Profit tops priority list for UK entrepreneurs

British entrepreneurs revealed the business milestones that mean most to them, and almost half value profit above all else.

Business survival rates are traditionally abysmal. Recent data reveals that four in ten SMEs don’t make it to their fifth birthday, and while more businesses are founded in London, more also fail in the capital than anywhere else. With these figures as context, new findings reveal that half of London entrepreneurs believe making it past their first year is something to celebrate.

The new survey from private investment firm Current Capital asked British business owners which company milestones mean most to them – and from making their first profit to landing their first big contract, it looks like the UK’s entrepreneurs put plenty of stock in finances.

For close to half of the respondents (47 per cent), making their first profit as a business was the moment that meant most to them. After the bottom line, business owners are most interested in securing a big sale or landing a large contract – with these entrepreneurial milestones scooping 41 per cent of the vote.

Just 12 per cent of business owners surveyed cited securing funding as a pivotal moment in their company’s progression – instead placing more weight on sales and sustainability.

22 per cent of Brits recalled that taking on their first team member was a memorable moment – while almost three quarters of entrepreneurs in the North West of England remembered their first hire fondly.

For just under a fifth of business owners, moving into their first office marked a momentous occasion for their company. Gen Y respondents were particularly passionate about finding their enterprise a home – with 42 per cent of millennials describing renting their first official office space as a significant milestone for their business.

“It’s interesting to see that so few Brits cited funding as an important milestone for their business, considering the exciting growth potential that’s unleashed when an early-stage business receives the funding it needs to move forward – and the incredible obstacle that insufficient funding can create,” Kris Bolton, partner at Current Capital, said. “Nonetheless, there’s no denying the thrill of seeing your company generate its first ever profit!”


Business milestones 

UK entrepreneurs rank business milestones in order of importance.

  • Making your first profit: 47 per cent
  • Securing your first big sale/large contract: 41 per cent
  • Making it past your first year: 34 per cent
  • Hiring your first employee: 22 per cent
  • Moving into your first office space: 18 per cent
  • Securing funding: 12.0 per cent

Praseeda Nair

Kellen Rempel

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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