Despite fears post-Brexit and the warnings of the adverse effect to the economy, there are so many reasons why now is the best time to start a business in the UK. Entrepreneurs and small business owners have often thrived during economic downturns and recessions, and instability can often breed opportunity. More than 5 million people are now self-employed in the UK, with the figures rising year on year.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a business in the UK, here’s 7 reasons why this is the best time to get started:
1. The internet creates a level playing field
The internet has changed the landscape of how we do business and you now have access to a global marketplace at your fingertips. Not only that, but you don’t even need premises to start a business these days – with a website, social media and online advertising all readily accessible, anyone can quickly start to make money from home. This has completely levelled the playing field and meant that micro businesses and solopreneurs have just as much access and opportunity as businesses with financial backing, funding or support.
2. Funding is widely accessible
There are many ways to fund a new business in the UK and whilst business loans from banks have become more easily accessible for SMEs over the last couple of years, many more funding options have been created giving entrepreneurs more control and choice:
- Government Schemes
You can search the government website for finance, grants, loans and business support schemes across the UK: https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support-finder/search
- Peer To Peer Lending
Many websites such as Zopa now offer peer to peer lending – bring individual borrowers and lenders together in a responsible and cost-effective way.
Instead of asking one, or a few sources to fund your business with larger amounts, you could take the route of crowdfunding – asking many people to lend you a small amount of money. Sites such as Kickstarter have made this model of funding very accessible to UK businesses.
- Angel Investment
Angel investment is when an individual invests in start-up companies in exchange for an equity ownership interest. Many angel investors will also play an active role in helping the business develop and grow.
3. More support now than ever
The UK Government has invested widely in creating business support networks and small business grants across the UK to encourage and support entrepreneurship and business enterprise. Many local schemes are available for free or for a reduced fee.
Not only that, there has been a significant rise in private business support service companies in response to the growing rate of entrepreneurship in the UK – with local working hubs, networking groups, and support services on offer.
4. Gives you freedom and flexibility most jobs can’t
Longer hours and commuting further has become the norm for employees here in the UK and whilst some traditional jobs offer great freedom and flexibility, most don’t. Whilst we’re not pretending that starting or running a business is easy, and you’ll often put in a lot of hours, sweat and hard work to get it started, when you’re your own boss you get to choose your working hours, holidays and can have a lot more freedom and flexibility compared to most jobs.
5. Directly impact your community or society
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi
If you care deeply about changing or impacting your local community or society, entrepreneurship is one of the best ways of being directly involved – either through the products and services you offer or by opportunities to give back as a business. Whilst most people just talk about making changes or complain about the status quo, as an entrepreneur you’ve the opportunity to do something about it.
6. Contribute to the UK’s economic recovery
SMEs play a huge part in the growth of the UK economy, contributing to 47% of the private sector turnover in the UK and they have been hailed as one of the key driving forces in helping the economy recover from the recession. Whilst the economy appears to be taking a dip post-Brexit, the opportunities and growth created by small businesses are still growing.
7. There’s no time like the present
If you’re thinking about starting a business but are waiting for the perfect circumstances, you may be waiting a long time. There really is no time like the present but you have to make the decision and take action. Thinking about it won’t get you anywhere and the only way you’ll know if now is the right time for you is by giving it a shot. Remember, you can always get a job or start a different business if your first attempt doesn’t work out.