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East Midlands Chamber News

Help available for emotionally strained entrepreneurs

There were 7,641 new business launched in Nottingham in 2014, 4,140 in Derby and 6,763 in Leicester.

Across the East Midlands, 24,357 people started down the route to self-employment, according to startupbritain.org, using data collated from Companies House.

There will have been others which did not register with Companies House because they chose not to opt for ‘limited’ status.

According to research institute Statistic Brain, 25% of all firms fail in their first year, half fail within five years and only 29% survive beyond ten years.

Figures published on the think tank’s website show that 46% fail through incompetence, with “emotional pricing”, ie, not working to an appropriate fixed price list, being the biggest single cause.

Looking at psychological reasons for failure, the research institute Statistic Brain found the main causes to be, in descending order, going into business for the wrong reasons, taking advice from family and friends, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the entrepreneur gets worn out or underestimates the time commitment needed and family pressure/money commitments.

According to Nottingham-based business consultant Natasha McCracken, the results should come as no surprise.

“There is all sorts of financial help available and Government-sponsored initiatives covering business planning, marketing and social media skills but very little to help entrepreneurs cope emotionally and psychologically with the transition into self-employment.

“I have worked for large organisations and worked for myself for several years and there are benefits and real challenges to self-employment and I can’t say sometimes I didn’t really question myself.

“I certainly didn’t feel I had all the information I needed at the start to make good decisions and prepare myself, and people who were too close to me tended to adopt a ‘there, there you’re great’ approach which isn’t necessarily always that helpful.”

Vauna Beauvais, a Chamber member and respected coach and psychologist in Nottinghamshire, said: “Starting your own business can put great strains on personal and family relationships at a time when the entrepreneur needs these to be at their strongest.”

Natasha teamed up with business coach David O’Hanlon, who has over two decades’ experience in change and transition management and organisational coaching, working with individuals and organisations from local community and arts centres to large public and private sector organisations.

Together they are launching workshops to guide entrepreneurs through the emotional upheaval of stepping out alone. The first Living with your own Business: Successfully adapting to self-employment and promoting sustainability’ takes place at McCracken Consultancy, 53 Forest Rd East, Nottingham, on 21 July.

“I wanted to create a space where people could discuss their fears and difficulties openly and come up with some strategies to promote sustainability of their business and their quality of life.”

Scott Knowles, Deputy Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) said: “Launching and running a business can place a huge strain on an entrepreneur’s personal life and on their financial situation, creating immense emotional pressure. Anything that can alleviate even part of that pressure should be welcomed and encouraged.”