Over half of UK workers (61 per cent) are desperate to work for themselves but those dreams never become a reality for one in six (17 per cent) budding entrepreneurs because they do not know how to market themselves properly, according to research commissioned by direct selling company Vorwerk.
The scuppering statistic sees East Anglia as the nation’s area of workers most worried about their ability to ‘sell themselves’, with over a quarter (26 per cent) admitting that’s the main reason why they would not set-up their own businesses. Other confidence-stricken areas includes London (20 per cent), the North West (19 per cent) and the East Midlands (19 per cent).
Women struggle the most to market themselves, with 18 per cent saying that’s why they do not go it alone. However, there is little difference between the sexes as 17 per cent of men reveal that their own marketing is also their downfall.
The age range finding it most difficult to promote their capabilities proves to be 18-34-year-olds (19 per cent), with those over the age of 55 feeling the most confident (16 per cent) about the prospect.
Such figures could go some way to explaining why just one in ten (9 per cent) full and part-time workers reveal that they hate their current roles and only 13 per cent in the UK love their jobs.
Other factors stopping workers from being their own bosses include worries over finances, the potential risks involved and knowing how to make their business venture a success.
|Working for yourself – top five barriers for UK adults||per cent|
|Lack of financial security||56|
|No confidence to go it alone||36|
|Uncertainty around work||32|
|Wouldn’t know what to do||23|
- Better salary – 50 per cent
- Better work-life balance – 29 per cent
- Career progression opportunities – 20 per cent
The future is bright
For the fifth of UK employees (20 per cent) that have branched out into a new area, the good news is that the other side looks promising - with the most common emotions associated with changing career being excitement (42 per cent) and liberation (35 per cent).
Speaking about the findings, Thomas Henningsson, Sales Director with Vorwerk, said: “It’s also totally understandable that people are worried about selling themselves and that they have concerns over the regularity of work and cash flow when it comes to going alone – but there are lots of inspirational people around who have done it and are now reaping the rewards.
“We’d encourage anyone considering dipping their toe into the self-employed water to look at options like Vorwerk – where you have the flexibility and earnings potential of being your own boss – but a degree of structure and lots of support to help you in your quest to become an entrepreneur.”
Vorwerk business influencer Claire Young, founder of School Speakers and BBC One’s ‘The Apprentice’ finalist, said: “I find these figures from Vorwerk very shocking. I can’t believe that financial worries and other factors such as worrying over not being able to market yourself are holding back so many want-to-be entrepreneurs.
“We need to do more to offer people financial advice and help to build people’s confidence and faith in their business ideas.”
Claire Young, BBC One’s ‘The Apprentice’ finalist and successful entrepreneur
Vorwerk business influencer, Claire Young, is the founder of the number one speaking agency in the UK – School Speakers.
Established in 2010, School Speakers now has over 300 registered speakers working with schools, colleges and universities to provide talks, workshops and full day activities.
Claire, from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, had the confidence to take the plunge and set-up her own business thanks to her 2008 runner-up spot on BBC One TV show ‘The Apprentice’.
“I faced many challenges when first starting out on my own were. I was walking away from very well-paid job offers and was also worried about the financial side of things and how to take a risk on my idea and make it happen,” said Claire.
“To overcome the challenges, I really questioned what was most important to me. I think for many people, starting a business isn’t necessarily about the money but the change of lifestyle.
“Being in charge of your own time and decisions, the chance to be creative, to be in charge and strive for a better work-life balance were all key motivators for me.”
Claire Young’s 9 tips for budding entrepreneurs
- Don’t be afraid to fail, take action
- Do your research
- Know your numbers and have a business plan
- Be persistent
- Speak to others
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
- Be realistic
- Follow your passion
- Be organised
To find out more about career opportunities with Vorwerk, www.kobold.vorwerk.co.uk/career