Dave Howell Ediorial

Dave How­ell
Busi­ness for Begin­ners

With three-quar­ters of Brits dream­ing of start­ing their own busi­ness. If this is you, what’s stop­ping you diving into the world of self-employ­ment and trans­form­ing your life?
I blame my dad for my need to be self-employed. He was a self-employed build­er all his life. I clearly inher­ited the self-employ­ment gene. I could nev­er under­stand why I had to travel to a spe­cif­ic place, at a spe­cif­ic time to do a spe­cif­ic job for a fixed amount of money.

2017 is my 26th year run­ning my own busi­ness – Nex­us Pub­lish­ing – where I cre­ate con­tent for a range of cli­ents. Over 15 of those years have been work­ing full time in my busi­ness. And it seems, many of you read­ing this have ambi­tions to move out of tra­di­tion­al employ­ment and gain back some con­trol of your life.

Accord­ing to research from St. James’s Place Academy, 75% of Brits would like the free­dom to run their own busi­nesses. Over half of those sur­veyed want to become self-employed to gain con­trol over their work­ing hours to re-dress their work/life bal­ance. Over 15% believe they could increase their earn­ings, and 11% like the idea of work­ing from any loc­a­tion they so desire.

Adri­an Batch­el­or, Academy Dir­ect­or at St. James’s Place Academy, said: “It’s also great news to see women and men equally enthu­si­ast­ic about the pro­spect of run­ning their own busi­nesses – indeed, the entre­pren­eur­i­al vis­ion seems to be some­thing that unites the sexes rather than divid­ing them.”

Oth­er sig­ni­fic­ant find­ings of the research include:
  • Young­er work­ers (those aged between 18–35) are more pre­dis­posed to the entre­pren­eur­i­al dream (82%) than older people in employ­ment (com­pared to the 58% of those aged 55+ who expressed a desire to run their own busi­ness).
  • Lon­don­ers are the most entre­pren­eur­i­ally-minded (81% want to run their own busi­ness) while the Scot­tish are the least (69%).
  • Employ­ees work­ing in advertising/marketing are the most entre­pren­eur­i­ally-minded (89%) while those in the pub­lic sec­tor are the least (68%).
  • 85% of high­er earners (those on £70k+) want to set up their own busi­ness vs 71% of those earn­ing less than £20k.

I’m sure you have read loads of research like this over the years, and taken much of it with a pinch of salt. It’s a fact that start­ing a new busi­ness isn’t easy and is risky, but I have found that the most reward­ing aspects of my life have been when I have taken a risk and not played it safe and just col­lec­ted a pay cheque.

“75% of Brits would like the free­dom to run their own busi­nesses. Over half of those sur­veyed want to become self-employed to gain con­trol over their work­ing hours to re-dress their work/life bal­ance.”
What is takes

Dream­ing of start­ing your own busi­ness one day, and actu­ally mak­ing plans to do so can be very dif­fer­ent. Often, people will ask wheth­er they are cut out to be self-employed and have the skills to run a suc­cess­ful busi­ness. New research from Vistaprint, shows that busi­ness own­ers are more than twice as likely to report that they love their jobs, with only 16% of employ­ees stat­ing this.

Oliv­er Har­court, head of Vistaprint UK com­men­ted: “The sur­vey high­lights some of the bene­fits that can be achieved when start­ing your own busi­ness, wheth­er it’s more time for your fam­ily, the abil­ity to evoke change in your com­munity or a renewed love for your job. We want to encour­age people to be bold and live their dream.”

As with many of these sur­veys, earn­ing more money is very low down on the list of pri­or­it­ies when new busi­ness own­ers are inter­viewed. What has become clear over the last few years is that mil­lions of people want to make changes to their work/life bal­ance, with many dip­ping a toe into the waters of self-employ­ment by join­ing the gig eco­nomy.

My advice? Do what I did: I star­ted my writ­ing busi­ness part-time. I worked in the even­ings to devel­op a port­fo­lio of work that I could base a full-time busi­ness on. Look at what kind of gigs you could do. What skills have you got that busi­ness might want to pay for.

Plat­forms such as Etsy and Ebay offer a store­front for any­one that has craft­ing in their blood. But start­ing a small online store with say Shopi­fy is fast and easy if you have a product to sell.

Basic­ally, why not give it a go? This site is designed to sup­port people like you. Micro busi­nesses that are not ser­viced by oth­er inform­a­tion sources, which tend to sell their ser­vices to lar­ger enter­prises. I am like you, a one-man-band run­ning a busi­ness that enables me the flex­ib­il­ity I have always wanted with how I earn my liv­ing.

Keep an eye on this site, and sub­scribe to my news­let­ter. I will gath­er all the news, advice and inform­a­tion that all micro busi­ness own­ers need to know. You don’t have to spend time track­ing this inform­a­tion down, I’ll be doing this work for you. And my eBook App series for Micro Busi­ness will teach you all the skills you need to be a suc­cess­ful small busi­ness own­er.