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What Gives Entrepreneurs The Drive To Succeed?

What really gives entrepreneurs the drive to succeed? These are the people who are often classed as a world apart from the rest of us.

We normal mortals have an image in our heads of people who need little sleep, wake up at the crack of dawn and venture outside to complete a 10 mile run and press-ups, all before breakfast.

They probably head into the office for 7.30am while closing important deals on their mobile phones in the back of the car on the way. Arriving at their glass-walled riverside offices, they bark instructions at minions on their way through the vast corridors of power.

But have we been watching too many Hollywood movies? What are entrepreneurs really like?

A recent survey has brought up some rather interesting news: it seems that most entrepreneurs have already tasted more than a little bit of failure in their ascension to the apex of power. In fact, 20 per cent of all small business owners or entrepreneurs have been fired from previous jobs. That should give the rest of us normal folk a little hope.

This kind of work history is highly likely to be the reason most entrepreneurs set up on their own in the first place. Either theyve had a bad experience in a company and taken the "Ill show you" route to revenge or its possible that these individuals dont like working to someone elses rules. Whichever one of these is the truer statement doesnt matter – both would give someone the impetus to do extremely well in business.

This research was commissioned by SME accounting software company KashFlow, which spoke to business owners from across the UK to try to get a better understating of their needs and requirements. The study came up with some great data that gives us a real insight into the kind of person who becomes a business high-flyer.

When it came to the reason they decided to go it alone in business, nearly half the people questioned said it was simply because they were sick of their existing job and they thought that they could do better themselves. Coming a close second was the fact that people truly believed that they had hit upon a unique idea or had identified a niche market. Only a minute 7 per cent said that it was due to redundancy. So its clear that its ambition that continues to drive many people into the risky world of sole trading.

Duane Jackson, managing director of KashFlow, says: "Not only have we got some really useful statistics that will help us to get a better focus on further developing KashFlow, but we have also found some interesting facts about the mindset of an entrepreneur. The fact that nearly 20 per cent of small business owners have at some time in their career been fired really made me sit up and wonder if there is a potential culture clash between the SME owner and the typical 9–5 brigade."

Thats an issue up for debate. But another telling result from the research was finding out where entrepreneurs look to for business advice. Interestingly, Business Link led the way with 37.9 per cent of people claiming it was their first port of call. It was closely followed by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) with 18.6 per cent; 16.4 per cent looked for online business advice forums such as UKSmallBusinessForums.co.uk and 15.5 per cent went straight to the Princes Trust. Less than 10 per cent of people said that the Chamber of Commerce had helped their business.

So now you know what makes entrepreneurs tick and where they get their advice, maybe its time to dust off that business idea thats been tucked away in the back of your mind. Theres clearly never been a better time for it.


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