For me, there are huge differences behind a small business and a startup. Those of you who know me will know that I’m an avid supporter of the latter – I love the energy and the pace, the ‘make it up as you go along’ approach to the day-to-day and I’m naturally drawn to the huge visions, ingenuity and the creativity that power a startup.
However, I am also a big fan of the small business. I have built and enjoyed a successful career working with clients in the SME space. There is nothing small or medium about the numbers either! Did you know that there were *5.4M private sector businesses in the UK at the start of 2016 and small businesses accounted for *99.3% of those. To top that off, SMEs enjoy an impressive combined annual turnover of *£1.2TRN.
The biggest difference between these two company types is their objectives. Small businesses are driven by profitability and stable long-term value. Whereas startups are focused on top-end revenue and growth potential.
How do you decide which one is for you? A good place to start is by asking yourself, what is my tolerance for risk? And what is my tolerance for failure? There is no right or wrong answer here, we’re all different and wherever you are in your life, there is never a bad time to stop and visualise your highest potential.
If you are starting your entrepreneurial career with a small business, you’ll be building solid financial foundations and by establishing a successful SME, you’ll be building credibility and networks through the business community.Talking of the business community… if you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I had the pleasure of attending the Barclaycard Small Business Summit last week, against the backdrop of the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park. It was a well spent, 30 degree afternoon – full of information, insight and constant buzz of energy from over 100 SME business owners.
The question of the day was ‘how do you keep that fat-free business model as you scale up from a one-man-band (or a one-woman-band!) to a global brand?’
The Body Coach, Joe Wicks, was on hand to share his insight on keeping your business lean. Joe is a fantastic example of a rapid growth business. He’s gone from borrowing £1k from his dad for gym equipment to running a global fitness and nutrition brand. And let’s face it… business doesn’t get much leaner than a personal trainer in the park! If you’d like to hear more of what Joe has to say, check out this brilliant article: How to fight the business flab
Barclaycard Business Solutions did a great job – the venue was spectacular, the speakers were on point and they even managed to break a world record! OK, well not them personally but in what could be the ultimate team-building exercise, thousands of people joined Joe Wicks in his World Record attempt for the largest ever outdoor HIIT class, and they did it!
Meanwhile… I watched on, guilt-free, as I talked business, ate veggie burgers and sipped an ice cold cider – it was so wrong that it was right!
Head over to Barclaycard Business Solutions for more insight, trends and expert tips to keep your business moving forward every day.
*Small Business stats sourced from the British Small Business Awards website