With a nationwide unemployment rate of just under 8% of the UK’s economically active population, the number of people out of work is at least above the Bank of England’s 7% target rate, but this statistical achievement offers no prizes for the 2.51 million individuals that make up this figure. At a time when just under 20% of people aged 18-24 are looking for work, Shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms expressed concern over the sharp rise in youth unemployment in recent months, as well as the steady increase in long-term unemployment.
Starting your own business
It may seem like an unlikely option during an economic downturn, but one way to address this problem could be to start your own business. Peter Day, presenter of In Business on Radio 4, offers some tips for the young entrepreneurs of Britain in his BBC article ‘Top tips for starting your own business’.
As Day suggests, rather than trying to come up with wild ideas that might be just a little too ‘niche’, why not think about something that you yourself wished was available on the market? If you would pay money for this product or service, then the likelihood is other people would as well.
Saying that, a recent article in the Huffington Post tells the tales of several very odd, yet very successful businesses, from Pet Rocks (exactly what you’re picturing right now) to Doggles. Yes, they sell goggles for your dog.
A good idea is key
So, a good (and sometimes utterly crazy) idea is key for starting up any business. Do your research and identify your potential market, ask friends and family for their honest opinions, ask other small business owners for tips and advice, find local support from National Enterprise Network (England) or Business Gateway (Scotland) who can offer advice on market research, help develop your business plan, and find funding to allow a small business to take off successfully.
You just never know…
You might just have more potential and more options than you realise, so it’s worth having a good think about it and seeing what help is out there to get your business started. You never know, you could have a great idea just sitting there waiting to be realised. As long as it’s not pet rocks though, someone already has that covered.