Don't be a Statistic!

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Did you see this story on the BBC news website last month?

It was basically about not getting a life as a sole trader and working very hard for little return, and also on the level of start up failures.  I have SOOOO much to say about this story (besides it’s one sided!) but for starters:

·        This isn’t just applicable to sole traders – lots of people start up via a limited company and face the same issues and demands on their time and finances

·        Yes, 1 in 5 start ups fail in the first year, but 4 in 5 don’t – there’s an opposite to every statistic

·        60% of sole traders fail within 5 years – it would appear that this comes from the statistics around sole traders closing (this is notified to HMRC via their self assessment returns), now not all of these will have ceased to trade – lots of sole traders decide to incorporate and become a limited company as they grow as it becomes more tax advantageous to do so.

·        The growth in sole traders figures are from 2014/2015 – hardly current data.

So, what should you be doing to not become a statistic?

·        Plan, plan and plan some more – do your market research and know that there is a customer out there for you and that you have a viable product / service that they will pay for

·        Check your pricing, there is little point working all the hours, all of the time if you could have a low pressure job and earn more.  Getting your pricing right is essential and is something I write about A LOT (check out the pricing section in the blog if you want to read more).

·        Work with the right customers and right clients – these are the ones who will recommend you and who will use you again and again

·        Remember that nothing is set in stone – be adaptable and flexible, things will change be that legislation, trends or your competition – if you don’t flex you will be left behind.

·        Be realistic – if you know nothing about the area you want to go into then go and work for someone and learn first, experience will make all the difference.