Barriers and incentives to starting a business

Starting a Business? These are the top barriers and incentives for would-be entrepreneurs in the UK

There are so many people in the UK who dream of owning or starting up their own business one day. Some might simply ponder the thought, whereas others make a conscious effort to research, plan and begin building their business dreams into something real.

For these business hopefuls, there are a number of incentives to starting a business, but with barriers preventing them from doing so at the same time. Alternative business bank account provider, icount, recently conducted a survey with 2,000 UK adults who had plans of starting a business, to discover just what these barriers and incentives were.

Common incentives for wanting to start a business

Flexibility is considered to be the biggest incentive

When asked to state what the biggest attractions were to starting up a business, over a third of these business hopefuls expressed flexibility as the main reason they wanted to own a company.

Could this be due to a lack of flexibility being offered by employers ? Or is it due to an increasing trend towards flexible working hours and locations? The way we work now has changed dramatically, with more technology available allowing us to work remotely. Employers need to realise that the 9-5 is not always the one size that fits all.

People crave complete autonomy

The idea of not having any overheads and having complete control over how the business grows, is said to be a huge factor for individuals choosing to make their own path in the world of business.

In fact, almost a quarter of the would-be business owners that were surveyed, are looking to start up a business, just to be their own boss.

Potential earnings are an incentive, but not the biggest

While revenue and profits are a major factor in the success of a business, it appears that it they aren’t the main attraction for those wanting to start a business. Potential earnings came third in the list of incentives, with just over 1 in 10 business hopefuls wanting to start a business due to this.

People are wanting to self-achieve with entrepreneurship

Self-achievement came fourth in the rundown of the most common attractions to starting a business. Success can be seen in the development and growth of a business’ performance, something which many business owners hold as a personal achievement of their own and it’s no wonder. It takes careful planning and consideration through and through, for a business to be successful, something which can only be done at the hands of the owner themselves.

What barriers are holding them back?

Funds and finances are a major barrier

Even with these dreams and ambitions, you’ll find that there is an abundance of would-be business owners who never see their dreams become a reality, simply due to the lack of funds required to start a business. In fact, over a quarter of the people surveyed highlighted this as the main reason they hadn’t yet started their business, whereas 30% of respondents weren’t keen on dipping into savings to do so.

Whilst it takes around £23,000 on average to set up and run a business in the first year, some business owners made amazing progress with a lot less than this. Take the Cambridge Satchel Company, for example, whose owner set up the company using just £600.

Business plans and cash flow forecasts make up an extremely important part of starting a business and with a thorough analysis, you might find that your required funds are less severe than you originally assumed.

Being the main earner holds some back

Almost 1 in 5 of business hopefuls described how being the main earner of their household had prevented them from setting up their business. Although it can be a daunting situation to put yourself in, there are ways to remedy this for a short-term solution, for whilst your business is in the early stages.

For example, making deductions in your everyday spending can a difference, particularly during the time that another household member, such as your partner, is the main earner. A 2-3 year plan that works out if you can afford to live whilst getting your business of the ground is a great place to start

Those in creative industries fear failure the most

Forget lack of finances, commitments, knowledge and expertise – for creatives, it appears that the worry of failing is the biggest reason why they don’t start up their own business.

Despite the creative, arts and entertainment industries being the most popular choice for those wanting to start a business, it seems that many are put off the idea, simply because they are worried that they might fail.

People are looking for support from the government

Interestingly, almost a third of these would-be business owners were holding back from starting up a business, because they were hoping for more information and support from the government first. With the snap election coming up this month, could the next government bring about these requests?

While it’s fantastic to discover what incentives business hopefuls have, it’s unfortunate that they are being held back by a number of varying barriers. However, it’s important to remember that each of these hurdles can be overcome – all it takes is careful consideration and planning. By making the effort to tackle these barriers, there will be plenty of individuals who could break into the world of entrepreneurship and eventually see themselves growing a successful business.