Millennial business brains are proving they don’t always rely on older generations for help – new research shows nearly half of entrepreneurs under 35 have at least one other job alongside running their company.
It shows that while getting a new business up and running, many continue to work their day job in a bid to make sure they can fund their new venture.
Having the power to decide your own hours as well as having both independence and flexibility means that many millennials are drawn to starting up their own business, according to a new study conducted by online giant eBay.
Myles Shaw is one successful millennial who runs two businesses with a turnover of more than £4million a year, proving that many under 35s work hard for their achievements.
Myles Shaw runs two businesses that are worth a combined £4m at the age of just 32
The 32 year-old – crowned Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016 – started out selling carpets for his family business before finding a niche in carpet runners.
Deciding to capitalise on the opportunity, he started up Carpet Runners UK, selling the materials through eBay and has since seen his business go from strength-to-strength.
He said: ‘It goes without saying that, at times, working two jobs or starting your own business is difficult.
‘I was managing my father’s flooring business whilst starting my business and looking after my young daughter.
‘I’d be lying if I said that money wasn’t the initial reason I started my business, but as soon as I got it off the ground, I realised that it was a gateway to so much more.
‘I haven’t looked back – it’s given me a sense of freedom that can only come from running your own business and watching something that I’ve built continuing to grow is really exciting.’
Not only is Myles positive about his business’ future, but eBay’s study found that 76 per cent of 18 to 34 year-old SME owners are optimistic about their business growth prospects in 2019.
A further 62 per cent of SMEs planning to increase their investment and expect to increase their online sales and new product lines.
In comparison, just 37 per cent of entrepreneurs aged 35 and up were optimistic about future success.
Positive: Three quarters of millennials with businesses were optimistic about their business’ growth prospects
However, despite the optimism relayed by millennials, Brexit was found to be the most likely factor to limit business growth in 2019 – followed by a reduction in consumer spending.
EBay compiled the data through research conducted by Populus, who interviewed 505 owners and directors from SMEs across the UK.
Having a young family was one of the main motivators helping to spur Myles on to achieve his goals. He said: ‘I was 23 when my wife and I found out we were expecting a baby.
‘We were really excited, but we knew we needed more money to be able to support our young family.
‘I’d always had the desire to be my own boss, and eBay was the platform that gave me the opportunity to make this a reality.’
The study reiterated the importance of family with 40 per cent of those surveyed saying they hope their business will grow into something they can pass down to their family.
Another half of young entrepreneurs hope their business can become their primary or sole source of income, compared to just 16 per cent from all other age groups.
Although the research shows millennials are working hard, there is still often the implication that under 35s do not work as hard as other age groups.
Myles is frustrated by this suggestion and believes that younger age groups starting up businesses can only be a good thing.
‘I think our generation are often labelled as entitled or workshy, and I just don’t think that is the case.
‘All we want is to be more than a tiny cog in a big machine – and starting our own businesses and pursuing our passions means we don’t have to be that.’
Despite the success of his businesses, he isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He said: ‘I started Carpet Runners almost eight years ago, and our turnover has now reached more than £2million, with an ambition to hit £8million by the end of 2021.
‘It’s great to see – but we want to continue growing whilst making sure we’re always giving our customers what they want.’
‘We’re thinking about new ways to reach our UK customers and are about to sign a release for our first pilot bricks and mortar store in Grimsby.
‘Internationally, we’re looking to expand our trading to the US by launching in Canada, Australia, France and Germany.’
Tips for starting up your own business
Myles has given tips on how to succeed
Myles gives his tips for millennials looking to start up their own company.
‘The most important thing is to do something you enjoy or find fulfilment in.
‘We spend so many hours at work a day that it isn’t worth being miserable.
‘It’s also really important to identify a niche in the market – I was working in flooring and spotted that no one was selling made-to-measure carpet runners on eBay.
‘It reminded me that there’s always opportunities available.
‘Once you’ve decided what you want to do, the main thing is to work hard to ensure you’re delivering consistently for your clients or customers.
‘Yes, it’s hard work, but nothing worth having comes easily.
‘It’s eight years after I started Carpet Runners and I’m still in my early thirties, but it means I can provide for my family, work the hours that suit me, and live the life I’ve always wanted.’