ONE in four business owners were inspired to start their own company – by watching a TV show.
Dragon’s Den (24%), The Repair Shop (18%) and The Apprentice (18%) were among the most inspirational TV programmes for self-starters.
A study of 1,000 with a small business or side hustle found 54% started a company in an area they are passionate about.
And 31% of those who consider it to be more of a side hustle have considered taking the extra step to make it into a full-time job.
Needing a secure income, not wanting it to get so serious that they no longer enjoy it and other financial worries were the main things holding side hustlers back from making the leap.
It also emerged that more than eight in 10 of those who have turned it into a business were ‘happy’ they took the leap to turn their passion into their livelihood.
But making a profit, doubting themselves and keeping customers and clients happy were revealed among the trickiest aspects of running a business.
Jack Collier, CMO of Mettle, said: "Over the past 18 months, we’ve seen more people turning their passion into profit, taking the leap to start something of their own.
“The pandemic has made people re-evaluate what’s important to them and it's really interesting to see what's inspired them to start their own business, with so many motivations of all shapes and sizes across the UK.
“Working for yourself can seem like a dream come true – the opportunity to be your own boss and have complete freedom.
"It’s equally rewarding if you’re working on a side hustle that you are passionate about.
“We know how difficult it can be to get a business up and running. Self-employed business owners have concerns around managing their finances, being compliant and meeting tax deadlines.
“But banking doesn’t need to be complex. We believe they should have access to a free banking solution that allows them to control their finances and get set up for tax.”
The study also found that it took the majority of business owners up to three months to get their company up and running from the moment they were first inspired.
Arts, crafts and homemade objects was the most popular sector, followed by technology and internet and finance/money management.
Just under two thirds (64%) even regret not starting their business or side hustle sooner, and emotions of excitement, happiness and feeling proud were felt when they finally took the leap.
Despite this, 68% agreed that it was a struggle to get started financially with their business or side hustle.
If given the opportunity to give advice to other individuals starting up their own business or side hustle, making sure it is based on a passion or hobby and doing your financial homework were among the most popular.
It also emerged that respondents consider making your own decisions and working around family commitments to be the best things about being your own boss.
And just under one in three (32%) claimed they would never consider going back to working for someone else.
Jack Collier, from Mettle, added: “Inspiration for starting your own business can come from any area of life.
“It’s interesting to see television programmes inspiring people to start something they might not previously have considered.
“Especially with lockdown and the likes of programmes such as The Great British Bake Off, many Brits have made time for passion projects and started selling their own creations on the side of their full-time job.”
TOP 10 INSPIRATIONAL TV PROGRAMMES FOR STARTING A BUSINESS/SIDE HUSTLE:
- Dragon’s Den
- The Repair Shop
- The Apprentice
- The Great British Sewing Bee
- The Great British Bake Off
- All That Glitters
- Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
- Cash In the Attic
- The Gadget Show
- Changing Rooms
METTLE’S TIPS FOR STARTING UP ON YOUR OWN:
1. Make a plan
While you don’t need to draft a detailed business plan, it is a good idea to set out a strategy for your business – how it’s going to work and the first steps to get up and running.
Think about why your business exists, the problem it solves and the gap you'll fill in the market.
A good place to start is with some research to gain an understanding of your market.
How large is your target audience? Who are your competitors? Any rules and regulations to be aware of?
You might also want to conduct some customer research to test if your idea has legs.
2. Decide on a structure
You'll need to make some initial decisions on your company structure (sole trader, limited company or partnership).
Each company type has different requirements when registering and filing accounts.
For example, a limited company differs from a sole trader or partnership as it is owned by the shareholders and run by appointed directors.
Research which company structure is right for you. Writing a pros and cons list for each option can help clarify what will work best.
3. Start small
The assumption that you need to invest lots of resources into starting a small business can make starting something seem out of reach.
But you don’t necessarily need to invest vast amounts of time and money when you first start a business. Instead start small.
Can you start as a side business while you continue in your current job?
More people than ever are turning their passion into an opportunity, including selling something they’ve made in their spare time.
Is there one type of product or service that you want to focus on until you grow your customer base?
4. Name it
Choosing the right name for your business is important.
The right name can cement your business in people’s minds. Why not start with something as simple as your name or try including the location of your business.
There are different rules for business names, depending on whether you are a sole trader or limited company.
For example, sole traders cannot include ‘limited’, ‘ltd’, ‘limited liability partnership’, or other variations in their name.
There is also a list of phrases that you need permission to use in your name.
Check your preferred business name against the list of registered businesses with Companies House.
This gives you a list of all the registered businesses in the UK, so you can ensure yours is original.
5. Set up a business account
Regardless of what structure you choose, you’ll need a place to get paid and manage your costs.
Using your personal bank account can make tax complicated, so setting up a dedicated business account to keep things separate has lots of benefits.
Digital accounts are more accessible, allowing you to manage your finances on the go.
6. Join a community
Starting a small business is without doubt a learning experience with lots of new skills to master.
Finding a community can provide a support system of like-minded people who are going through or have gone through similar experiences.
Knowing you’re not alone can alleviate pressure and stress.
Talking to friends and family is also a great way to feel connected as you start your journey.
You’ll find people are usually happy to provide feedback to help you test and learn.
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