Telling the truth about SME life today

Short of half a million new enterprises were founded this year

StartUp Britain’s Startup Tracker , which draws directly from the number of newly-registered businesses at Companies House, is a strong indicator that we now have a more welcoming and attractive economic landscape in which to run a business.

It also shows that people are cultivating their entrepreneurial instincts with the confidence and guile to carve out a niche in their respective sectors.

Undoubtedly, choosing to run your own business is never the easy option and it can also be a very lonely enterprise.

Of course, theres the support from friends and family, but the responsibility to make a success of things lands squarely on the shoulders of the owner. Its the first thing on your mind in the morning, the last thing before you go to sleep and, more often than not, it’s the stuff of dreams and nightmares!

But no entrepreneur should be an island and wherever possible they should gain support from other like-minded business owners.

The other side of the entrepreneurial coin to having half a million start-ups is the number that will fail. Of the 400,000 new businesses set up in 2012, 20 per cent failed and it is predicted that around half won’t be around in 2015.

We can’t afford to let that happen. There are a lot of networks in place to support entrepreneurs, from local business clubs and chambers of commerce through to organisations like the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors.

Theres also bodies such as the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, which places budding business owners inside entrepreneurial businesses for a year to enable them to understand what it’s like to really run a business.

However, it doesnt have to be as formal as that. If you run a new business, dont be afraid to approach other entrepreneurs from your area to ask advice. They dont even have to be from the same industry as you. Many of the challenges of growing a business are universal.

And established business owners should also have an open door policy where possible to support new entrepreneurs.

Britain has always had a strong entrepreneurial backbone and, as we well and truly in the festive season, we should definitely raise a glass to every single one of the UKs businesses owners who got their heads down and worked hard during the recession and now can hold their heads high as they lead from the front in this period of economic recovery.

I just hope that the new entrepreneurs that have joinedus in the last 12 months are still here this time next year, playing their part in our collective success.

Charlie Mullinsis CEO and founder of Pimlico Plumbers.

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