The Micro Business Handbook
22 June 2016
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.”
Three-quarters of Brits want to start their own business.
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.