Why is Leicester the best place to start a trades business?

Why is Leicester the best place to start a trades business?

The top three places to start up a trades business are Leicester, Bristol and Sheffield, according to research by Confused.com.

The study looked at which cities had the highest rates of success for new building trades businesses.

The statistics show that three in four (77 per cent) trades businesses across the UK survive beyond two years, on average, but some parts of the UK seem to have better results than others.

The Midlands is a promising option, with Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham are all within the top six areas based on business success rate. Leicester is the city with the highest rate of success with carpenters, gardeners and painter and decorators all particularly successful here. According to the data, less than 10 per cent of all trades based in the city fail, on average.

There are 7,649 trade businesses in London, 141 per cent higher than the average UK city, with an average survival rate of 84.1 per cent

Meanwhile, Cardiff has the fewest number of competing trade businesses in the UK (1,457), suggesting it could be one of the best cities for a start-up. In particular, roofing and double glazing installation business are thriving, with a 100 per cent two-year survival rate in the Welsh capital.


Location Average trade survival rate Number of competing businesses Most successful trades

(100 per cent rate of success)

Leicester 90.4 per cent 1657 Carpenter, Landscape Gardener, General gardener, Painter and decorator
Bristol 89.9 per cent 2212 Double glazing installer, Carpenter, Landscape gardener, General gardener
Sheffield 88.2 per cent 2947 Roofer, Landscape gardener, Gardener, Painter and decorator


Most successful trades

The study reveals that the most secure trade professions are electricians and double-glazing installation businesses – both of which have an average survival rate of 89 per cent after two years.

Electricians also receive the highest day rate of £215, closely followed by plumbers at £210.

Starting a roofing business could be a risk, as the trade has the lowest survival rate (78 per cent). However, more than three in four businesses make it past the two-year mark. Roofing businesses in Sheffield, Nottingham and Cardiff all have the best chance of thriving, with a 100 per cent survival rate.

Financial considerations

Van insurance varies by trade, even between similar work – landscape gardeners pay £1,424 a year on average, the highest insurance cost, while painters and decorators have the cheapest van insurance at £870 a year.

Builders have the highest public liability insurance at £278 a year, higher than plumbers (£217) and carpenters (£126). Electricians pay the least at only £81.

Across all trades, the average cost of marketing, which includes running a two-week bus stop advert, a one-off local newspaper advert and a radio advert over one to two months, would be £26.71 each day on top of running costs.

You can find the full list of trade start-ups and regions here.

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