Starting a business: The family influence
Posted: Tue 18th Jun 2013
Where does the desire to start a business begin? In her weekly post, Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones takes a journey back home and reflects on the source of her own enterprise inspiration -Â her family.
This weekend I left the busy streets and schedule of meets in London to head home to Shropshire and find the space and time to think about a new development in the business, writes Emma (left).Â At home, I found my mum! Mum (Fay Easton, pictured with me above) ran restaurants while we were growing up and she's an entrepreneurial lady who has only ever known self-employment. Mum was the inspiration for my entrepreneurial journey and she continues to offer counsel when it's most needed.
On the return train, I started to read _Setting the Table_Â by New York restaurateur Danny Meyer, who has seen significant success with eateries that include Union Square CafÃ©, Gramercy Tavern and Shake Shack. Mr Meyer speaks a good deal about the influence of his family when he was starting and growing the business. They were entrepreneurial role models, sometimes showing how to do it and other times demonstrating how not to do it!
How families shape the next generation of entrepreneurs
It got me thinking about the power of family influence when it comes to being your own boss. I don't hear it so much anymore, but there was a time when young graduates would attend StartUp Saturday or comment on Enterprise Nation that they wanted to start a business but were being advised by their parents to get a 'proper job'. This was not such a positive influence and, I'm delighted to say, is rapidly receding as starting a business becomes the preferred profession of choice for graduates and students. How much more powerful to have endorsement and support from your family when you decide to give up the day job or finish studies/retire and then start a business!
"How much more powerful to have endorsement and support from family when you decide to give up the day job and start a business!"
As a nation, we're witnessing record numbers of people starting a business. If the current start-up rate continues, we Â may well exceedÂ half a million this year -Â and many of these businesses are being run from home. In many cases, they are run by parents, which means that mum or dad are doing the books, doing deals, making product and innovating around the family, thus subconsciously educating the next generation of entrepreneurs. I can tell you that when you grow up surrounded by entrepreneurial activity, Â it feels the most natural thing in the world to then go on to work your own way and earn your own living (while hopefully providing wealth and employment for others in the process).
Practical support from the families of entrepreneurs
Families also provide vital support to people who are starting and running their own businesses. The family can help when it comes to raising funds - our first quarterly Small Business Survey shows personal savings to be the most common source of start-up funding (82%), with friends and family as the next most common option, for 10 per cent of respondents.
"If you're reading this and starting a business, you become an immediate inspiration to your children/nieces/nephews/cousins."
Friends and family are also the testing ground for product, and they can be a morale-raiser and marketing department, offering the boost you need for both. At their best, they also offer totally unbiased counsel. If you're reading this and starting a business, you become an immediate inspiration to others, including your children/nieces/nephews/cousins, and so on. If you've started, succeeded and sold a business, please consider becoming part of the Enterprise Nation family to offer your advice to those who follow in your path! Emma Jones is founder of Enterprise Nation
Â Become a part of the Enterprise Nation family
The Enterprise Nation ClubÂ gives you the chance to meet and share tips and ideas with likeminded businesses for just Â£20 a year. As a member you'll also receive great offers to help you start and grow your business, discounts on our advice guides and training workshops, plus the chance to become part of our campaigns on behalf of modern small businesses. Join the Club!
Photo Credit: Sparkles Tuey ?Â (paper people) via Compfight cc Photo Credit: pierre bÃ©datÂ (family with pram) via Compfight cc Photo Credit: EvanHahn via Compfight cc