As the UK continues to recover from the recession, and the government makes legislation more favourable to SMEs, more and more professionals are seeking to take charge of their own career and finances, opting to become self-employed.
2014 was a record-breaking year, with 581,000 new limited companies registered, and 2015 is expected to smash those records again, with more than 600,000 private companies estimated to be set up in the UK. Data from Hitwise (via SME Insider) shows searches on the top three comparison sites for small business finance have tripled in the last six months. Google also reports that searches on business finance have increased by over 100% since March.
For those providing business services like accounting, company formation, virtual offices, web design and so forth, this is exceptionally good news. Demand is on the up, and companies are creating new services and packages to meet new needs. You rarely find a graphic design agency without web design capabilities, and you won’t find an accounting firm without knowledge of crowdfunding. Even HMRC is trying to make its systems easier to use.
We spoke to Nwora Eze, Managing Director of 121 Company Formation. Nwora has seen growing demand for his services in line with official statistics, and has expanded his services to meet the needs of today’s new businesses. “In the world of business, time is money… With hundreds of thousands more people expected to form their own business over the next twelve months, the need for a company formation service that can get them on their feet within just hours has never been greater,” said Nwora.
Cheap and easy
Competition between these companies is fierce, so not only do they have to innovate to make their services more attractive and useful, but they have to offer a good service at a good price. On top of paid-for support, the internet is teeming with free advice on any topic you could imagine, networking opportunities you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, and a wealth of crowdfunding sites making access to finance easier than ever before.
Some say the increase in start-ups and self-employment in general is due to an absence of available jobs where employers are willing to take on the additional costs of PAYE employees. In turn, this could be said to have artificially reduced our unemployment figures, with many working long hours for little pay, or not winning any contracts at all.
On the bright side, many believe that whatever the reason for professionals turning to self-employment in the first place, the continuing trend can be attributed to an increasingly healthy economy, a flourishing sharing economy, and government’s steps to encourage new enterprise and SMEs.
If you follow the increase in new companies, and demand for business services, through to a logical conclusion, demand for just about everything should be on the up, from transport, to cleaners, to smart new office threads. It seems now is a very good time to set up a new business.