Scots more likely to rebound from business failures

Scottish business leaders have a healthier attitude towards professional failure than the rest of the UK, new research suggests.

Vistaprint's Simon Braier called Scotland's business failure figures 'particularly impressive'. Picture: Contributed

A study by print provider Vistaprint found that around half as many Scottish entrepreneurs felt that business failure was “difficult to overcome”, as 34 per cent agreed with this statement, compared with 62 per cent in the rest of the UK.

The report called the Scottish figures “especially impressive”, stating that more than seven in ten Scots entrepreneurs said they would start another business if they failed the first time, outstripping the rest of the country by 10 per cent.

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Six in ten Scots reported that they felt more likely to succeed with their second business venture, significantly higher than the four in ten recorded elsewhere, indicating that entrepreneurs north of the Border have a stronger belief in their chances of success.

They also appear to fail less often, with only 21 per cent having to close a business, compared with 35 per cent in London, and that they make fewer costly mistakes.

Business errors cost an average of £2,517 in Scotland, which is less than a quarter of the amount reported in London and less than half of the UK average, said the survey.

Scottish entrepreneurs overwhelming felt that learning from mistakes was the best way to overcome business failure, with 76 per cent in agreement.

Vistaprint customer strategy and insights director Simon Braier said the survey implied that Scottish entrepreneurs are particularly resilient. He said: “The survey highlights some interesting regional differences across the UK.

“We know there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to success, but what’s most encouraging is the resilience these business owners show – and the results are especially impressive in Scotland.

“With seven in ten Scottish business owners saying they would start again if things went wrong we know one mistake does not deter this group of entrepreneurs.”

The international study surveyed 2,000 business owners in the UK, Germany, Italy and France, with a sample size of 500 small business owners in each country.

The UK topped the European table when it came to the likelihood of bouncing back after a set back, with 63 per cent of participants stating that they were likely to start over after experiencing a business failure. This contrasts with 59 per cent in Germany, 55 per cent in Italy and 51 per cent in France.

Each country reported a different reason for the main cause of business failure, with the number one reason being poor management in the UK, unprofitable business models in Germany, too much competition in France and high taxes in Italy.

Overall, it reported that the top three tips to achieve business success were to learn from past mistakes, have a positive mindset and take responsibility.