These are the 11 biggest obstacles facing start-ups in the early stages

Over 50% of cash-conscious businesses claim to have just “muddled through” the start-up process instead of seeking out advice

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Getting new customers and raising start-up funding are among the biggest challenges facing business owners at the early stages of starting a business, according to a new study from MadeSimple Group with data from, Virgin StartUp, and the London Small Business Centre.

Polling over 1,300 small business owners on the question of ‘What’s not simple for UK start-ups?’, the report from the small business specialist highlighted 11 key areas that budding entrepreneurs find most challenging. These include:

  1. Getting new business (47%)
  2. Securing funding (40%)
  3. Getting through all the business red tape (23%)
  4. Creating a business plan (22%)
  5. Keeping records for the business (22%)
  6. Getting a lawyer/legal advice (19%)
  7. Employing people (18%)
  8. Opening a business bank account (18%)
  9. Getting business premises (17%)
  10. Getting a website (16%)
  11. Deciding on business structure (15)

Surprisingly, when asked who they turned to for advice when starting up, the majority (50.78%) of business owners claimed to have just “muddled through it” by themselves despite having access to a range of free business resources such as and government websites.

According to the research, London is still the most popular place in the UK to start a business with 37% of those surveyed based in the capital. The South East (17.88%), South West (10.15%) and West Midlands (6.73%) were home to the next highest number of businesses.

In the report, MadeSimple concluded:

“With start-ups being very ‘cash’ conscious there’s definitely a ‘do it yourself’ mentality which, whilst commendable, does detract focus away from growing the business. Plus, it’s likely that by trying to become a ‘jack of all trades’ – mistakes and inefficiencies may arise.

“At MadeSimple, we very much agree with the business guru Michael Gerber when he outlines in his brilliant book The EMyththat success comes when business owners spend more time working ‘on’ the business than ‘in’ the business.”

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