Vanity fares well for UK small businesses

Consumers looking for luxury prefer their local independent trades

Britons spending more on life’s little pleasures drive 90% rise in small businesses since 2010, ranging from manicurists to pet groomers.

As the nation emerges from an age of austerity, consumers are choosing to spend spare cash on treating themselves with luxury goods and services. Simply Business has seen a small business renaissance over the last five years which not only reflects an increased demand in indulgence from today’s consumers but their preference to be pampered by local independent businesses.

The UK’s favourite business insurance provider has monitored the rise and fall of different professions since 2010. Today, its annual Tracker reveals a sharp upturn in lifestyle services with beauty and grooming businesses rocketing over the past five years. This includes:

  • Manicurists (115%)
  • Masseurs (110%)
  • Make up artists (33%)
  • Beauticians (101%)
  • Hairdressers (79%)

Simply Business discovered Brits are demonstrating a willingness to spend on refreshing all aspects of their life, from pets to homes. The Trade Tracker identified a significant increase recorded in the number of pet minders (489%), pet groomers (321%) and dogwalkers (294%) as well as a rise in domestic cleaners (118%), painters (60%), bedroom, bathroom and kitchen fitters (51%), domestic builders (86%) and construction businesses (56%) since 2010.

This boost also implicates that consumers are choosing local independent businesses, whose quality and service they trust, with their precious pennies and pounds rather than relying on big brands and retail chains.

Fiona McSwein, Chief Customer Officer, Simply Business, commented: “It’s a pivotal time for the UK economy. People are enjoying a bit more disposable income and are investing in their personal needs.

“This has presented hard working startups and sole traders with a brilliant opportunity to tap into the luxury services and goods market, as these trades are agile enough to pick up on emerging trends, create a business and develop the UK’s reputation for great service. Working with small businesses for the past decade, we are thrilled to witness the nation’s increased support on microbusinesses and sole traders and hope it continues.”


Notes to Editors

Figures are based on analysis of insurance policy data from independent retail outlets insured by Simply Business between 2010 and 2015. This includes over 300,000 businesses in 2015.

Top 10 Start Up Trades 2014/2015

1. Market trader
2. Domestic cleaner
3. Hairdresser
4. Builder
5. Beautician
6. Gardener
7. Business & management consultant
8. Dog walkers
9. IT contractor
10. Carpenter

5 Biggest Falls in Start Up Trades 2014/2015

1. Hair and beauty consultant
2. Plumber
3. Energy engineer
4. Paint sprayers
5. Florist

Case studies and interviews with Fiona McSwein, Chief Customer Officer, are available upon request.

For further information, please contact:

Nithiya Gnanathas/ Arthur Trousdell

020 7199 6196/ 020 7199 2203

[email protected]

About Simply Business

Simply Business is the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, specialising in public liability insurance for SMEs and landlord insurance.

Launched in 2005, Simply Business provides an online brokerage service delivering policies tailored to individual business requirements. It has a team of UK based insurance specialists and employs almost 300 people across offices in London and Northampton.

Simply Business provides insurance to more than 475,000 UK SMEs and landlords and owing to its internal underwriting capability can cover over 1,000 trade types. It has been a Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company for the past three years and was recently named in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA. Revenues have grown from £4.2 million in 2006, to £25.4 million in 2014, and the company has been named 2015 and 2016 winners of The Sunday Times’ Best Company to Work For.