Do you get fed up with your boring 9-5 job and wonder what other opportunities are out there? Are you curious if you could be making a living doing something that you love, rather than the same old daily grind? Having looked at the data from some of Britain’s small to medium enterprises (SMEs), maybe a new and unusual path to wealth doesn’t have to be a pipe dream.
Over the last couple of months, we’ve been using the plethora of data within the Blue Sheep UK Business Universe® (UKBU) to learn more about British businesses and the people working in them. Following on from our investigations into female earning power and the state of the British drinks industry, we wondered how some of the country (outside of London) earns a crust.
Here are a few surprising things we learned…
Be kind, rewind – for the video tape industry
Never mind the resurgence of vinyl, there are still a handful of businesses (14, to be precise) that identify themselves as ‘Video Tape Shops’. Between them, their combined site turnover is a shade under £4m*. Small potatoes, maybe, and no doubt these businesses have diversified their stock to include the occasional DVD or (whisper it) Blu-ray. However, it’s still more than the site turnover for the Chocolate Fountain industry (£2.91m), Graphologists (£900k) and Britain’s Model Villages (£2.8m). Who said VHS was dead?
There is slightly more money to be made pretending to die than serving drinks in the nude
Admit it, that’s not something you expected to read today. According to the UKBU, outside of London, Britain’s ‘Kissogram Operators’ have a combined turnover of £5.18m. A company specialising in naked waiters is far and away the most profitable of the bunch. Make of that what you will.
However, if you like waiting and prefer playing dead than being in the buff, we have good news. The ‘Murder Mystery Evening and Weekends’ industry, with a turnover of £5.2m, could make you more money!
That said, when all you need for serving drinks in your birthday suit is an apron, you could argue that your overheads will be lower…
Britain loves a curry much more than egg and chips
Okay, this will come as less of a surprise. Outside the capital, there are 5,139 SME Indian restaurants, generating a combined turnover of £1.44bn. The 1,624 English restaurants, by comparison, generate £1.03bn. The 1,987 restaurants serving Italian food turnover £1bn, followed by American (£714m), then Chinese (£500m).
By comparison, at the bottom end of the scale, 21 Jamaican restaurants make £4.1m, while the eight Ethiopian restaurants around the country take in just £1.7m. They might want to consider a sideline selling VHS tapes (or hosting some murder mystery events)…
Parents will pay out for a minute’s peace
While you won’t find many parents who admit to it, there is clearly more than a few who have given in to the incessant demands of a child who has spotted one of those godforsaken ride-on amusements. The eight companies listed as a ‘Children’s Ride-On Electric Vehicles’ business, mostly from regions with coastal resorts like Taunton, Brighton, Newport, Norwich and Hull, make £4.28m between them. Not bad for letting a toddler sit next to a rotating Iggle Piggle for 45 seconds.
Dig out your tarot cards - there’s money in mysticism
Look into my crystal ball and what do you see? Pound signs! Whatever your thoughts on the ability to connect to the spiritual world, it’s certainly able to conjure up some cash. The 467 ‘Clairvoyants and Palmists’ based outside the capital have created an industry worth £66.1m. That means ghost whisperers and palm readers have been able to rake in the equivalent of a pound from every person in the UK.
Britain’s caves make tens of millions
They must have called him Cheddar Man for a reason – he was charging people for entry! Britain has 15 caves and caverns that are making money – a turnover of £20.2m, to be precise.
Sitting at the southern end of the Pennines, the Sheffield region is Britain’s cave capital, with four times as many commercialised caves and caverns than anywhere else in the country. However, the Wookey Hole Caves and Paper Mill in Somerset is by far the most profitable when it comes to big holes in the ground.
There are over 8,000 driving instructors in Britain and loads are called Dave
There are 8,555 SMEs outside the capital teaching others how to drive. Between them, they are generating a healthy £943m turnover. After some thoroughly unscientific counting (while lots of driving instructors have their name as their business, many use their initials) we found that if they are going to be named anything, it’ll be Dave, Steve or Andy. Female instructors are often called Carol, Julie or Anne.
Who contributes more to the economy? Bakers or Butchers? Electricians or Plumbers?
Two epic battles, each with a clear winner.
In the showdown between Bakers and Butchers, our need for cake obviously trounces a love of bacon, with the 4,184 Bakers generating £3.9bn, compared to the 4,423 Butchers and their £2.05bn turnover.
In the face-off between two of Britain’s biggest trades, who is victorious – Plumbers or Sparkies? While both industries have roughly the same number of SME businesses (14,262 Plumbers vs. 14,407 Electricians), it’s the Sparkies who are leagues ahead, turnover-wise: £7.06bn takes £3.73bn. So, learn to wire up a house and knead a loaf of bread and you’ll be laughing your way to the bank.
If you want to know more about UK businesses, the Blue Sheep UK Business Universe® can help with all manner of data requests. You’ll be amazed by what it can tell you.
*All turnover figures sourced from the Blue Sheep UK Business Universe®, using 'site turnover' data compiled from several data suppliers, including modelled data from Market Location and Corpdata.
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