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Shaun Thomson - CEO of Sandler UK - News On Business Shout 99



Now summer is underway, millions of workers across the UK will be counting the days until they can jet off for their summer holiday. But instead of switching off, many of these holiday-makers will actually be planning the launch of their own business.
According to a survey of 1,000 small business owners, (who have successfully been in business for over five years), nearly one in five of them thought up their business idea whilst on holiday. Sandler Training (UK), a business development consultancy, commissioned the research to get insight into what makes people start their own business and the main obstacles they have to overcome in the first year.

The research found that the main issue that held small business owners back from starting their business was the need to take a salary (34 per cent), followed by concerns on job security (25 per cent), lack of knowledge on how to run a business (21 per cent) and uncertainty about competition (19 per cent).

For nearly half of small business owners (49 per cent), the main factor that prompted them to take the leap and start their business was interest from potential customers, followed by funding (31 per cent).

Friends typically offer the biggest support to start a business. A third of small business owners said that friends gave them the most encouragement to start their business, followed by partners and colleagues (both at 22 per cent).

The average amount of time between thinking up the idea and starting business is 6.3 months, but for 16 per cent of small business owners it took over a year.

Shaun Thomson, CEO of Sandler Training (UK) said: “Having a rare moment to unwind can actually be the perfect time to think up a winning concept for a business idea. Although it may be hard to imagine whilst you are packing your suitcase, you could be running your own business by Christmas.

“But if you do get inspired, it could be wise to watch the pennies whilst you are away. Our research also demonstrated that small business owners are having to go into personal debt to fund their startup, and are spending an average of £3,511 via loans and credit cards, so that they can afford to live before they can take a salary from the business.”

If the idea does hit whilst on holiday, it is also advisable to make the most of the relaxation while you can. The small business owners outlined that they worked on average 56 hours a week in their first year of business – over 49 er cent more than the UK average of 37.5 per week. This increased even further in London with entrepreneurs working an average of 69 hours a week in their first year, 89 per centmore than the UK average.

Mr. Thomson said: “Having a great business idea is just the first step. Many entrepreneurs find themselves overwhelmed in the first year by how much they need to learn. Having a clear business development plan and process for sales is key for business success.

“Briton is becoming far more entrepreneurial, over 500,000 businesses launched last year – it’s great to think that after the summer holidays tens of thousands more businesses will be founded before the year is out.”

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