SumUp have surveyed 540 business owners around the UK to get a better understanding on what it takes to reach entrepreneurial success. From financial challenges, to business issues, the survey sheds light on the reality of being an entrepreneur.
Over half of entrepreneurs (54%) have a profitable business between year one and two
Over half of businesses become profitable after their first year. The companies that make money the fastest are those within the travel and transport sector- 23% of entrepreneurs said their business was profitable within the first year and 100% within three years. Those that make the least profit are IT and telecoms companies- just 2% made money after the first year.
The survey also asked entrepreneurs how much they invested at start-up. The majority of respondents (26%) invested between £1,000-£9,999, however the companies that invest the most are architecture and building start-ups where the initial cost was an average of £81,000. This compares to entrepreneurs with retail and catering businesses who invest an average of £12,115 at start-up, with the majority, 34%, investing between £10,000-£24,999.
The biggest challenge for entrepreneurs is having a lack of time to make their business succeed
The survey asked respondents to highlight the main challenges they have faced since being an entrepreneur:
1 in 5 SME’s still aren’t using software to help run their businesses
The majority of entrepreneurs (81%) make use of technology within their business. Primarily, new businesses rely upon technology less- 24% don’t make use of digital services but by the time the business is four years old this number decreases to just 3%. The most common use for digital tools and solutions was for company sales- over a quarter of respondents (26%) make use of technology for this.
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What are the most enjoyable parts of being an entrepreneur?
The survey also asked entrepreneurs what their favourite part of running a business was and the top five most common answers were:
Being your own boss
42% of entrepreneurs say this is the best part of running a company.
Seeing your business grow
31% respondents highlighted that seeing their business grow was the best part. Older entrepreneurs place more value on this: 47% of those aged 55+ highlighted this as the most enjoyable part compared to just 28% of 16-24 year old entrepreneurs.
Freedom of choosing working hours
Those aged 45-54 placed the most value on choosing working hours- 44% said this was the most enjoyable part of being an entrepreneur.
22% of entrepreneurs believe that being able to be creative, and setting their own boundaries and constraints, is the most enjoyable aspect.
Potential financial freedom
20% of business owners find this the most attractive aspect of being an entrepreneur. 18% of those who have been running a business for less than a year highlight this as enjoyable and this increases to 22% when the company is three years old.