Why being your own boss is a winner all round

Starting their own company has made a majority of Britain’s small business owners happier and more determined, according to the findings of a new survey of small businesses undertaken by the organisers of the UK’s annual Small Business Saturday campaign, which culminates this weekend.

Two thirds of respondents said being their own boss had made them happier; 59% said they were more determined, whilst almost half (49%) said they were now more confident. 44% of those surveyed said they were working longer, 46% said they were working harder. Just under a quarter said they were more stressed than in their previous job compared with 17% who reported lower stress levels.

Of those questions, 39% said they had started their business because they wanted to turn a passion or a hobby into a business. Starting a business had always been an ambition for a fifth of respondents; 15% for whom starting a business had been their best option after redundancy or unemployment and a similar amount for whom starting their own business had been the next logical career step.

Optimism is high with 71% of small business owners surveyed saying that their business has grown over the past 12 months and 79% who expect it to grow over the next 12 months. More than three quarters of respondents said it was either important or very important to them that their business either has a positive social impact or makes a positive contribution to their local community. 78% said they regularly collaborate with other local small businesses.

Getting to do what they love was cited by 26% of respondents as the best thing about being a small business owner in the UK today. This was followed by 18% who mentioned a feeling of accomplishment and 16% who mentioned ‘being their own boss’.

Now in its fourth year Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. Last year an estimated £623 million was spent with small businesses across the UK on the day – up £119 million on last year and an increase in spending of 24%. The day itself also generated huge buzz on social media with Small Business Saturday trending at number one on Twitter. Over 100,000 tweets were sent in support of Small Business Saturday on the day itself with a combined reach of more than 25 million people. An estimated 75% of all local authorities actively supported the campaign on the day in a variety of ways, from staging or supporting small business events to offering free parking.

More information on Small Business Saturday can also be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturdayuk) and Twitter feed (@SmallBizSatUk).