Sole traders say starting a business provides freedom, but they’re long hours

Eighteen per cent of those surveyed admitted to working well over 60 hours a week, 26 per cent of sole traders admitted to putting in 45 to 60 hours a week, with the majority getting up at 7am and going to bed at 11pm.

Nationally, the research also revealed that more than half have felt lonely and isolated however, they would not consider going back to working for somebody else.

John O’Keeffe, Commercial Director at Office Depot, who commissioned the research, said: “It comes as no surprise that the average sole trader is putting in such long hours in the current challenging economic climate.

“Being a sole trader is the very definition of occupational freedom however, it can be an extremely high-pressure way to earn a living with high workloads and long hours.”

Freedom was cited by half of the respondents as being their main motivation as opposed to profit. The majority of entrepreneurs also see sales and cash flow as the main barriers to future growth.

And when quizzed on their plans for the future, 72 per cent of sole traders admitted to not yet having a pension plan in place and 96 per cent believe that the Government could be doing more to represent their needs of SMEs in Parliament.

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