UK business milestones survey - 3 (002)

A new survey sees UK business owners sharing what they care about most when it comes to company milestones.

The private investment specialists at Current Capital asked 1,000 British business owners which company milestones mean most to them – and from making their first profit to landing their first big contract, it looks like the UK’s entrepreneurs put plenty of stock in finances.

Following a study by Ormsby Street, which revealed that four in ten SMEs don’t make it to their fifth birthday, this new data sheds light on what Britain’s entrepreneurs consider key points on the journey to business success.

Securing sales

For 47 per cent of respondents, making their first profit as a business was the moment that meant most to them.

Over half of men surveyed put profit first, compared with under 40 per cent of female respondents.

After the bottom line, business owners are most interested in securing a big sale or landing a large contract – with these entrepreneurial milestones scooping 41 per cent of the vote.

Major milestones

While making it past year one was a crucial milestone for 34 per cent of business owners surveyed, a substantial 53 per cent of Londoners cited this as their ultimate achievement.

22 per cent of Brits recalled that taking on their first team member was a memorable moment – while almost three quarters of entrepreneurs in the North West of England remembered their first hire fondly.

Setting up

For just under a fifth of business owners, moving into their first office marked a momentous occasion for their company.

Gen Y respondents were particularly passionate about finding their enterprise a home – with 42% of millennials describing renting their first official office space as a significant milestone for their business.

Perhaps surprisingly, just 12 per cent of business owners surveyed cited securing funding as a pivotal moment in their company’s progression – instead placing more weight on sales and sustainability.

From a company’s origin story to its all-important fifth birthday, there’s no denying there are many memorable moments to be had as a business owner in the UK.

Kris Bolton, Partner at Current Capital, said: “It’s interesting to see that so few Brits cited funding as an important milestone for their business, considering the exciting growth potential that’s unleashed when an early-stage business receives the funding it needs to move forward – and the incredible obstacle that insufficient funding can create. Nonetheless, there’s no denying the thrill of seeing your company generate its first ever profit!”

Topline results:

Respondents were asked:

Which of the following business milestones mean most to you?

  • Making your first profit: 47.0 per cent
  • Securing your first big sale/large contract: 41.0 per cent
  • Making it past your first year: 34.0 per cent
  • Hiring your first employee: 22.0 per cent
  • Moving into your first office space: 18.0 per cent
  • Securing funding: 12.0 per cent