Entrepreneurs reflective on their decision to start a business

A quarter of small business owners say that they regret starting up and would rather not go through the pain of growing a company again, research finds.

Managing directors aged 25-34 are the most reflective of their past decision to start a business, with 23 per cent confessing that with hindsight they would not opt to start their business again, according to the quarterly Small Business Barometer Report by office supplies company Viking.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the technology sector are the most at ease with their professional choices with only 14 per cent admitting to wanting to turn back the clock compared to those in the retail (32 per cent), leisure (31 per cent) and financial services (32 per cent) sectors.

Some 33 per cent of those businesses residing in Yorkshire say they would reconsider starting up, in contrast with 18 per cent in the South West.

In relation to how successful the first quarter of 2013 has been in comparison to the end of 2012, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of managing directors believe that the state of their business is actually worse.

Across all sectors, a large proportion of businesses remain stagnant with the highest figure stemming from companies in manufacturing (74 per cent) and hospitality (59 per cent).

Despite the slow start to 2013, businesses still remain optimistic with 65 per cent of SMEs across the UK expecting to grow their business and 29 per cent forecasting an increase in their company profits over the next three to six months.

Start-up businesses (up to three years old) believe that having a mentor would be the one aspect that would improve their business.

Sophie Christopher, spokesperson at Viking says, ‘It still continues to be a trying time for SMEs, and naturally with experience comes the opportunity for reflection on how your business has developed.

‘Admitting to having second thoughts about starting a business simply indicates how much of a struggle managing directors and business owners are currently going through.’

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