Has the Recession Turned Us Into a Nation of Entrepreneurs?

Not the dreaded “R” word again. Since 2008, we’ve been bombarded by gloomy outlooks on the economic climate of the UK and the world. Just as we thought things were looking up we have suggestions of a “double” and even “triple-dip recession”. But what does all this “dipping” in the financial world mean for the likes of you and me?

Here are just a few effects:

  • An increased cost of living with wages remaining low
  • Banks drastically restricting their loans
  • Housing market crumbling
  • Redundancy
  • Deflated yet?

Thought so. Luckily not all of us have become too despondent about the financial future, instead deciding to start up their own businesses.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of us who are self-employed rose by 367,000 between 2008, the start of the economic downturn, and 2012. Furthermore, between 2011-2012 there was a 60% increase in the number of self -employed workers.

Triumphing in the face of adversity…

This is nothing new, through the depressions of the ages glimmers of positivity have always emerged. In the downturn of the early nineties, James Dyson launched his vacuum company and entrepreneurial ambassador Bill Gates founded Microsoft in the recession of 1975.

Both these facts and the recent UK statistics represent determination and passion even in the darkest economic days. So how did they do it?

The process of setting up a company may not be as difficult as you first imagined. Of course, you will need an ingenious business and idea and plan but you’ve already sorted that, right?

Once you have your idea you will need to decide which business structure is best for you. Most people opt to form a private limited company as it has commercial advantages as well as benefits from a risk and tax perspective. However, a company formation agent, solicitor or chartered accountant will be able to advise you on what best suits your company’s needs. Don’t forget to inform HMRC when the business begins to trade as you will need to register to pay corporation tax and obtain all necessary licences.

The basics that you will need are:

  • Company name
  • Director’s details
  • Share information
  • Company secretary’s details
  • Registered office address

Once you have these you have the foundations for your company formation. How exciting! However, this is just the beginning:

  • What’s your USP? What are you about and what can you offer? If you’re not sure, customers won’t be either causing them to look elsewhere.
  • You will need a strong brand identity and a website to represent your company. How will you stand out from competitors?
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to try creative concepts or designs.
  • Use your contacts wisely to network and obtain invaluable information and tips.
  • Remember there are professionals out there to help you set up a company and provide you with further advice.

So if you’ve been inspired by the business heroes of the recession why not get thinking about the next big business idea that could turn gloom into boom!

Think BIG and Good Luck!

Author: James Cartwright writes for Wisteria. Wisteria Chartered Accountants are an independent firm of specialist tax accountants and Chartered Tax Advisers, based in London.  The company provides a wide range of services to businesses, including tax compliance and tax planning services.  Wisteria is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Taxation – www.wisteria.co.uk

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