Being your own boss and having complete control over your own work is often the ultimate goal for many people when they start working, but it isn’t always so simple.
There are lots of people, especially young people and graduates, who want to be an entrepreneur. The problem is that entrepreneurs are born, not made. To be a successful entrepreneur you have to have a real drive and, more often than not, you either have it or you don’t.
How can we support those genuine entrepreneurs so that they can build their businesses to maximise their potential? It’s all about not pushing heads underwater before they’ve even got their business off the ground.
Any business needs office space, it is inevitable that one day the budding entrepreneur has to move their work out of their bedroom/garage and find an office space that clients can visit and where new hires can move to. Finding somewhere willing to offer free office space to entrepreneurs is massively beneficial.
Renting an office space can absolutely crush a new business financially. If finding clients wasn’t hard enough for a new business with little experience, having to pay for office space at the same time is incredibly difficult.
A good workspace allows for a business to grow from what might start as a solo enterprise into a business with a small team. There are a lot of places, usually a part of a university, where small businesses can have temporary free or cheap office spaces perfect for entrepreneurs who are just getting started.
All businesses need at least a little bit of capital to get started, and that can be hard to come across as a recent graduate. Fortunately, there are a handful of government grants that can get you going and also some private ones too.
Small business grants are a form of funding and support given by the government and certain private bodies to UK small businesses who meet particular criteria. A local government body may award a monetary grant to new businesses starting in a specific area to support the local economy.
It’s also possible to find local seed fund incubators that invest in small businesses to help them grow. These are often run by people who had the same struggles as they started their own business journey. A little bit of experience goes a long way.
The best advice that you can find on entrepreneurship is simply from other entrepreneurs. There are hundreds of speaking events up and down the country where you can find business owners who went through similar struggles to what today’s entrepreneurs are facing.
The most successful entrepreneurs will be those who best utilise the materials and resources available to them. Starting a business is hard work and requires a lot of time, commitment, positivity and sometimes a little bit of luck. If tomorrows entrepreneurs are going to grow successful businesses they need to be supported and nurtured along their journey.
Peter Watson is co-founder and Managing Director of Distract, an award-winning advertising agency based in the East Midlands. Founded three years ago, Distract has grown from a social media marketing agency to offering a portfolio of services including paid social advertising, paid search, SEO, PPC, web and Digital PR. Peter is well-known in the East Midlands as a keynote speaker and innovator and is an advocate for personal branding. During 2018, Peter hired a full-time videographer to document his business day, with his YouTube series 'Inside The Journey' showing this process in detail. Peter also supports other young entrepreneurs with Featured, a business incubator company which invests in developing start-ups.