Becoming your own boss is to many a highly appealing idea, and according to the latest annual survey conducted by award-winning cloud accounting software provider FreeAgent, a record-breaking number of Brits look set to make that idea a reality in 2018.

FreeAgent’s survey, which incorporated responses from 1,000 working Brits, found that 11% of respondents plan to launch their own business in the coming year; scaled up in line with the UK’s 32 million-strong workforce, according to ONS statistics, this equates to roughly 3.5 million budding entrepreneurs.

In addition to the 11% of Brits who stated a desire to become self-employed by the end of 2018, 8% said they would like to work for themselves by the end of 2019, and 3% by the end of 2020. 24% said they want to start their own business at some point, but don’t yet have any concrete plans to do so. This marks a notable increase from FreeAgent’s 2017 survey on the subject, during which time an estimated 3.2 million individuals were planning to start the own business.

FreeAgent found that the top three reasons for wanting to start a business are:
  • Better work / life balance (44%)
  • Wanting to choose the type of work that you do (43%)
  • Attaining a greater sense of achievement (37%)
On the other hand, the top three deterrents to setting up a business were found to be:
  • The financial burden of setting up (35%)
  • Managing company finances (34%)
  • Lack of confidence (30%)
The survey further revealed that this entrepreneurial drive seems to be more prevalent among women than men, with 13% of women planning to set up their own business in 2018 as compared to 9% of men. Overall 52% women dream of becoming their own boss, while this is only true for 46% of working males.

Age also seems to make a notable difference. For example 57% of 18-24 year olds and 57% of 25-34 year olds aim to start their own business at some point in time; however this figure seems to drop as age increases. By the time they reach the ages of 35-44, 3% have dropped off leaving us with a figure of 54% who retain ambitions of becoming their own boss; among those aged 45-54 this falls further still to 45%, while just 39% of over 55s express an interest in founding their own company.

As you may well expect, London was home to the highest number of budding entrepreneurs looking to start their own business by the end of 2018 with a figure of 18%.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and Co-founder of FreeAgent, said of the survey’s results, “Starting your own business can be an extremely rewarding, if daunting, move for people to make with their career. The desire for a better work/life balance and the ability to choose the type of work they perform are key reasons for many people who want to start a business – it’s interesting to see that the younger generations are the most driven to become their own boss.

“It’s so important for any new business owner to make sure they are fully prepared before they start up. One of the main reasons that new businesses fail is because they cannot maintain a healthy cash flow, so drawing up a detailed business plan and staying on top of your finances is key if you want to make your venture a success.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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