Editor’s blog: New year, new business?

With January offering the perfect time for a fresh start, Startups’ editor Lucy Wayment asks, should 2016 be the year you start a business?

We all know the age-old adage of ‘new year, new you’. In fact, as we move in to the second working week of January – you’ve probably heard or silently uttered the phrase a hundred times already.

Everyone in the office is eating salad and joining a new gym, promising to read more or giving up booze. Realistically, many of these resolutions will be broken throughout the year (let’s be honest, most already have been). But, while the concept seems increasingly futile, there’s no denying the desire January gives you for a fresh start.

Scrap faddy resolutions and set realistic goals

The downtime you have between the craziness of Christmas and that first week back to work offers time for reflection and for setting goals for the year ahead. The rest of January is your opportunity to use that renewed vigour and act. And a new challenge (hopefully if you’re reading this post) means finally realising your dream of starting your own business.

Whether you’re tired of working for someone else and long to be your own boss, or simply have a burning business idea you can’t keep to yourself any longer – the New Year offers the perfect opportunity to finally take a scary – but exciting – plunge.

Why 2016 is a great time to start a business

And the good news is there’s never been a better time to start up.

2015 was a record breaking year, both in terms of self-employment and the number of UK start-ups. While more new businesses may mean added competition, it’s indicative of the favourable climate for enterprise.

Raising finance has also never been easier, with more businesses accessing development finance and securing venture capital investment than ever before – and alternative finance (e.g. crowdfunding, peer-to-peer, invoice finance) is set to grow 23% by 2017.

As James Layfield of Central Working said in a recent post, there’s also more support on offer than ever – from government initiatives such as Startup Loans to a growing number of business accelerators. We covered the opening of a whole range of clubs, hubs and co-work spaces in the last year alone that can also offer support too, from NatWest’s new in-branch entrepreneur hubs to an £8m co-working development in Manchester.

There are also a number of sectors showing huge growth. From franchising and e-commerce to the latest tech trends set to take off, the opportunities for 2016 are vast.

So, what are you waiting for? Kickstart this year not with a list of resolutions you’ll never keep, but with a brand new business that could change your life forever.

And if you have recently launched, let us know and we could feature you in our Just Started section on the site.

A monthly blog from me

For me, January marks my first month as editor of Startups. While I’ve been working on the site for three and a half years now, and as such it’s been a gradual transition to this position, it still feels like a new beginning of sorts – and one I’m very excited about.

So despite their terrible reputation for being impossible to keep, I’ve made my own New Year’s resolution – or let’s call it a realistic goal – to start this monthly editor’s blog. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

On Startups this month…

We have lots of great things to watch out for on the site this month; from inspirational features such as our What business to start feature, revealing the best business ideas for 2016 (view last year’s ideas here) to weekly lessons from Dragons’ Den and some core articles on self-assessment.

Whether you’re still trying to come up with an idea or need practical advice about getting started, if you have built up the courage to go it alone this January, we can help.

For now, I wish you the best of luck with your business and hope we’ll be hearing more about your fledgling business soon…

You can find me tweeting @LucyWayment.

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