No regrets


There was a surprising article in today’s Yorkshire Evening Post saying that one third of all small business owners and managing directors in Yorkshire say that they not only regret starting their own venture, but would not go through the pain of launching a business again.

I find this really hard to believe, particularly as less than a week ago more than 4,000 businesses from the region spent two days sharing their success and giving advice and guidance to others during the Buy Yorkshire Conference. Not a single person I met on either of these two days said that they regret launching a company, in fact many of them quite the opposite.

This update came from the Viking Small Business Barometer, but interestingly there is no indication to the size of sample that was used to make these assumptions, nor any specific reference to the companies that were involved.

As a small business owner I am absolutely aware of the difficulties that people face when trying to get a venture off the ground and then the struggles that you come across in trying to keep it going – it’s not easy or for the faint hearted, but do I regret it? Not a single second.

I network with a lot of local businesses and we often natter about the different challenges that we are facing and then offer advice on how to overcome them and I think it is this that some small businesses are missing. It can be quite lonely when you work in a small organisation – particularly if you’ve come from a large corporate or agency environment – and so it’s essential to surround yourself with a network of people that you can trust.

Like making friends you need to be careful but if you have a couple of reliable people that you can call upon when you feel like pulling your hair out it makes life so much easier. There have been times when I’ve been close to throttling someone or myself but after sitting down with a business colleague for a coffee or something stronger the world makes more sense and I can get excited about the good things that are around the corner.

It would be ridiculous to say that every day you skip into work with a smile a mile wide but I have to admit that I’m happier in my career now than I have ever been, regardless of the longer working hours and added pressure.

I don’t profess that running a company is easy, far from it, but I don’t think that surveys like this encourage people to give it a go. Looking back at what we have achieved as a business and the challenges that we have overcome at Open Communications I am really proud to say that I am the owner of an agency and there isn’t a single thing that would make me regret the decision that I made to launch back in 2008.

So anyone out there who is considering launching a new start up, remember, what makes you unique is what will also make you a success, so as long as you truly believe in the product or service that you have to offer your clients then all you have to do is give it a go. No one will ever fault you for trying.