Small Business Owners Initially Struggle With Knowledge But Not Confidence

Reflecting on when they started, 81% of entrepreneurs felt they understood their market yet 65% struggled with at least one business area

Small Business Owners Initially Struggle With Knowledge But Not Confidence

While many UK small enterprise owners initially struggled with business knowledge, confidence was never a problem – according to a report by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

The survey, polling 501 small and medium-sized business owners (those with fewer than 250 employees), asked entrepreneurs what they wished they’d known when starting their business and 19% said they wished they had spent more time marketing, 11% on finance, 8% on IT, and 5% on PR and social media.

65% of respondents struggled with at least one business area when they started out and, when asked to pinpoint which specific area, 20% of respondents cited a lack of financial knowledge as their biggest initial struggle, compared to marketing (12%) and legal know-how (11%).

While this lack of expertise could have held entrepreneurs back, 81% said they were confident they understood their market when they launched their businesses while 75% were equally optimistic about budgeting for the future – 17% even said they felt fully assured that their idea would be a success at the time of starting out.

Rob Alder, head of business development at AAT, said of the findings:

“Starting your own business can be a daunting process. This research shows that many people who want to run their own business may need more help when they’re starting out.

“If you have a business idea, it’s essential you do as much research as possible to ensure your idea has the best chance to succeed. Being confident in yourself and your idea is excellent, but you should still ensure you get as much advice as you can, from multiple sources.”

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