As 16 brave contestants prepare to battle it out to become Sir Alan Sugars next apprentice, a new report reveals what Britains small business owners look for in a role model. According to the research conducted on behalf of Premierline Direct, the business insurance specialist, in these times of economic uncertainty, SMEs say it is passion and good old-fashioned hard work that are the top qualities to look for in a business role model.
Entrepreneurs that have demonstrated a love of the job and hard work as well as resilience and staying power, were voted the most inspiring role models by SMEs. According to the survey it is Sir Richard Branson, Anita Roddick, James Dyson, Sir Alan Sugar and Bill Gates that top the poll of the best role models for Britains small businesses.
Only one in five (20%) of small business owners rate lots of money and the glamorous lifestyle that goes with it as their main inspiration. Instead 68% were inspired by a business leaders passion, 62% by hard work, 59% by resilience and staying power and 58% by the ability to demonstrate what is achievable.
When it comes to what personally motivates SMEs to start up their own business, nearly half (49%) wanted to be their own boss and not have to answer to anybody, 48% sought more control over their life and 46% wanted independence.
Despite having a passion for being their own boss, it seems business owners are not fully equipped for the role. A third said they find it hard to manage finances, 31% struggle with red tape, 20% claim business planning is difficult and a fifth said finding the best service provider such as banking and insurance, is a cause for headache.
Chris Little, managing director of Premierline Direct, said: It is clear from our research that business owners appreciate how passion and hardwork can help achieve success over the long term. However, would-be entrepreneurs looking to follow in the footsteps of their business role models need to ensure that they plan for the future and protect themselves against any potential risks. For example, when shopping around for a business insurance provider, look for a company that not only gives a great price, but also offers advice to make sure your business is adequately covered.
In addition to helping business owners find the right level of cover, Premierline Direct offers customers added value services and support in running a successful business including its risk management website, Risk Director, and a benefits programme, which can help SMEs save on their operating costs.
Risk Director is a knowledge bank which can assist businesses in a number of ways such as giving tips on how to write a health and safety plan, help in identifying and managing risks, and assistance with business continuity planning. Premierline Direct also offers customers access to a tax and legal helpline providing free, impartial expert advice on a range of matters, and gives customers access to a range of discounts on business related services through its benefits programme.
Premierline Direct is part of the Global Allianz Group and provides cover to a wide range of industries from shops and offices to hotels and manufacturing, tailoring its insurance packages to meet the diverse needs of each business.