By Christie Day
For those people who wonder about the pros of setting up their own business, just ask one of the 600,000 new business owners who start up each year. In the UK, there were more than 5.7 million SMEs in 2018 and a fifth of those are ran by women. Entrepreneurs are putting their ideas into action up and down the country and it’s not hard to see why. Of course, not all will be massive success stories or multi-millionaires. In fact, money is not the primary reason that people take the plunge. It’s as much as a lifestyle choice as it is about lifelong ambition.
At our forthcoming Women in Business Expo event 16-17 October in Farnborough, visitors will get a unique insight into the start-up world, from inspirational female speakers like Karren Brady and Michelle Mone to practical advice on funding, technology solutions and marketing. In the meantime, for anyone deliberating about running their own company, here are five top reasons why:
Create your dream job
As a great philosopher once said “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” People who run their own businesses may put in more hours a week than their corporate colleagues but when you’re passionate about your work and determined to make it a success, it somehow seems less of a chore. The enthusiasm you have in your product or service will show, to both potential investors and prospective customers.
Flexibility in terms of the hours and days you work can be invaluable, particularly for women with families. Even when businesses have to revolve around core hours to reflect their customer needs, the other essential elements of running a company such as accountancy and admin can be done at a time that suits your schedule. Many people who start up on their own actually find they are more productive during the hours they work, whether they are earlier risers or natural night owls. For Mums juggling business meetings with school plays and sports days, getting the balance right is easier when you’re not locked into a 9-5 routine. Flexibility in other areas is also highly appealing - whether you want to work at home in PJs all day or call a client while you walk the dog.
Be your own boss
Being in the driving seat means you get to make all the decisions and reap the rewards without having to jump through hoops for senior colleagues. Many entrepreneurs relish the fact that they can take control and focus on what is best for their business. If your business expands, you can create your own company culture and make important decisions on who to hire. You won’t be bound by red tape so you can recruit employees that complement your skills and personality and set a salary that suits the business. Being your own boss will also allow you to achieve more in a shorter space of time. You can make decisions then get things done more efficiently and effectively.
Rags to richer
Not all businesses stem from a ‘live the dream’ scenario. Personal circumstances often spur people on to start up on their own simply as an alternative way to make money. Redundancy, divorce, parenthood, age – launching your own business could be the stepping stone you need to get cash in the bank. If start-ups costs are a barrier, there are so many short and long term options available - from straightforward bank business loans to crowdfunding opportunities.
Take on the challenge
The majority of entrepreneurs thrive on the daily challenges that come with running a business. If every day seems like Groundhog Day and you are sick of the old routine, starting on your own could be the challenge you need. When you run a business, no two days are the same and you will inevitably learn a range of new skills ‘on the job’. Creating a brand, learning to market it, drafting a business plan, balancing the books, designing a sales strategy – multitasking comes with the territory. Think of the sense of achievement you could get from turning an idea into a real-life company. Take on the challenge and it might just bring you success.
The Women in Business Expo will provide an essential resource for all people considering setting up on their own. There will be hundreds of exhibitors offering useful advice and services and a ‘free to attend’ seminar theatre covering a range of informative topics with sessions on everything from investment and crowdfunding to CRM software and social media marketing.