More new businesses based upon hobbies and passions

Friday 31 August 2012

The last few years has seen a surge in the number of people wanting to start up a business, it has been claimed.

Emma Jones, co-founder of StartUp Britain, said people are looking to tap into their passions to set up enterprises.

She claimed there has been a "massive increase" in the number of people using their skills and hobbies to create companies.

"We are seeing more people who are doing it with a day job," Ms Jones noted.

"If anything, it is that people have something that they are talented at doing, are spotting a gap in the market and saying 'actually, because everything is so cheap to start a business and because there is so much support out there available, I am actually going take a few steps and get ahead and do that myself'."

She explained that many people setting up companies are doing so from their own homes, in order to keep the overheads down.

Up to 60 per cent of new businesses are starting in this way, avoiding the cost of hiring office space and paying for power, other utilities and insurance.

Technology has been the major facilitator for this process, Ms Jones claimed.

She said that IT has brought down the cost of starting a business and enabled more people to embrace entrepreneurialism.

"Free and low-cost social media has represented a great way of small businesses being able to promote themselves and make sales," Ms Jones claimed.

"We have businesses who only do their promotion on Facebook - i.e. don't pay anything for it - and make thousands of pounds worth of sales."

She said the reason why it has become so cheap is because small companies can market their goods and services to a worldwide audience on a tiny budget.

"I think people are recognising that as long as they have some business cards, a smartphone and a good idea – you always need that - a huge investment is not needed to get started, Ms Jones stated.

Last week, Paul Lindley, founder of Ella's Kitchen - shortlisted for the International Growth Business of the Year and The Growth Strategy of the Year at the Orange National Business Awards - said it is important for company founders to care about the sector they will be working in.

"Don't try and set up a business because your friend has told you that in America some random product or random service sells and you think you can do it yourself," he urged.

"If you have no experience or no interest in what you are trying to do except to make money, I would strongly advise that you don't get into it.

Posted by Steve Williams