Poll shows 90% of office workers want to be self-employed

TOUGH ROAD::Only 18% of white-collar workers have made the leap and started businesses, with 76% of them failing in their bid to be their own boss

By Yang Chiu-ying and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Fri, Oct 12, 2012 - Page 3

A survey conducted by yes123 Job Bank showed yesterday that over 90 percent of Taiwanese office employees have thought about running their own business but only 18 percent actually undertook to become their own boss, and of those, 76 percent ended up with failed businesses.

For those who tried and failed, most cited inadequate capital financing (56.2 percent) as the main reason, followed by a failure to make sufficient profits (44.5 percent), the survey showed.

Insufficient customers and exorbitant rental costs for store or office space were also noted as other reasons for failed business, the survey added.

The survey said the top reasons given by office workers for wanting to launch their own venture are “to make more money” (61.1 percent) and “for personal interest” (59.3 percent). The majority of men surveyed cited the former while most women surveyed gave the latter as the main reason.

Yes123 assistant manager Huang Yu-ling (黃玉齡) said the survey results showed that 26 percent of those surveyed had wanted to run their own business since they were still in school. This was followed in second place by those who had been in the workforce for one to two years (13 percent), and then by people who have worked for more than 10 years (12 percent).

“We can see the trend is getting younger, for those wanting to be their own boss and run their own business,” Huang said. “Young people going into start-up businesses are more daring and dynamic, but must improve their marketing know-how to prevent a headlong rush and burning out quickly, with the venture going under.”

The survey showed that among the enterprises to get into, the “restaurant and eatery” category ranked as the top choice at 25.2 percent, followed by “coffee and tea shops” — which has a lower capital funding requirement — at 17 percent. The “information technology and consumer electronics” category placed third with 8.6 percent.

Regarding start-up capital, the survey showed 12.6 percent of respondents indicated NT$100,000 as sufficient while 26.1 percent said a budget between NT$100,000 and NT$400,000 was needed.

According to Huang, the nation’s education system produces good employees and professional workers, but not enough knowledge and training are provided in term of how to start up businesses.

Noting the level of risk and uncertainty involved in starting up a business, she suggested aspiring business owners study their market well beforehand as well as setting a bottom line for financial loss.