We might have been a nation of shopkeepers once, but the UK is now a nation of entrepreneurs, with small businesses accounting for 99% of all private sector firms. The number of SMEs (small or medium sized enterprises) is on the up and at the start of 2016, there were 97,000 more than there were the year before.

Going it alone and turning a hobby or passion for craft into a business that’ll actually make you enough money to live on, is pretty scary. For a start, you’ll need to be prepared for your family and friends to either tell you that you’re bonkers, or smile and nod and then say you’re bonkers behind your back.

But it can be done and 88% of craft businesses in the UK are sole traders contributing more than £450 million to the economy. So, if you’re tempted to turn your back on the corporate band wagon and tell your boss exactly where upon their anatomy they can strategically place their job, then what do you need to know?

First up – make sure you research, research, research. That means, making sure you’ve actually got a market to sell to – try your best Del Boy impression and sell at markets and craft fairs if you’ve got a product you want to push. If you need a cash injection to get your initiative off the ground, find out if any funding is available. Next thing, is to make sure you’re fit for the digital age and sort out a company name, website and make sure you’re social media savvy (there’s a big difference between a twit and a Tweet).

And there’s one thing you should never, ever forget to do, and that’s tell the taxman (so look at hiring an accountant if you think a spreadsheet is something you do with linen). Plus, whatever you sell, design, manufacture or advise – invest in the right type of business insurance.

Insurance isn’t very exciting and can feel like a drag, but making sure your business has a safety net could be the most important thing you get to grips with. And if you don’t know where to start, or what you need, then don’t worry – we can help you compare small business insurance quotes.

So, if you’ve got an idea bursting to get out, then why not give it a go and start your own business, just remember – do your homework and believe in yourself – go on, go get ‘em, tiger!

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