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Running your own business: what’s the appeal?


Running your own business: what’s the appeal?

With the exponential growth of technology and digital platforms that make advertising, promoting and selling easier, it’s no surprise that more people are turning to launching their own companies to make a living.

The House of Commons Library recently found that there were more than five million private sector businesses in the UK at the end of 2016 — up 2% from 2015 — which shows that there must be good reasons for considering the self-employed, business-owning lifestyle.

But, why is running a company so popular? To find out, Cottages in Northumberland, a holiday lettings agency providing cottages in Bamburgh, carried out a survey of business owners across England and Scotland to discover just what makes business-owning so attractive.

Business-owning survey results: what are the top reasons for running a company?

These are the overall results of the survey. Respondents could select more than one answer and the results were then divided by location, gender and age.

  • The chance to be your own boss: 76%
  • The flexibility of the working day: 64%
  • Having the final say: 40%
  • Selecting your ideal team: 25%
  • The opportunity for big profits: 16%
  • Travelling for work: 9%
  • Other: 6%

Respondents by location

After examining the overall results of the survey, we divided our respondents by country (Scotland and England) to discover if nationality caused any differences of opinion — and apparently, owners from the two nations could not agree on a top reason. English business owners said that being your own boss was the aspect of running a company they liked the most (76%), while flexible working hours claimed the winning spot among Scottish survey-takers by quite a difference (89%). In fact, these two factors swapped places in the England and Scotland lists, with flexible hours taking second place in England (64%) and being your own boss claiming the silver medal in Scotland (67%).

Interestingly, Scottish and English business concurred when it came to putting a team together —25% in England and 22% in Scotland — while the salary benefits involved in owning a business achieved an 18% rating in England and 11% in Scotland. Evidently, getting the last word in is more important for Scottish entrepreneurs than English (56% and 42%, respectively), while business travel trailed in low on both lists (9% in England and 11% in Scotland).

Although the nationalities disagreed on the first-place reason for owning a business, the rest of the results were relatively similar. Evidently, Scottish owners value work-life balance and free-time more than English businesspeople, who much prefer the role for its authority.

Respondents by age

To gauge how great a part age plays in business-owning advantages, we divided the respondents into the following brackets: 18-24-year olds, 25-34-year olds and 35-44-year olds. Similar to the gender-based results, being your own boss came out on top for all ages — although a huge 99% said it was their favourite part of owning a business in the 18-24 category!

Ranking in second place for each age group favourite was flexible working hours. However, the 18-24-year old business owners were clearly more enamoured with flexibility than the rest — 85% said they loved it the most while only 63% of 25-34-year olds and 43% of 35-44-year olds agreed. It also appears that 18-24-year-olds aren’t as concerned with their staff as the other age brackets, with only 8% saying it’s what they loved about entrepreneurship compared to 30% of 25-34-year olds, and 15% of 35-44-year olds.

Interestingly, the younger a business-owner is, the more likely that they’ll value having the final say, with 46% of 18-24-year olds, 41% of 25-34-year olds and 36% of 35-44-year olds saying that setting the rules was the factor of running your own business that they liked the most. Also, when it comes to money, it’s clear that youth values financial gain more than their older survey-takers, with 23% of 18-24-year olds considering it their most-loved part of business-owning compared to 16% and 14% of 25-34-year olds and 35-44-year olds, respectively.

Evidently, being the boss and enjoying a flexible day is a bonus across the board, although, money and flexibility are clearly greater bonuses of the job the younger you are.

Respondents by gender

The division that appeared to have been most in agreement from this survey was gender. More than three quarters of both men and women said that being chief was the best part of business-owning, while ranking second was the flexible working hours (65% men and 61% women).

Leadership is clearly important to both genders (25% of men and 24% of women said they enjoyed putting a team together the most). Although, men appear to like having the last word much more than women — almost half of men said this was their favourite part of business-owning, while less than a third of women agreed.

Again, both genders were in concurrence when it came to the other responses. For men, only 16% said they loved the salary benefits, while an even lower 10% claimed to value business travel. Similarly, salary and travel achieved only 17% and 7% among the females surveyed.

Reading through these results, it’s clear that there are plenty of rewards to reap when it comes to being your own employer.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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