The most difficult year for business in living memory still yielded half-a-million startups…could you be next?

Depending on the sector, 2020 will undoubtably go down as one of, if not The most challenging year for businesses in living memory.  The most visible signs were obviously closed high-streets, out of town shopping parks, hotels, restaurants, and travel companies.  Less visible, unless you worked there, were the impacts on the supporting and supply chain businesses for these sectors.  Business deemed essential, or allowed to remain open (even if only during the all too brief periods between lockdowns), were hardly immune for significant challenges:

  • dealing with  supply chain issues
  • making their premises, customer, and staff Covid safe
  • maintaining viability with restricted customer numbers
  • upgrading IT to allow staff to work from home and/or meet clients remotely
  • and dealing with a whole new set of employee wellbeing issues

Business owners and managers could be forgiven for wondering if their world was coming to an end

Yet, is spite, or perhaps because of this, almost half a million new businesses were registered at Companies house in 2020!1

Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Around 64% of the UK workforce would like to start their own business2.  This ties in with the percentage of UK employees how are dissatisfied in their jobs3.  And, perhaps unsurprisingly, this situation didn’t get any better during 2020 with overall job satisfaction decreasing by 18% in spite of 81% of employees saying they felt well supported by their organisation4

The good news(?) for employers is that 43% of budding entrepreneurs don’t believe they will ever start their own business.  But the good news for the small business sector is that this does leave 36% of the UK workforce who both want to and believe they may take the leap into business ownership (with 18% having firm plans to do so in 2021).

Some of the things getting in the way of people taking that leap are:

  • Finance
  • Political Uncertainty (esp. Brexit)
  • Concerns about stress
  • Fear of failure
  • Feelings of inadequacy

And that’s why I decided that my second Spotlight on… series would be about starting your own business.  Whilst I won’t necessarily be tackling each of these concerns head-on, I do plan to address each one by offering ideas and approaches which will help you think about them differently.  Spoiler alert – they are all largely a matter of perspective!  Wherever possible, I’ll also include practical information that I believe will be of benefit.

Simon Senek famously exhorted us to Start with Why.  Your ‘Why’, in the widest possible sense, can help you to reframe your thinking about any and all obstacles.  That’s why in the next article I’ll be encouraging you to think about the question of Why from the perspective of What.  

If you are on the cusp of starting your own business, then getting an understanding of how your thinking may get in your way is going to save you a lot of pain and, quite possibly, money.  The Identify Compass® is one of the best tools on the market for getting this insight.  If you’d like to talk to me about being profiled so you can benefit from heightened self-awareness, please get in touch or book a no-obligation discovery call.

1 https://londonlovesbusiness.com/start-up-success-almost-half-a-million-uk-businesses-registered-in-2020/

2 https://smeloans.co.uk/blog/64-percent-of-britains-workforce-want-to-start-a-business/

3 https://www.amanet.org/articles/survey-shows-uk-job-satisfaction-and-commitment-on-the-decline/

4 https://www.edenred.co.uk/Global/Downloads/Edenred-Power-Up-Your-People-eBook.pdf

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