Nick Goode (Head of Sage One)By Nick Goode (Head of Sage One).

I have to admit to playing with the interactive Bloomberg Billionaires: Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people infographic that popped up last weekend. Apparently the world’s richest person, Mexican Carlos Slim, does not own a computer and does everything on Blackberry. (Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is in at 21).

No surprise that the mega money comes from technology (Microsoft, Oracle, Facebook), financial services, mining, retail and so on. What strikes me though is that my interest in the billionaires of the world is not that strong. I always come back to what fascinates me more: the everyday entrepreneur.

The Dragons vs. Everyday Entrepreneurs

The everyday entrepreneur. Let’s exclude some myths to start. I don’t watch BBC’s The Apprentice because it’s purely “biztainment” – egos, individualism and a staggering lack of business acumen all to make you watch telly. Dragons’ Den is good if over-dramatized, although I’m not sure what’s going on with Hilary and Theo leaving the show. But even The Dragons, impressive as they are, are exceptional entrepreneurs. They’re arrogant, slightly rude, driven, wealthy. They’re not everyday entrepreneurs.

My friend Pat has just started a painting business. She’s brilliant with a brush and has an eye for colour with extreme care taken – no drips or boot prints on your carpet. She painted the cupboards in my son’s bedroom and specialises in small jobs that most decorators won’t do. Pat is a widow aged 61 and needs additional income. She’s an everyday entrepreneur.

Whenever I go to Dublin, Tommy picks me up at the airport. Tommy’s driving business has been going over 20 years and his loyal clientele appreciates the care he takes: never late, always in a good mood, spotless car, good conversation. He works with a couple of other guys but has no plans to expand. Tommy’s an everyday entrepreneur.

I live in a village, and we have a village store. It’s run by a family. Mum does the cheese, dad is general manager, son Lee is the butcher and daughter Sammy is on the till. They sell local produce and there’s a post office in there as well. They employ about 8 local staff and have enabled another local guy to open a car wash business on the site. Given the food origin and content scandals hogging the headlines at present, plus proximity and a genuine interest in the community, the shop is thriving, creating jobs and providing excellence to people. They’ll never sell to a supermarket or really expand further. A family of everyday entrepreneurs.

There are over 3 million businesses in the UK with fewer than 10 employees. A figure which analysts say will grow to over 3.5 million by end 2014.

I get more of a buzz thinking about all the everyday entrepreneurs that I know than I do reading about the Walton family who own Walmart. The chain is the US’s biggest private employer, which is great because it keeps so many families in income. But if you want or need to start a business, you don’t have to think big  – think confident. Over 3 million people in this country are everyday entrepreneurs. You can be one too.

Look around you and you’ll see everyday entrepreneurs running great little businesses everywhere. People who have had the confidence to take the plunge and become self-employed. It’s not for everyone that’s true but it’s also easier than you might think as there is tonnes of support out there if you know where to look.

How Sage One supports small businesses

Sage (UK) Limited has been at the heart of the British economy for over 30yrs, supporting businesses of all sizes from the smallest start-up to the largest multinational (a third of the FTSE-100 use Sage software). Our (relatively new) Sage One Accounts and Sage One Payroll cloud-based software has been specifically created for start-ups and micro-businesses with 1-15 employees and no prior knowledge or training in finance or PAYE.

We’ve stripped out all the jargon and built the Sage One software from scratch rather than move existing Sage desktop software into the cloud. What’s more, free 24hr telephone AND email support is included in the monthly subscription giving you all the help and advice you need to manage your finances effectively and succeed. This is extraordinary value for everyday entrepreneurs that no-one else can match!

If you’re starting out in business, one of the best decisions you could make is to sign up for a FREE 30 day trial of Sage One Accounts, Payroll or Cashbook today. Who knows, perhaps you will end up on the world’s richest people list with Sage behind you all the way?

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One response to “The Everyday Entrepreneur”

  1. Nice blog Nick. During my 4yrs at Shell LiveWIRE, I came across 100s of amazing entrepreneurs throughout the UK who were just as, if not more inspiring than the ‘celebrity entrepreneurs’.

    I’ve met a few of the latter in person and they are special people. Using them at an event or as part of a campaign does provide column inches and a bit of extra interest but they are so far removed from most people that their advice isn’t always that useful.

    In my opinion, it’s much more helpful to champion local start-ups and ‘everyday entrepreneurs’ to show people that it is possible to start a business in your village, town or city. This is something local authorities, media, schools, colleges and universities can do quite easily.