Telling the truth about SME life today

The sacrifices British entrepreneurs make to launch a new business

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Given that it’s the new year, Post Office has noted a spike in the number of people assessing their career paths and a study to observe how far Brits will go to work independently has revealed that 43 per cent of entrepreneurs aren’t able to pay themselves a regular wage.

Although the lack of income was considered the biggest sacrifice for almost half of entrepreneurs, being unable to pay a personal salary spiked to 54 per cent for those starting up in the media and marketing space.

Meanwhile, 16 per cent of respondents said little time off for holidays was the biggest challenge. Broken down by region, this spiked to 23 per cent in Scotland and 19 per cent in the south of the UK but fell to eight per cent of business owners in the north.

Following that, it’s perhaps of little surprise that long hours are also a sacrifice thus 12 per cent admit they will work more than 60 hours a week to get the company up to speed and consider that the biggest issue, according to the findings.

When looked at by sector, financial entrepreneurs claim to work shorter hours as 21 per cent said they put in around 50 hours a week compared to 49 per cent of those in hospitality, who work the longest across all industries.

As a result, ten per cent of SME founders said spending less time with their family was the biggest sacrifice.

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Pete Markey, chief marketing officer, Post Office, said: The first year of trading in any business is often one of the hardest and our study shows that entrepreneurs face having to make serious sacrifices when starting up a business. Administrative tasks can be notoriously time consuming so finding ways to streamline this activity for maximum efficiency can make all the difference in freeing up spare time.

Indeed, the report claims administration is one of the largest tasks, and 12 per cent of entrepreneurs spend more than ten hours a week on the duty, which is equivalent to 21 days a year.

Tobias Biberbach, founder of Newcastle-based digital marketing startup, Funnel Marketing, said: During the development stage of our company I definitely saw my working hours increase dramatically compared to that in my previous role.

“Working from home initially meant that the lines between my business and leisure time became blurred and I had to sacrifice some of the latter in order to get the firm up and running. This, combined with a lack of income stability, were two of the most challenging aspects of getting off the ground, but were certainly worth the effort to get the business where it is today.

The results suggest serial entrepreneurialism could be the reason for the long hours, as 15 per cent of business owners claim to run more than one operation.

Image via Shutterstock.



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