Best Places to Start a Trades Business in UK
Starting a new business can be daunting, especially when you work in the trade industry. You can give yourself a real leg up by choosing the right geographic area to start your business. It is harder to start up and operate from an already saturated market. Your cost will be high, and competition will drive down your profits. Fortunately, there are loads of places in the UK that are crying out for skilled tradespeople and reliable businesses.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the best spots in the UK to start a new trade business.
Top Five Picks For Starting a Trade Business
Brighton is a good option for most tradespeople. There are lots of jobs available, and practically all start-ups make it past the 1-year mark. This is a particularly great spot for carpenters, builders and gardeners.
Chester is high up the list for a combination of job availability and very low advertising costs. This makes getting a decent amount of work here quite achievable. The city is especially in need of more plumbers.
Currently, there are not enough tradespeople to meet the demand for work in Leicester. This is especially true for gardeners. The lack of competition makes Leicester a great place to start a new trade business.
For most tradespeople, Coventry offers excellent opportunities for picking up clients. Advertising is reasonably priced, and there are plenty of jobs up for grabs. The city is especially in need of electricians so if you are a sparky looking to move on and start your own business, then Coventry should be high on your list.
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Newcastle has an ideal mix of high demand for tradespeople and low levels of competition. There is a high demand for tradespeople who specialise in construction in the area.
Where’s The Best Place To Set Up?
Generally speaking, the midlands is the area most friendly to tradespeople. There is a fertile balance between advertising costs and availability of work. When you add in the moderate cost of living the area has some of the highest start-up survival rates. This means more businesses are still trading after two years of operation. Most cities in the area have start-up survival rates of between 80% – 98%. This is comfortably above the national average of 77%.
Best Locations By Trade
There will always be a demand for good plumbers. However, there are three cities in the UK that have 100%, 2-year survival rates for plumbers. These cities are Chester, Coventry and Liverpool. In these areas, the day rate for a good plumber can reach as high as £270. On average, self-employed plumbers can expect to take home around £30,000 per year.
Being a sparky is generally a safe trade. Typically in almost all areas, electricians can expect to see the highest daily rates for their work. There is also always a good level of demand. Coventry and Leicester both have 100% two-year survival rates for electricians starting independent businesses. Daily rates can rise as high as £280. This rate equates to the average self-employed electrician taking home £30,000 per year.
When it comes to construction companies, Brighton has some of the lowest numbers per population in the UK. With only around 252 companies serving the almost 300,000 population, competition is low. Newcastle and Nottingham do have more competition; however, they have the benefit of much lower advertising costs. This makes all three of these cities great spots to start a construction business. In these three cities, the highest daily rate going is around £230.
Chester, Bristol, and Nottingham can all boast of 100% 2-year survival rates for new carpentry businesses. They all have the bonus of cheap advertising costs and little competition. Daily rates are relatively consistent at between £130 – £170. For the average carpenter, this works out at around £26,000 per year.
If you are looking for places to make a go of it as a gardener, there are actually a lot of good choices. All of the following locations have 100% 2-year survival rates for new independent gardening businesses – Brighton, Leicester, Bristol, Chester, Plymouth Newcastle, and Sheffield.
Daily rates vary depending on the area of speciality. For general gardeners top-end, daily rates are around £150, for more specialised landscape gardeners this rises to about £180. This works out as an average earning of £24,000.
There are quite a few bright spots for roofers. Sheffield, Nottingham and Cardiff have 100% 2-year survival rates for new roofing companies. Newcastle and Sunderland also have a massive demand for roofers. This has driven daily rates up as high as £220.
Double Glazing Installation
There is always a demand for glaziers, across the whole country. If you want to start an independent trade business and have yet to select your trade, then this is definitely one to look at. Pretty much any major city is a good bet. However, Newcastle and Bristol top the list for the most available jobs. You can be looking at daily rates of £150 – £180.
One of the best places to start an independent business as a bricklayer is Brighton. There is plenty of demand and rates of pay are good. Day rates range from £100 – £150. Top earners here can make as much as £43,000 a year. Well above the national average of £31,000.
Painters and Decorators
Demand for painters and decorators tends to go hand in hand with construction. So anywhere that construction companies are booming is a great spot to open up shop as a painter and decorator. So that points you towards Newcastle and Nottingham. Another hot spot is Peterborough, which sees some of the highest earnings for self-employed painters and decorators. The national average for annual earnings of independent painters and decorators is around £23,000, in Peterborough, this pushes up to £28,000.
Plastering is arguably one of the hardest trades to make work as an independent business, but there are some great places to set up shop. Liverpool is an excellent location as it is bursting with jobs. You can expect daily rates between £130 -£170.
What Else Should You Consider?
When considering the best place for your business, you have to think of other implications too, such as;
- Public liability insurance – Builders typically pay the most while electricians pay the least.
- Running costs – electricians may have the best day rate, but comes with high running costs, gardeners usually have the lowest running costs.
- Vans and van insurance – landscape gardeners suffer the most with this, while painters and decorators pay the least.
- Marketing and advertising – Expect to pay an average of £26 per day for this, regardless of trade.
- Where will make you happy – It’s not all work and no play as a tradesperson!