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With the number of small businesses in the UK at an all time high and growing at a rate of 6.7% a year, it's clear Brits are becoming increasingly attracted to the life of self employment and entrepreneurship. However, failure rates are still at 50% in the first couple of years. Sandler UK, a business development consultancy, commissioned research to get insight into the portrait of a successful business founder.

 According to a survey of 1000 male small business owners, who have successfully been in business for over five years, nearly two in five (42%) of came from MD positions, 29% of had career history in sales and the average age that they set up their business was nearly 46. Nearly half (45%) wished they had started their business earlier.

 The portrait for the successful business woman differed. According to a survey of 1000 female small business owners, who have successfully been in business for over 5 years, 71% of came mid/senior management positions - less than a quarter (24%) hailed from an MD role. A quarter (25%) worked in sales before starting their business and over one in five (23%) worked in marketing. The average age for a woman to set up a business was 48, but 50% wished they had taken the leap sooner. 

 Once in their new business, women tend to be more organised than men; 16% of women started their business with an exit plan, compared to only 12% of men. Over five years down the line, 39% of women are actively working towards an exit plan, compared to only 35% of men. 

The sexes also differed in their 'biggest mistake' in the first year. Nearly a third (32%) of men said that decisions surrounding IT were their biggest mistake in the first year, compared to only 19% of men.

 Shaun Thomson, CEO of Sandler comments: "There is a world of difference between startgina company and building a successful business. The idea is just one of part of a very complex puzzle. Business growth is dependant on four pillars of business, Skills, Structure, Strategy & Staff - the genders may have different backgrounds, but the key commonality was experience of industry. Older workers have a wealth of knowledge, which helps them overcome hurdles that could trip up a younger entrepreneur,"


Sandler is a UK sales, management and leadership training organisation,w it 30 centres of excellence across the country. The Sandler method uses non - traditional, disruptive methods. Sandler gives busy entrepreneurs the freedom to change on a personal and professional level. 


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