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Seven Reasons Why 2014 Is the Year of the Entrepreneur

26/02/2014 12:55 GMT | Updated 27/04/2014 10:59 BST

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I've been saying for a while now that I believe there has never been a better time to start up in business, so it's great to see that others agree. And not just anyone, but one of the world's greatest entrepreneurs, head of Virgin Richard Branson.

Recently he referred to 2014 as being 'the year of the entrepreneur', going on to state that:

From being a dirty word in the past, entrepreneurship is increasingly being celebrated and encouraged - as it should be.

Richard Branson

The reason he believes this, and I'm in full agreement, is that virtually anyone is now able to use the power of technology to turn themselves into entrepreneurs, wherever they are and whatever their background, levelling the playing field. Would-be entrepreneurs can see their ideas turned into practical businesses quickly, easily and without undue financial risk, something that understandably holds back many from going it alone.

"Technology is helping every business, large and small, to move forward, which will only increase in the coming year," says Branson. "Now, entrepreneurs can build companies at a fraction of the cost in the past."

What strikes a particular chord with me is his assertion that, in years to come, technology will also give entrepreneurs the time they need to actually work on their business rather than just in them. That's an essential difference, as it releases people from being trapped doing day-to-day work and allows them to focus on what's important - strategically and on a personal level too. Going into business for yourself no longer means exchanging the drudgery of employment for the drudgery of self-employment.

A recent article in Forbes business magazine echoes this mood when it talks of there being a "real resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit, and more start-up activity than ever before ...", and while that refers to America, it's something we're also experiencing in the UK.

The Forbes article goes on to say:

the days of the 'job work' mentality are thankfully waning, with more people looking to get satisfaction by making the world a better place, rather than just tolerating brain-numbing work to fund enjoyment elsewhere.

Forbes

7 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Become an Entrepreneur

To me, this is great and exciting news.

So, if you haven't considered going into business, you should, and here are seven reasons why there's no time like the present.

1. The cost of start-up has never been lower. Pretty much all you need is a website and you are up and running. Use a platform like WordPress and you won't even need a designer. And if you want to create an innovative product, like a smartphone app, that's something you can do for just £4,000 or £5,000, or even less if you have the skills or can find a developer in a country where costs are lower. www.elance.com or www.guru.com are both worth a look.

2. Markets are no longer local. Thanks to the internet you can find customers or clients anywhere at very low cost. That, quite literally, opens up a world of possibilities. In business you are no longer governed by geographical boundaries. And with an effective website and a social media strategy in place, your business can be working for you 24/7.

3. Marketing has become more accessible and much cheaper. Now if you want to get noticed you don't have to spend vast sums on traditional print advertising. Social media and email marketing campaigns are both low cost options for driving traffic to your website, and begin the process of building an on-going business relationship with your clients or customers.

4. More and more people want to buy from enthusiastic niche suppliers. That puts you at an advantage over larger corporate organisations that don't have the flexibility (or desire) to compete with you in these smaller markets.

5. As a small business you have agility to make changes quickly. So, if you have a particular angle or idea, you're at liberty to pursue it as you wish. This means you can keep 'refreshing' your products or service and keep yourself interested and motivated.

6. Advancing technology and changing attitudes are enabling more women and mature people to become entrepreneurs. So even those who might have felt themselves sidelined by age or gender are now able to carve out a highly successful entrepreneurial career. This is of vital importance, particularly for anyone made redundant during the recent downturn and feeling locked out of the job market.

7. Recovery is happening far faster than many thought possible, and that's an economic wave you need to be riding.

So, if you're unhappy in your work, out of work, or simply looking to use your skills and energy in a productive, rewarding way, start thinking entrepreneurially then maybe it's time you download your two free chapters of 'Corporate Escape: the Rise of the New Entrepreneur'.

When being an entrepreneur is something to be admired and applauded, as Richard Branson says, why stay in a job you no longer like when the rewards are there to be enjoyed working for yourself?

Make 2014 your entrepreneurial year.

©Maite Barón 2014. All rights reserved. If you'd like to use this blog for your e-zine, newsletter or website, feel free. Please do include a live link to my website and the following attribution:

This Article was first posted on the Corporate Escape Blog