Most of us Want to be our Own Boss
The early weeks of the year have brought more than their share of bad news: the increase in energy prices, the Chancellor confirming the rise in National Insurance, the rise in interest rates… If you’re someone who’s determined to see the glass as half-empty, the start of 2022 has been right up your street.
But let’s look at some good news – especially for innovation and entrepreneurship. Analysing Forbes magazine’s ’30 under 30’ annual survey, business comparison platform Bionic has rated London as ‘the best city in the world’ to be a young entrepreneur. That sees London placed ahead of New York, San Francisco, Moscow and Los Angeles – with the authors pointing out that several of the candidates on the US, Asian and Russian lists actually live in London.
As the Government’s ‘levelling up’ strategy is at pains to stress, though, the UK is not just about London – and it appears that people want to start their own business no matter where they are in the UK.
According to a recent article in City AM, drawing on a survey done by an accounting software company, two out of three people currently employed plan to start their own business.
As you might expect, younger people are the most ambitious. Eighty per cent of those aged 18 to 34 who replied to the survey ‘have always dreamed of starting their own business at some point’. But the dreams don’t fade with age: over half of people between 35 and 54 want to start their own business, along with a third of those over 55.
What is interesting is that money is not the prime motivation for wanting to go it alone. It has been in the past, but post-pandemic ‘earning more money than my boss’ was only seventh on the list. At the top – as you might guess – was ‘a better work/life balance’ and ‘being able to choose the work I do’.
At this point the cynical among you might say, ‘Ah, but it was an accounting software company that commissioned the survey’. It’s a fair point. There’s a big difference between:
Do you want the freedom that comes with running your own business? The chance to do what you really want to do? To build a business that you eventually sell for millions?
Do you want to put your house up as security? Work 70 hours a week? Lie awake at night worrying?
But the results are still encouraging. As every one of our SME clients will testify, running your own business is tough, but it’s also immensely rewarding. And the fact that so many people want to make that leap of faith can’t be anything but good news for the wider UK economy, and for their own happiness.