• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

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Self-employed outline their biggest challenges to running a business

Falling ill and being unable to work, difficulties maintaining healthy cash flow and lack of financial security were among some of the biggest challenges self-employed individuals highlighted while working independently, exclusive research carried out by self-employment insurance provider, Qdos, in collaboration with Research in Insurance, has shown. 

The study, which explored 400 self-employed workers’ (83% of whom are sole traders) attitudes towards independent working also revealed these key challenges centre on time management, financial challenges and the lack of advice that is readily available to them. 

Specifically, the research revealed:

65% of self-employed workers face time-management challenges.

  • 46% of this group fear falling ill and being unable to work
  • 24% are challenged by the long hours involved with independent working
  • 22% battle with the lack of fixed work hours
  • 12% believe self-employment can be a heavy burden
  • 11% say it can place pressure on family life

63% said they face financial challenges.

  • 35% of this group are tested by maintaining steady cash flow
  • 29% are challenged by a lack of financial security
  • 23% face difficulty with being paid late by clients
  • 21% worry about finding work
  • 8% by securing finance
  • 3% by supplier terms

28% also said they find it difficult to obtain advice, with the largest number of survey respondents stating that getting hold of the right tax help is most difficult. 

Qdos CEO, Seb Maley, commented on the findings:

“Despite the challenges that the self-employed face, this way of working continues to grow overall in the UK and there are nearly 5m people running their own business in some capacity. This figure is a testament to the flexibility and control that independent working offers, along with the resilience of the self-employed workforce.

“To help this entrepreneurial community to continue growing, it’s important that these workers – who are crucial to the economy – receive all the support they need. This, for example, could be through the introduction of friendlier Government policy to look after vulnerable workers when they need it, or with insurance, that offers protection against some of the biggest challenges the self-employed face.”