Tag Archives: new business

The Expectation and the Reality of Funding a UK Start-up

In a recent study published by GEM lack of funding was cited as the major stumbling block by 50.6% of people who were thinking about starting their own business. The unwillingness of banks to lend to new and small businesses has been well documented in the media. The government and a whole host of entrepreneurs are currently engaged in trying to solve this issue. Alternative funding sources such as invoice factoring and peer to peer lending are being backed by the government while crowd funding is one of the hot topics of the day.

However the GEM report also indicated that borrowing money from banks or crowd funding start-up capital are not the only options available. It also shows that the expectations about where people think they will get funding do not always match the reality.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of UK Attitudes to Start-up Businesses

Start-up Business Attitudes UKGEM, the world’s largest study of entrepreneurship have released a new report focused on UK attitudes to, and experiences of, starting a new business. While the report is concentrated on Britain it also compares attitudes to start-up businesses with those in France, Germany and the USA. There is both some good news and some bad news from this report. Let’s start with the bad news

Bad News for UK Start-ups

  • 49.6% of British people do not believe that starting a business is a good career choice. Up from 47.4% in 2010
  • 9.8% of adults expect to start a business in the next 3 years, 4.2% of the adult population are actively trying to start a business but only 3.4% of adults are actually running a business.
  • There is a lack of positive stories about new businesses in the media. 55.8% of people said that the media did not often carry positive news stories about people starting new businesses, up from 48.5% in 2010.
  • People are increasingly scared of starting a business. People who reported a fear of failure stopping them starting a new business even where they saw good opportunities increased from 36% in 2010 to 41.4% in 2011.
  • Lack of funding is a major obstacle to people wanting to start a business. 50.6% of people who wanted to start a business, and 46% of people who actually have started a business, cited it as the main barrier.

Good News for UK Start-ups

  • 47% of people who wanted to start a new business believed that they could afford to fund it out of their own pocket.
  • People who had a new business, up to 4 months old, remained stable in 2011 at 3.4%. Meanwhile people who had established businesses older than 42 months went up from 6.2% to 6.5%.
  • The total number of people involved in planning or running early stage startups was 7.6% in 2011 where it had remained constant at around 6% between 2002 and 2010.
  • The number of people who had no intention to start a business and were not involved in starting a business dipped below 80%. The first time this has happened since the survey started in 2002.
  • 27.9% of people felt there were good opportunities to start businesses in their local area
  • 36.7% of people felt that they had the necessary skills and experience to start a business

The GEM report gives a very mixed picture of the UK start-up scene. Clearly a significant proportion of the population can see business opportunities and feel capable of starting a business. However a fear of failure, lack of funding and lack of positive news stories are discouraging them. Starting a business is a minority pursuit in the UK with only 7.6% of people actively involved in start-ups. By European standards this is not bad and places us a couple of percentage points ahead of both France and Germany. However we still have a long way to go to catch-up with the American’s where over 12% of the population are involved in start-up activity.

Company Formation Myths – People Care About Your Business


Another common myth held by new business owners and entrepreneurs is the mistaken belief that people care about their business. The truth is people don’t – at least not at first. Small businesses are insignificant and unimportant until they either do something interesting or start to grow.

Establishing a solid business brand for a new limited company from day one is an important part of growing a successful business. Research has shown that brand value is important to the client base and that over time customers will actually grow a certain attachment to businesses. Any business that breaks its brand values and goes against its established principles is likely to risk damaging consumer opinion.

People Don’t Care About Your Limited Company

It is well known among copywriters and webmasters that writing about your business is a big no-no. People just aren’t interested. The reason is simple; you might have the most interesting business in the world, but the people only really care about one thing – themselves. Good writing should be aimed at the reader.

If you are trying to sell your products or services, then you should avoid saying things like “our company is great because we have been operating for 10 years and have the best prices around” and instead phrase your writing to make the reader feel important. Refer to the reader directly and explain why your product/service is good for them. How does your product benefit them and why is it the best around?

This sort of writing will be far more effective than simply telling them why you’re business is the best and the competition is rubbish. You aren’t a politician, you’re an entrepreneur.

Deliver a Good Service and People Might Care

If you have a good business with strong ethics and a high-quality service, then eventually people might start to care. If you market your business properly and concentrate on the quality of your product and the strength of your service then eventually it might get to the stage that you don’t even have to write about your business because other people are doing it for you!

Word of Mouth Is Still Alive!

In the current climate word of mouth is perhaps more alive than ever. With the surge in social networking sites and rise in popularity of services like Twitter, it is far easier for customers (and the public in general) to spread their feelings, both positive and negative, about a company or small business far and wide. Often instantly and long lasting. For a business which is delivering on its branding promises, this can only be a good thing.

Get Started With Company Formation Today

Carry out an online company formation today and work to build a business which people will be happy to be interested in.

7 Questions To Ask Before Starting Your Own Business


Before starting your own business or carrying out a company formation it’s important to ask yourself a number of questions. Not least of which is why are you going into business?

If you can coherently answer these questions then you are more likely to have a successful business than if you cannot. Many people rush into business and it ends in disaster. The majority of businesses fail within the first year. The actual figures are a bit scary, but you shouldn’t be disheartened by them. If you know what you are doing and have a good idea of why you are going into business, as well as a carefully thought out business plan then you’re likely to be a step ahead of the rest. Put in the hard work and hopefully your business will survive the hard times and grow into a successful enterprise.

  1. Why are you going into business?
  2. People start their own business for many different reasons; because they want to be their own boss, because they have found themselves redundant or unemployed or simply because they have a good business idea. These reasons alone are not always enough to start your own business. It’s important to know why you are going into business and what you are planning to do. This will give you more direction and focus and hopefully lead to a more secure business start-up.

  3. What are you planning to do?
  4. Before starting your own business or carrying out a company formation you need to know what you’re going to do. Hopefully it will be something that you are good at and have a passion for. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to be a jack of all trades, catering to a wide market by providing a large range of services. Quite often it is better to be specific and cater to a niche, especially in the early days. This will allow a business to dedicate more time to quality of a single product and thus offer something which stands out from the competition and is more likely to be successful. As the company grows, the business may expand its product offerings, widening the market, but being careful not to compromise on quality.

    Of course some businesses naturally need to offer a multitude of products. A news agents for example could hardly only offer one brand of newspaper and one flavour of crisps. Variety is important and the focus of the business will depend on the market. Knowing what you are going to do will allow you to properly plan for the future of your business as well as the beginning.

  5. Who are your customers?
  6. Knowing who your customers are (or who they will be) is an important part of starting a new business. Having an idea of your target audience will allow you to design your advertising and marketing strategies as well as the quality and design of your products and services to cater to the right people.

  7. What is your Unique Selling Proposition?
  8. It’s a bit cliché and you’ve probably heard it a million times, but to have an edge in business you need a USP or Unique Selling Proposition. If you cannot do something different from the competition, how do you hope to stop your potential customers from going elsewhere. You need an edge, even if it’s simply putting a twist on an already common product or coming up with a unique marketing strategy. Knowing what your USP is and getting it in your business plan will help your business succeed from day one. Investors will be far more willing to help your business knowing you have a visible edge over the competition.

  9. How will you finance your business start-up?
  10. This is the one thing many businesses struggle with. Getting a business started obviously requires a finance injection from one source or another. Many entrepreneurs are unsure where to acquire finance, how to go about it or find themselves turned down at every corner. Take a look at our article “Business Finance – Top 10 ways to fund your new business” for a few hints and tips on getting finance for your new business.

  11. What business structure will you use?
  12. Have you given any thought to the business structure you are planning to use? Your chosen industry and personal position might have an influence on your choice. The advantages of a limited company often make it the most common choice for starting a new business, but there are plenty of others as well. Some people might choose to start a charity or form a limited liability partnership. Whatever your choice, it’s important to give some careful thought to the benefits and the laws that will apply to you, before getting started.

  13. What are your business goals?
  14. Clearly you have some goals for your business. Probably the main one being making as much money as possible. It’s important to set some goals and make a plan. Incorporate this into your business plan so you can keep your business on track and in the future, monitor how successful your business has (or hasn’t) been.

    Business goals may well be more than just turnover or profit. You might aim to gain a certain percentage of market share or number of new customers. Whatever your business, it’s a good idea to have a goal and something to strive for.

Good Luck!

Whatever you’re doing, try to remember why you started in the first place. You’ll get further and be more successful! All the best and a dose of good luck from us!

Interesting Internet Statistics – Is Your Business Missing Out?

Most people know the importance of the internet in the modern world. Everyone who is anyone has a website, a blog or some sort of social networking presence nowadays. With the increase in popularity of smart-phones and the falling prices and rising speeds of broadband internet connections, more and more people are getting online.

The statistics make for some interesting reading, here is just a handful.

UK internet users now spend 64% more time using search engines (31 million hours per month in April 2010) than they did 3 years ago.

UKOM, May 2010

In April 2010, UK internet users spent 884 million minutes online. This is a 65% increase versus the same time three years ago

UKOM, April 2010

The most popular online activities for female internet users aged between 16-74 after sending and receiving emails are:

- Online Shopping (75%)

- Travel (70%)

- Online Banking (52%)

Eurostat as cited by eMarketer, January 2010

At the end of September 2009, the number of internet users globally reached 1.7 billion (Over 25% of the world’s population). This compares to 361 million users in 2000 – growth of 380%

Internetworldstats.com, September 2009

78% of UK internet users go online to seek information about goods and services

Office For National Statistics cited by eMarketer, August 2009

An equivalent of £73 for every consumer in the UK is spent online

IMRG, June 2010

It is plain to see that a large number of people are getting online for various reasons and more of those reasons are commerce related. Whether simply searching for information or actually shopping online UK based web-surfers are certainly getting stuck into the World Wide Web. These facts and figures are just the tip of the electronic iceberg but should heed a warning to all new businesses and limited companies of the importance of some sort of online presence. Whether you intend to sell goods or services online or merely wish to advertise your business with an information based website, it is important to have some sort of web-based presence.

Simple brick and mortar stores and other businesses that might have nothing to do with the internet may well be missing out on potential customers by failing to have a simple website about their company. The competition may well have a website and those internet users who are “information gathers” and like to do their research before they buy may well end up on the competitors doorstep.

For a professional, affordable website designed specifically for your new business or limited company visit TheCompanyWarehouse.co.uk.


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