THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Innovation and enterprise blog

11 January 2018

Is starting a business your New Year’s Resolution for 2018?

If you’ve returned from the Christmas break resolving this will be the year to become your own boss, you may be questioning whether now is the right time to take the leap into entrepreneurship? With concerns about Brexit looming large, an uncertain economy to contend with, increasing costs and political shifts, there are plenty of factors that might prevent new businesses from launching. However, with great change comes great opportunity and we’ve spoken to small business expert Emma Jones – founder Enterprise Nation – on why, when it comes to being your own boss, there’s no time like the present.

In fact, over the past five years, the UK has witnessed a start-up boom as over half a million people from all walks of life turn their business ideas into realities each year. If this is something you’re considering, here are 5 good reasons why you should give it a go and keep the resolution:

1. You can start without quitting the day job

Don’t feel you have to dive into self-employment on a risk-it-all basis. Most people start a business whilst holding onto the day job, meaning you keep the security of a regular salary whilst giving yourself time to build confidence and cashflow in the business and get your brand ‘out there’ into the market. Often referred to as having a ‘side hustle’ or ‘working 5 to 9’, this really can be the best way to start. Providing you’re not launching a business to compete with your employer, bosses can be often be very receptive to this way of working too as it means you’re picking up new and enterprising skills without the company having to pay for it!

2. Gaps in the market still remain

You may be put off starting a business because you think that all the good ideas have been taken, people come up with all sort of amazing new and niche ideas every single day so think outside the box! From indestructible laptops for boat owners, to HR services for award-giving bodies, to new food products that respond to market trends – so many gaps in the market remain, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to sell a specific product or service to a particular audience. If you want to set up a business, it’s your job to fill that gap!

Emma Jones Photo
Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation

 

3. Technology has opened up a world of opportunity

With idea in hand, you need a route to market and there’s never been a better time to embrace technology as that route. Turn to the likes of Amazon marketplace, Etsy and Trouva for selling products online, or Kindle, iTunes iStock for selling services. It’s also never been easier to engage with your target community thanks to social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so use these opportunities to drive traffic to your own website, encouraging browsers to sign up for newsletters and special offers so you have permission to contact them again. With a basic understanding of these powerful platforms, the world is quite literally your trading oyster.

 4. Support is in abundance

Whether you’re starting a snack or app business, you’ll find there’s plenty of support available. This ranges from incentives for people to invest in your start-up (EIS relief) through to accelerators, local Growth Hubs and mentor programmes, not to mention all of the incredible resources that you can access for free here at the Business & IP Centre. It’s not difficult to access support as a start-up, you just have to know what’s available and then make the most of it! 

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Our partners at Enterprise Nation are on a mission to create a more entrepreneurial society in the UK

 

5. Freedom and flexibility is yours

The benefit of self-employment cited most often amongst those who’ve taken the plunge is the freedom and flexibility that comes with working for yourself. You can decide where, how and with whom you work, which gives meaning and purpose to your everyday life and a much greater sense of achievement and satisfaction when you see great results. If these are the benefits you’re after in 2018, it’s time to get started!

If you are looking for some inspiration, advice and support to get your business idea off the ground, there is plenty out there to take advantage off. Innovating for Growth - Start-ups is a fully funded two-day course designed to give you all the information you need to take the first steps on your business journey, and is delivered regularly both at the Library and at satellite libraries across London.

So here’s to making 2018 the year you become your own boss!