By Daniel Hunter

Aspiring entrepreneurs are willing to work more than 60 hours a week to achieve their dream of working for themselves, according to research by Post Office.

The research also highlights the financial strain business start-up owners put up with to go it alone, with nearly half (43%) stating not being able to pay themselves a regular income as their single biggest sacrifice.

Similarly, the report shows that starting up a business puts significant pressure on the family, with 10% of small and medium business (SME) founders claiming spending less time with their family members as the biggest sacrifice of the start-up process.

Time-poor entrepreneurs are also finding it incredibly difficult to find any time for holidays, with 16% stating lack of time off as the most challenging part of starting a business.

This figure rises to nearly one in four (23%) Scottish entrepreneurs who admitted that the personal sacrifice of time off was the biggest compromise they had to make to ensure their business was a success, compared to one in five (19%) start up owners in the South of the UK and only 8% of SME owners in the North.

The study also examined the biggest sacrifices for entrepreneurs across different sectors. Media and marketing entrepreneurs are hit hardest with lack of a regular income during the start-up process, with 54% of business owners in the sector stating it as their largest sacrifice.

From a working hours perspective, interestingly, financial entrepreneurs work shorter hours, with 21% saying they put in an average of over 50 hours a week, compared with nearly half (49%) in the hospitality business - the highest in any industry - and 42% longer than the than the government recommended ‘35 hour workweek’.

Administrative tasks command one of the largest portions of business owners’ time, in fact, according to the report almost 200 hours a year is being spent dealing with the day-to-day running of a company. Over one in 10 (12%) entrepreneurs estimate that they spend more than 10 hours a week on this necessary evil, equating to 21 days a year which could be used to develop their business.

One reason for these extensive working hours could be due to the trend in serial entrepreneurialism in the UK, with one in seven (15%) business owners running more than one company at a time.

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.

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