UK’s aspiring business owners continue to grow in confidence

The future entrepreneurs of Britain feel confident about starting their business moving into 2017, new research reveals.

Flexible location and working hours were found to be the top reasons why future business women wish to start out on their own

Flexible location and working hours were found to be the top reasons why future business women wish to start out on their own

Four out of five Brits consider starting up their own business, but financial risks (54 per cent) and fear of failure (40 per cent) are holding them back, according to a new study commissioned by self storage provider Space Station.

The survey of 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs reveals that the prospect of securing funding for their start-up is one the most off-putting aspects. However, despite financial fears, the majority of Brits (62 per cent) want to be their own boss, with more women (65 per cent) than men (59 per cent) aspiring to work for themselves.

Flexible location (27 per cent) and working hours (58 per cent) are the top reasons why future business women wish to start out on their own. On the other hand, men are more driven by making more money (28 per cent) and being financially independent (38 per cent), compared with just 22 per cent of women.

Self-achievement (54 per cent) and the ability to choose people they want to work with (35 per cent) also ranks highly for both male and female respondents. However, economic instability was one of the biggest obstacles of starting a business, according to more than a quarter (28 per cent) of respondents.

While future entrepreneurs may differ on what might make owning their own company worthwhile, it seems more than a third (35 per cent) of respondents are unsure where to start their own business venture, with more women feeling unsure at 33 per cent compared with 28 per cent of men.

According to the House of Commons Library, 2015 saw 383,000 businesses enter the market, the highest number since records began in 2011.

Vlatka Lake, marketing manager at Space Station, says, ‘Over the years we have seen many entrepreneurs use our self storage and office facilities to take their first steps in their business venture. It’s great to see more people gaining confidence to start up their new business despite potential barriers.’

Case studies

Kevin Hall, LEGO brick artist and designer, says, ‘Finding your niche is the key to small business success. I’ve always wanted to do something creative and I’ve been collecting and building for about 36 years now. I was six years old when I decided I wanted to produce unique LEGO creations as a business.

‘Although starting up a new business is an exciting prospect, it’s easy to overlook the simple things such as organisation and planning that can have the most impact. Plan where you want to be and stay on top of your finances if you want to make your venture a success.

‘Building a big network of people you work with and creating new relationships is also very important. Over the years I’ve built some great relationships with companies, from helping us shipping our models to storing them. These relationships are crucial to my business.’

Jeremy Gaisie, co-director at Pump n Grind Coffee Roasters, says, ‘It has been an enjoyable but challenging experience to start my own business. We’ve been hit with many unexpected governmental hurdles such as the introduction of rising staff costs and tax changes but we’ve also had incredible support from our local community in Leeds.

‘My advice would be to take people up on their assistance when it is offered. A friend of mine wanted to start a web design company and offered to put our website together for free. We’ve also received great furniture from other businesses that are refurbishing their premises and we’ve connected with the local independent scene which greatly helps in free promotion and community involvement.’

Further reading on starting a business

Nominations are now open for the British Small Business Awards 2017, the leading event celebrating the brightest stars in the SME sector. Click here to enter, and make sure you get involved today using the hashtag #BSBAwards. Good luck!

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