Posted: Thu 20th Oct 2016
For the past four years, the UK has experienced record start-up rates with over half a million people each year opting to become their own boss. People across the UK are spotting a gap in the market or taking a hobby or skill, and turning it into a way of making a living. Enterprise Nation's Emma Jones offers five reasons why 2016 could still be your year to join them and make a start.
Join Emma, the Enterprise Nation team and friends at the biggest ever StartUp Saturday on 19 November in London as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. You'll pick up everything you need to start a business, in the space of a day. Click here to book your place.
Christmas gifts and trimmings may be appearing on shop aisles but don't let this put you off making the most of the remaining year to start a business. Why, you may ask, is now a good time to get going?
You can start in your spare time
I'm not suggesting you read this post and march straight into work to hand in your notice. That could be considered rash! But what you can do is start a business whilst holding onto the day job. We call it 'working 5 to 9' and it's now the most popular way to start; you keep hold of the security and salary of the day job, whilst giving yourself time to build cashflow and confidence in the business. If you're building a business that doesn't compete with the day job, your employer could be pretty happy about it too as you're picking up new and entrepreneurial skills that the employer doesn't have to pay for!
This is why Enterprise Nation hosts start-up events on a Saturday; we know you've got a working week and a business on the side. Rest assured, it's the very best way to start!
It's possible to start for less than Â£100
Low or no cost technology has been a great friend to the start-up and made it perfectly possible to start a business without breaking the bank. You can raise profile and make sales on the major social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, launch on a marketplace via Etsy or Amazon, or have your own site, with a template site builder such as Squarespace, that costs as little as Â£10 per month. Add to this some business cards and an old desk in the spare room, attic or shed and you're well and truly in business.
As a start-up, you can get away with being cheeky and asking for any kind of resource. Want space or skills? Beg, borrow and barter your way to starting up and maintain the philosophy of operating on a budget, as you grow.
If you do need funds to buy stock, take on premises etc, look at options including StartUp Loans, crowdfunding, friends and family, your bank, or the credit card. These are the most popular forms of start-up funding.
We're in a golden era for exporting
You'll want to start when you're sure there are customers for your product or service. Good news on that front; if you're selling anything that's 'Made' or 'Designed' in Britain, you've just become a whole lot more attractive to customers from across the globe.
Due to the performance of the pound, British exports have become cheaper, and if you're wondering how to go about exporting so early in your business journey, the marketplaces and social media platforms outlined above are the very same routes to market whether you're selling down the road or across the globe.
Other customers opening up for small businesses include large corporates who want to buy from you to show provenance and authenticity, and government who wants to buy from you to hit a target of spending Â£1 in every Â£3 with small business by 2020. Sell to consumers through getting involved in campaigns like Small Business Saturday.
There's support available at every turn
When starting out, you're most certainly not alone. Large corporates have stepped up to support small businesses with brands such as 123-reg launching a platform with 60+ videos of digital advice, Amazon has launched its Academy to boost start-ups, O2 has an army of gurus, and accounting software provider, Xero, has a wealth of information for customers on how to manage money. Make the most of this support; it's tailor made for you.
You'll never look back!
Over and above these reasons, the main motivating factor as to why so many people start a business is to achieve the freedom and flexibility that comes with being your own boss. You can start a business from home, run it round the family, work on your own terms, and get paid for doing something you love. What more reason do you need than that!
Join Emma, the Enterprise Nation team and friends at the biggest ever StartUp Saturday on Saturday 19 November in London. You'll pick up everything you need to start a business, in the space of a day. Find out more here and book a ticket below.
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