Is this a good time to start a new business?
The UK has a strong history of entrepreneurialism and SME’s play a major role in the UK economy. Why? The majority of bosses either wanted to be their own boss, have greater flexibility and some are just simply sick of office politics.
A staggering 383,000 businesses were created in 2015, which is up nearly 40% in a decade. 92% of SME bosses report that they are glad they did it and 85% of SME’s are confident that their business is a success.
That’s all very rosy right?
We may not be in a deep dark recession but the large financial markets are wary. This doesn’t have to affect entrepreneurs and small business start-ups as the savvy are looking to invest and start-up businesses are inherently lean and efficient operations.
In Kent we are experiencing sustained major investment in many small towns and around the coastline. This attracts young families from London who are looking for an easy commute that delivers more brick for their buck and in turn has helped keep the housing market buoyant. Chasing this change in demographics and growth in local economies, the high streets are exploding with independent eateries and retailers. The locals who have been underserved in recent years as the big corporations killed the high street are venturing back out, excited that they too now have a trendy place to go. We are seeing the pendulum swing as consumer trends shift from die-hard big brand loyalty to valuing individuality, value and quality.
Before committing to any business spend entrepreneurs and start-ups should luxuriate in market research. If you’ve got the time it will cost you nothing but will provide significant gains when it comes to understanding how your product or service fits into the high street (virtual or otherwise). You should maximise learning time before making for significant economic commitments. Take your time to research your sector, competitors and potential customers. Ask yourself the question - what problem will I be solving? This provides a strong basis for tweaking your product or understanding how to market your brand and appeal to your ideal customer.
Start-ups are agile and flexible and they can take advantage of a weaker economy whilst maximising value for customers. You’ll inherently build a lean start-up model with good habits from day one. This puts you ahead of the established competition that will typically have more overheads and financial commitments.
A weaker economy means that establishing yourself is cheaper. You’ll be able to negotiate a better deal on premises and maybe even furniture and stock – in a downturn everyone has negotiating power! And if you do need credit – the low interest rates mean cheaper credit.
While economic uncertainty is never a desirable situation, consumers and businesses are seeking innovative solutions to new problems and be looking around to save money and reduce their current spend.
If you can build and grow a business when consumer confidence is down and businesses are tightening their belts, your business will be bulletproof when things improve.
With tenacity and motivation now is a great time to stop being a wage slave and go to work for yourself!
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