Andy Johnston, Andelad

Andy Johnston, founder of graphic and brand design company, Andelad

5 reasons to start your own business in the professional services industry

You’ll have no doubt heard countless reasons why you shouldn’t go into business: risk, long hours, sleepless nights, and more. But there are just as many, if not more, reasons why you should start your entrepreneurial journey.

Although not obligatory, we always recommend starting up in an industry you are familiar with. Lots of BQ readers work in the professional services sector, so here are five reasons starting up in professional services for yourself could be the best thing you ever do.


1. Become your own boss

Having helped thousands of people become their own boss, we find that those that start up within an industry they have worked in often do so very successfully.

Many people that start their own business in professional services are ‘employees-turned-entrepreneurs’ and who can blame them? The attraction of no longer having to answer to people that simply drain your energy is a formidable one!

In all seriousness, the biggest reason that it is common for employees to become the employers in this industry is actually a very practical one.

Professional services businesses most commonly include recruiters, lawyers, marketing professionals, architects, accountants and engineers, among others. Because these are knowledge-based services, the leap from employee to owner seems a more straightforward one to make – which gives those with experience in this sector a great advantage when starting up.


2. Plenty of growth opportunities

According to the Business Census 2017, which surveyed 1,300 companies at the end of last year, 75% of those in professional services expect their turnover to grow this year, 10% higher than reported in the 2016 survey and above the national average of 73%.

Here are latest industry growth figures broken down by sector. When you compare them to the UK’s average GDP growth of 2.2%, they make for good reading:

  • Recruitment: 10% growth
  • Legal:  3.3% growth
  • Marketing: 4% growth
  • Architecture: 16.4% growth
  • Accountancy: 6% growth (globally)
  • Engineering: 3.4% growth


3. Access to finance

When it comes to accessing finance, there has never been a better time to start your own business. There are more options available than ever before and the government’s Start-Up Loan programme has proven to be extremely successful, helping 40,000 businesses establish themselves through the provision of more than £250m worth of loans. 

As a delivery partner of the government’s scheme, here at Transmit Start-Ups we have found our start-up loans service to be in more demand than ever for this exact reason, as unsecured fixed-rate fixed-term loans are fast becoming the preferred form of business finance for new and growing businesses over potentially more risky and costly alternatives.


4. Build your own legacy

This is your chance to build your own brand, culture and expertise. You can make the rules and write the chapters of your entrepreneurial story. You can do things better, faster and smarter than your bigger rivals and build something great using your existing expertise, building on them and applying them in exactly the way you always wanted to – not in the way you were told to by your old boss!


5. Straight from the horse’s mouth

If you’re still unsure whether going it alone is for you, it’s always useful to hear from someone else who has been through the journey.

Founder of Edinburgh-based graphic and brand design company, Andelad, Andy Johnston: “Before starting up my own business I had done some informal design work, but I already knew that design was in my blood.

“In my eyes, there are three things you need to be able to do to successfully start your own business: to be organised and able to look after finances; to be able to network, communicate and earn new business and finally, to be skilled and passionate about what you do. I was confident that I could do those three things, so I re-trained and set up my own business – Andelad.

“The start-up journey has been great. The loan support and business advice provided by Transmit Start-Ups really helped me to make the dream become a reality. It meant I could buy the equipment I needed to get started – and I still use this same equipment today.

“Since starting up, I’ve not looked back. I soon struck up relationships with exciting local businesses and large clients too, building my client roster. That said, the journey hasn’t been hurdle-free. I’ve had to learn lots of new skills and revised my strategy several times to make sure I add as much value as possible to each client – I even learnt myself that creating memorable brands is one of my strongest skills.

“I’d recommend starting up for yourself to anyone that’s skilled and passionate about what they do.”


In 2016 there were 4.1 million businesses in the services industries, three quarters of all businesses in the UK. Professional services businesses accounted for 15 per cent of all businesses. If you’re interested in joining them and starting your own professional services business, find out more about Transmit Start-Ups and the work they do at, call 0845 094 3670 or email