New Years’ resolutions are often full of dreams about finally launching that craft business you believe will be a true success.

But, if you’re stuck for ideas about how to turn your passion into a money-making business, here is some inspiration from the Verdict team.

The businesses you should start in 2018

1) Know your Carbon app

This year has seen a lot of steps forward in environmental policy (and a few steps back in the case of Trump’s stance on the matter.) But on the whole, people’s eco-conscience seems to be rising and you should cash in on it because what’s the point of moral goodness if you can’t make a profit from it?

People want to know where products are coming from and where they’re going to end up. So how about an app that lets you scan in your bottle of shampoo or microwave pizza packaging, and tells you the resources that went into producing it? Or perhaps how long it will take to decompose if left on a landfill site?

It would work in a similar way to Shazam, which recently sold to Apple for $400m. However, instead of telling you the name of a song, you get a rundown of a product’s environmental impact.

Any way you want to spin it, offering tangible evidence of how people can enact change on an individual level would assist our efforts to fight climate change, and I for one would be in favour.

Scarlett Evans

2) A super premium gin distillery

If you’re looking to start a business in 2018 obviously gin is the way to go. Having put together a Christmas alcohol gift guide I’ve seen first-hand that gin is crazy popular. According to Charlie Sissens from GlobalData, the bubble still hasn’t burst yet. As of its most recent data, the worldwide gin industry alone is worth $2.182 billion.

The data also shows that the best route is to carve out a niche with ‘super premium’ gins at £40-50 per bottle. Additionally, experimenting with new and unique flavours, just like vodka manufacturers did in their heyday will be the way to make a quick buck. One of the most popular independent gin brands, Slingsby, have found success with its raspberry and rhubarb gin, for example.

However, there are also some traps to avoid. Joe Worthington from Australian gin brand, Four Pillars, a drinks industry expert with lifetime’s worth of experience, told me that many new brands fail because they spend too much time focusing on packaging and not enough time on the product or vice versa.

If you want to start a successful gin business in 2018, make sure you produce a good quality gin. Once you’ve got that, packaging that will stand out will take you a long way.

Jack Rear

3 Things That Will Change the World Today

3) Open a bitcoin law firm

This is less fun than a gin distillery but hear me out. Bitcoin exploded this year, going from just breaking $1,000 in January to nearly $20,000 by the end of 2017.

Many people are looking to cash in on the lucrative rewards they may have collected using the cryptocurrency but with so many still not understanding how bitcoin works, this is filled with issues.

For instance, there are the issues around private keys. If you don’t control the private keys to the bitcoin you’ve bought, you don’t really own it. This is something that popular app Coinbase falls foul of.

And a company that tracks the movement of bitcoin Chainanalysis, reckons about 23 percent of all bitcoin is some kind of cyrptopurgatory which can’t be accessed. This amounts to around 3m coins, worth about $52bn.

If you know anything about cryptocurrencies and have a law degree then best get capitalising on it for those who don’t.

Amelia Heathman 

4) VR bar

Virtual reality entertainment will continue to chug along next year, with people forking out to by an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift only for them to gather dust at home.

However, the 2018 VR business opportunity – guaranteed to make some lucky entrepreneur rich – is a VR bar in a city centre that lets people try out the tech with friends, have a few drinks, and see what all the fuss is about.

Virtual reality is still a gimmick and the fun can wear of quick when you’re using it at home. But for such a solitary technology its real entertainment value comes when using it in a group.

Meanwhile, themed bars have become a far more common sight in cities around the world – from table tennis to darts, and now things like the Crystal Maze experience and escape rooms.

Esports bars have also popped up, letting people watch live matches but also play themselves. Using VR to attract groups of people have no interest in e-sports and gaming opens up the concept to a whole new market.

Billy Bambrough

5) Tell me where I can get my cash

There are an estimated 70,000 cashpoints in the UK, but I’ve often struggled to locate one when I need it most. Yes, I admit I use my debit card for the majority of my purchases and I love the convenience of contactless payments. However, there are enough restaurants, bars, hairdressers, coffee shops and market stalls which only accept cash so there are times when I really just want to know where my nearest ATM is.

To save myself from walking around aimlessly hoping that there’s a cash point outside the nearest Tesco, I would love to have a hassle-free app on my iPhone which directs me to a nearby ATM.

Withdrawing cash reached its highest point in the UK last Christmas as shoppers withdrew a staggering £730m on December 23, so with this year’s festivities fast approaching, our smartphones should be telling us where we can get our money.

Elisabeth Perlman

6) An esports betting platform

This one is a no-brainer. The esports industry is growing far faster than anyone predicted and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. Revenue surpassed $1.5bn in 2017 and is expected to climb to $2.3bn by 2022. The riches on offer are increasing and are just waiting for someone like you to claim them.

Sports and betting go hand in hand and esports betting would surely be popular enough to make your new business venture worthwhile. You wouldn’t be the first, – 2017 spawned its first esports betting platform, Unikrn – but a little competition never hurt anyone. Punters are a fickle bunch, just offer marginally better odds and they will undoubtedly come flocking.

In fact, doing just about anything esports related will probably make you rich in 2018. There are 13-year-olds making hundreds of thousands of dollars, so how hard can it be?

Luke Christou