High Streets Initiative · 8 November 2018

it’s the real love for what you sell?: Why shopkeepers are UK’s happiest entrepreneurs

Small business owners were far more likely to enjoy their career those who don’t own a business.
Britain’s shopkeepers have higher job satisfaction than any other business owners, according to new survey findings.

In a study of 1, 000 employers running enterprises with fewer than 20 staff, undertaken by YouGov and analysed by Vend, 49% of retailers said they loved? their job more than any other sector.

The research demonstrated the dedication of small retailers in what is an increasingly tough and uncertain high street environment.

Although job satisfaction was low in other areas, such as legal at just 19%, small business owners were far more likely to enjoy their career those who don’t own a business. 39% of entrepreneurs said, if money was no object, they wouldnt consider changing careers, compared to the national average of 14%.

Percentage of small business owners who “love” their job

  1. Retail 49%
  2. Hospitality 46%
  3. Media / Marketing 40%
  4. Financial services 34%
  5. IT 28%
  6. Manufacturing 26%
  7. Real estate 24%
  8. Accountancy 24%
  9. Construction 20%
  10. Legal 19%

2 independent shopkeepers on the rewards of retailing

Recounting his experience of setting up and running a retail businessjake Hardy, founder of Brick Lane fashion retailer Number Six, explained why he wouldn’t choose any other path.

“From my experience, as any store owner will tell you, it’s the passion for what they do which gets them up each morning, ” Hardy said.

“It’s the real love for what you sell, your staff, your customers, and how the store plays a part in the local community.”

“It can be in the little things as well the flexibility to try something different and being there to see the rewards first-hand when something works. I didnt set up Number Six thinking it was going to be an easy ride and I wouldnt trade either the good or bad days for anything else.”

Alice Mayor, founder of Carnaby Street-based souvenir and art store We Built This City, said that despite the many challenges of maintaining a successful retail business, the sector brought her unique benefits.

opening a store that supports London’s creative community, and which allows us to sell curated London-inspired goods to thousands of people that visit this amazing city every year, gives me immense job satisfaction, ” Mayor explained.

” don’t get me wrong: running an independent retail business is far from easy, but there arent many sectors in which Id be able to embrace my passion for supporting the arts as strongly as I do at We Built This City.”

“Feedback we get from the customers who shop with us and the artists we support is overwhelmingly positive, and that gives a huge boost not just to me as the owner of the business, but also to my whole team.”



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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