Entrepreneurs start first business after a decade in their day job

Employees give in to their entrepreneurial itch and start working for themselves after a decade in their day job, according to a new study. The research among more than 1,000 small business owners also uncovered that nearly three quarters (70%) of entrepreneurs chose to launch a business in a different industry to the one they have previously worked in.

When asked why they made the switch, two in five said they wanted more flexibility (41%) and more than a third admitted to being tired of working for someone else (36%). A similar number (35%) said they were following a life-long dream, whilst three in ten (30%) said they wanted to earn more money.

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic also had a part to play, with nearly a fifth (17%) saying Covid-19 made them re-evaluate their life and a further 10% saying they had launched their business because of being made redundant.

The research highlighted that of all the professions, the most popular industries that entrepreneurs are switching from are retail (15%), teaching and education (7%), accountancy, banking, or finance (7%), technology (7%) and sales (6%).

GoDaddy customers Julie Daly, top, and Maxine Jones, left, made the switch to follow their dreams.

During the pandemic Daly, from Aberdeen, transitioned from operations supervisor at an oil company to interior designer. She had been in oil for 20 years.

Julie Daly, founder of Verano Interiors, said: “After working in an oil company for 20 years, lockdown allowed me to re-evaluate my life and I realised I couldn’t see myself doing it for another 20 years, so I decided to change direction entirely. I enrolled myself onto The Professional Interior Design course at the College of Interior Design and I’ve recently graduated with a diploma.

“I’m completely new to the business world so I’ve been spending hours learning, going to webinars, reading books, and studying. As a business owner you’ve got to understand everything from marketing to finances, so it’s been a massive learning curve for me but I’m enjoying the challenge.

“I spent a lot of time deciding what to prioritise and what to invest in. My website is crucial to my business as it’s my virtual shop window. Originally, I tried to build my own, but I was unhappy with it and couldn’t make it look professional, so that’s when I decided to hand it over to GoDaddy and it has been totally transformed.”

Another entrepreneur who has taken the plunge into business ownership after a long career in something entirely different is Maxine Jones. Having worked as an investment banker for over 20 years, Maxine turned to exercise as a way to de-stress and unwind after a stressful day.

Maxine Jones, founder of Maxine Jones, said: “At the age of 40, I quit my job and launched my own Zumba classes in the local community centre. I moved away from Zumba musically and morphed into MaxiciseTV, and in 2018 I started to livestream my classes online direct to my clients so that they could workout with me from the comfort of their own home.

“My website was therefore crucial to my success. Clients use it to workout live with me once a week and on demand. I change over the workouts every week so that they don’t get bored, and I’ve introduced 20-, 30- & 40-minute bitesize sessions. The website is ‘all singing, all dancing’ literally.”

Ben Law, Head of UK & Ireland, GoDaddy, said: “GoDaddy is a champion for everyday entrepreneurs, helping them to create an online presence. It’s inspiring to hear the stories of entrepreneurs who have launched their own venture after completely different, specialised careers. It shows that no matter what stage of life you’re at, there’s always the option to follow a passion or challenge yourself.

“These career-switching entrepreneurs – alongside the wider community of entrepreneurs – are the backbone of the UK economy and they need the right support to grow and prosper. GoDaddy provides all the tools and help entrepreneurs need to succeed online or in-person.”