When you think about the biggest and most well-known brands, it is hard to even imagine a time where they were a small business (or even before they existed). Every business has to start somewhere and there are a number of household name brands that started out as a small company. Keep reading to find out more about your favourite brands that started small:
Boots is one of the best-known stores in the UK and often the first place that people will visit when they need any kind of health, beauty or personal product. Much like McDonald’s, you are never too far away from a Boots in the UK, but this was not always the case. The pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer started out as a herbal remedy store with a single store in Nottingham in 1849 founded by John Boot, selling remedies made by his mother.
Few brands are as famous as Starbucks, which has coffee shops all over the globe and often multiple stores in single locations. The first Starbucks opened in Seattle in 1971 by 3 University of San Francisco graduates and the store only sold coffee beans. Howard Schultz bought it out in 1987 and it has been quite the journey since then!
Aldi has emerged as the number 1 supermarket choice for many people in recent times as people can make big savings here as opposed to shopping at other supermarkets. The very first store opened in a low-income suburb of Essen in Germany in 1913, but now there are over 10,000 stores spread across 20 countries and a shop that is always full.
These days, people often first look to Airbnb when looking for a place to stay as opposed to looking at hotels. This relatively new business has an interesting backstory with two roommates in San Francisco that were struggling to keep up with rent, so they purchased 3 air mattresses that they could hire out to paying guests.
You can’t go to a gym these days without seeing Gymshark clothing everywhere, but it actually started out as an online supplements business dropshipping bodybuilding supplements. It was founded by two friends studying at university who then started making fitness apparel in the garage of one of their parents.
The brand went viral after the BodyPower trade show and became the UK’s fastest growing fashion company in 2016. Success stories like this show the importance of growing and developing a business, which often requires the use of secured business loans to invest into the business.
It is interesting to see how many of the most famous and well-known companies started small and had such humble beginning. This goes to show that success is possible with a great business idea.