From a nation of shopkeepers to one of entrepreneurs, the UK economy is driven by small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
An incredible 99.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) is generated by companies with fewer than 50 employees.
And the pandemic did little to stand in the way of that entrepreneurial enthusiasm, with 34% of business owners starting their company in the past year.
On top of that, half of those entrepreneurs came up with their business idea in lockdown.
Our recent survey found that 52% of UK adults dream of starting their own business.
But more than half of these are held back by financial constraints or believe business owners are rich, privileged or received financial help to get started.
As our ‘Are you ready to be your own boss’ quiz will show you, there are at least eight different types of entrepreneur, each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses.
Read on to learn about them, and don’t forget to take our quiz to find out what kind of entrepreneur you are, and what practical steps you can take towards starting a business.
The Budding Boss
The Budding Boss is one of the most common types of would-be entrepreneur.
They’re interested in starting a business and know there’s still some work to be done before committing to everything that comes with building a company from the ground up.
Crucially, though, they already have the most important part nailed down: passion for what they do.
This entrepreneur type has the drive and desire to be their own boss but might need a gentle push in the right direction.
If that sounds like you, get started by reading up on small business finance and buckle down to save up that crucial start-up capital.
Not sure where to start? You’ll find a wealth of free resources on Sage Advice, such as this guide to starting a business with no money, and this handy article on how to write a winning business plan.
Grab a notebook and dive in!
The Number Cruncher
Good with numbers and manging your money?
You’re probably a Number Cruncher and could be in a pretty strong financial position to absolutely smash the start-up game.
Having a strong foundation in finance will set you up to boss your business from day one. But there’s always more to learn – so be sure to keep up with all the latest updates and legislation that might affect your operations.
When it comes to admin, Number Crunchers often need to work on managing their schedules and stay on top of practical tasks such as taxes, invoices and payroll if they have any employees.
If you fit into this category, you’re already a pro when it comes to finances – but you might just need some more time to settle into an entrepreneurial mindset.
Not sure how to do that? We’ve got you covered with this directory of resources for small business owners (and business owners-to-be).
The Process Pro
If ‘switched on’, ‘organised’, and ‘on it’ are just some of the words people use to describe you, there’s a good chance you’re one of the Process Pros.
This type of entrepreneur works smart and has a keen eye for detail, acing admin and eating processes and procedures for breakfast. Sometimes even lunch and dinner.
As a Process Pro, you’re already miles ahead of the game.
Get to grips with the basics of business accounting and bookkeeping to identify any potential barriers to getting your business off the ground and pay special attention to start-up costs to make sure your current finances are in order.
Process-driven people sometimes have a habit of overanalysing or overthinking situations – and that can stop you from taking action.
To help you get into that can-do mindset and build the confidence you need to take charge, check out this insightful interview featuring entrepreneur Mathew Porter from VASO over on our Sound Advice podcast, and get some expert tips from someone who has seen and done it all before.
The archetypal entrepreneur, a Dreamer has a knack for spotting opportunities before anyone else, and is brimming with the kind of enthusiasm, vision and self-belief necessary to succeed.
But to turn those dreams into reality, it takes some doing – and it can be difficult for some budding entrepreneurs to make that leap.
To give your idea legs, start off by creating a solid financial plan, covering key aspects such as start-up funds and how you think you’ll manage your money.
Staying on top of admin is also important here, because big ideas need that infrastructure in place to keep things running smoothly in the day-to-day.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered with our small business pocket guide.
The Keen Machine
Keen Machines are diligent, focused and have the kind of work ethic you need to not only get a start-up off the ground, but see it thrive.
This entrepreneur type knows the market they want to tap into and have a clear picture of what they want to accomplish. And they always have a well-researched plan to back them up every step of the way.
If you’re a Keen Machine, you naturally have the drive and determination required to get the job done. But you might need to dedicate some time to figure out the finances, including how to secure funding and apply for any grants you might be eligible for.
Visionary entrepreneurs seem to just get it.
They’re creative, confident and business savvy, and know how money moves through a business. And, most importantly, they know that there’s always more to learn.
Think Steve Jobs, Karren Brady, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
A Visionary has the mindset and means to not just launch a start-up but see it reach great heights and never stop looking for opportunities to grow and diversify.
Don’t be intimidated by the fame and fortune associated with these names – the majority of big-time entrepreneurs started out with nothing more than a great idea, some self-belief, the desire to take action and a lot of resilience.
Meticulous. Sharp. Always pushing for the best.
For the Perfectionist, a job isn’t done until it’s done just so, and can probably turn their hands to anything and run the show without skipping a beat.
This type of entrepreneur knows their way around finances and has the skills to perfectly plan a route into profit, with the right advice to back them up.
From keeping track of taxes, invoices and timescales to managing a fully-fledged company, it all comes naturally to the Perfectionist.
The main thing the Perfectionist needs help with is learning to trust their instincts and focus their skills and attention on that winning business idea.
For an extra dose of inspiration, listen to what Made.com co-founder Julien Callede has to say about building a scalable business from day one.
The Ready and Set One
As the name implies, the Ready and Set entrepreneur is standing in front of all the opportunity that awaits.
They’ve thoroughly researched every aspect of their business-to-be. They have a keen understanding of everything from admin and accounts to the day-to-day running of the business and a plan for the next few months or years.
They have a clear, vibrant vision for where they want to take the business, have what it takes to see that plan through.
They just need to take the leap and dive into it all.
If they haven’t done that yet, there’s a good chance that it’s all in the mindset. A little self-confidence and a hint of inspiration should do the trick – and you can get heaps of that by looking up entrepreneurs who turned their side hustle into a full-time career.
So which entrepreneur are you?
Perhaps one of them sticks out like a sore thumb and you can clearly identify with it. Or maybe it’s not so black and white.
Well, take our quiz and see – you might be surprised. And your results will help you determine whether you’re ready to start your own business.
However, if you’re not, don’t despair.
We’ve got lots of great startup business advice to help you, no matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey.
Side hustle toolkit
Get your free guide, business plan template and cash flow forecast template to help you boss your side hustle and achieve your goals.
Never miss an episode
Subscribe by email and get Sound Advice delivered to your inbox every two weeks with the Sage Advice newsletter with a ton of related articles, templates and problem solving guides for small businesses so you can put our sound advice into practice.