Lifestyle trends come and go every day – from loom bands and cronuts to twerking. And with each emerging trend come businesses big and small, keen to maximise its commercial potential.But some fashions have more longevity than others and spotting them has been the key to many successful start-up businesses.
The recent boom in the popularity of cycling for example was illustrated once again this month with news from the Office of National Statistics that sales and production of British-built bikes rose by almost 70% to £60.2m in 2014 from £35.6m in 2013.
Manchester bike commuters have also risen by 88% and earlier this year we awarded CycleManchester in Altrincham a Start Up Loan to launch their café and bike retail business.
Run by Neil Lee and Marie Lee [pictured], CycleManchester is dedicated to celebrating the history, success and importance of cycling in Greater Manchester and brings together Velo Espresso, an artisan coffee shop, with a unique cycle boutique and a full ecommerce website selling a wide range of cycle related products, from sports nutrition to clothing.
Other global trends are reflected in the types of start-ups we are seeing applying for our low interest loans and business support. The rise in popularity of artisan food and a growing awareness of where our food comes from has led to many entrepreneurs developing their love of food and drink into new and exciting businesses Brewing is a particularly popular sector with sales of craft beers in the UK growing by 79% in 2013.
Husband and wife team Gina and Daniel Buck opened their new micro bar Great Ale Year Round in Bolton last year thanks to a Start Up Loan and are working with breweries ranging from Manchester Red Bank Cider in Bolton to Brooklyn Beers from America. The SEVEN BRO7HERS BREWERY in Worsley is a new age craft beer microbrewery set up by seven brothers with Start Up Loans to offer high-quality, innovative craft beers, all brewed using only natural ingredients.