifestyle business – if you want a lifestyle involving the great outdoors, early mornings and a workload that ebbs and flows with the seasons. The National Caravan Council says most campgrounds “are SMEs or micro-enterprises, usually independently owned and managed as a family concern.” The industry contributes more than £6 billion to the UK economy annually.
The best bed and breakfasts are run by sociable owners with a ‘nothing is a problem’ attitude. B&Bs are hard work, but incredibly rewarding. Now accounting for a fifth of the UK’s total serviced accommodation sector, they can offer a cosiness and warm, personalised service that hotels simply cannot match.
A kennel business can be incredibly rewarding for animal lovers who crave an escape route from the rat race. Requiring a licence and planning permission – a major hurdle given the irritation posed by barking dogs to neighbours – this is a trade that most people enter by buying a going concern rather than starting a boarding kennels from scratch.
Petrol stations can be highly profitable in the right hands. If you can master the basics of retail then this is a recession-proof business with consistent passing trade. Petrol is not an optional good for motorists, after all, and have you ever known the traffic on our roads to do anything but grow?
Hotels are the workhorses of the tourism industry. A tolerance of long hours, working weekends and out-of-season personal holidays; a strong worth ethic; and an eagerness to please are essential to the makeup of a successful hotelier. Meet these demanding criteria and you can enjoy a business where every day is different and the rewards lie in making people happy.
Owning a pub is many a Brit’s dream, though a landlord does more than simply dispense drinks from behind a pump. You have to change barrels, coordinate both bar and kitchen staff and deal with inebriated customers – and all during evenings and weekends. For many people, however, these challenges are all part of the fun – along with working in an environment characterised by merriment.
Selling the UK’s favourite hot beverage – now surpassing even tea – the coffee shop market has grown sevenfold since 1999 and could double over the next decade. A coffee shop is best owned by a perfectionist. Distilling the ingredients, staff and ambience into a mix that is ‘just so’ is the defining goal of independent café culture.
An online business is a great way to have a store that operates 24 hours a day, with you choosing your own hours. Many can be operated by a single person, and with many distributors offering drop shipping, you’re able to focus on the running and marketing of the website, rather than managing stock levels.