Did you have hopes and dreams of starting a business last year only to find that all of a sudden Christmas was upon you and you just, well, hadn’t…?
Don’t worry. It took me almost 12 months to finally get out of the “I’m thinking of starting a business” to actually sitting at my desk in my home office doing it. Indeed, research has found that many people struggle with this: pushing through the idea stage to actually launching a business.
So, don’t beat yourself up if you had all the best intentions in 2017 and have yet to transition from your job to owning your own business.
The time it takes varies for everyone but, if it’s something you really want to do then there are some fantastic reasons why 2018 is your year!
1. UK SMEs are smashing records globally
Small Business Minister, Margot James, announced that the UK hit a record 5.7 million SMEs in 2017, responsible for 33% of the private sector turnover (a whopping £1.3 trillion).
The UK also topped the Forbe’s ‘Best Countries for Business in 2018′ list thanks to our technological readiness and the size and education of our workforce, up 5 places from 2016.
The boom in entrepreneurship here in the UK is proof that small businesses are generating more income and increasing employment opportunities, which can only happen if there’s an environment for success.
We’ve so much going for us a small business community that you can contribute to.
Take encouragement from such a booming market for startups and see what a great time it is to join the ranks of entrepreneurship in the UK.
2. There’s more support than ever for start-ups and SMEs
Off the back of her reports of the outstanding growth of small businesses in the UK last year, Margot James also stressed:
“This government is committed to ensuring the UK remains the best place in the world to start and grow a business. That means identifying and then helping those high-growth businesses to scale-up, go global and invest in their future.”
And she’s true to her word.
There are now 39 Local Growth Hubs across the UK helping to share knowledge and offer support, mentoring and guidance to develop businesses at all stages.
I benefited hugely from the activity of my local hub this past year, seeking free mentoring and discovering funding opportunities I didn’t know were available to me. The support was right on my doorstep and cost me nothing to use!
But it’s not just government initiatives you can access to help to launch your business, have you considered:
- Crowdfunding – using sites like Kickstarter to get backing for your business idea and test the demand.
- Peer To Peer Lending – sites like Zopa match people looking for a loan with people looking to invest, often at lower rates than banks. A great alternative to traditional methods of funding your startup.
- Social Media – marketing through digital channels like Facebook have made it quicker and easier to access your audience online. So many startups get momentum on social media before scaling up. It’s fast and cheap and you can start today.
- Startup groups – there’s everything from meetups, networking groups, co-working spaces and incubators to help you connect with other startups and SMEs who can help inspire and motivate you to take your idea and run with it.
- Informi – it’s free and jam-packed with useful guides on everything from business ideas to funding and launching your venture.
These are just some of the things that are making it easy for startups like you to succeed. Seek them out and make the most of them!