Why Brits Are Binning Their Business Plans

Why Brits are binning their business plans: New research provided to Pennine Business News shows that:

Why Brits Are Binning Their Business Plans

Why Brits Are Binning Their Business Plans

  • Almost 40% of Brits would like to own a business
  • Lack of stable income is the main thing stopping would-be entrepreneurs from taking the leap
  • The stress, finances and long hours associated with owning a company were also cited as key obstacles for Britain’s aspiring start-ups

Figures for Manchester can be found at the bottom of this article.

Almost 40% of Brits say they’d like to start their own business – but financial fears are holding them back.

A survey of the UK’s aspiring entrepreneurs has revealed that the financial aspects of self-employment are causing Brits to think twice about setting up – after a dramatic increase in self-employed Brits between 2008 and 2012 according to the Office for National Statistics.

10,000 people across Britain were asked if they’d considered starting their own business, and which aspects of owning a company they found the most daunting – with money matters being the key cause for concern.

The study found that overheads and over-working are the main reasons ambitious Brits are binning their business plans.

47% of participants considered the lack of stable income the ultimate obstacle to starting their own business, despite a City AM report that Britain’s SMEs generate a yearly turnover of over £1 trillion – one third of the UK’s overall business turnover.

Over 25% of those surveyed were daunted by the prospect of securing funding for their start-up, in spite of the range of government schemes in place to help fledgling businesses find their feet – while a significant 17% of respondents were put off by the idea of managing their own business finances.

Generation Y

One resounding outcome of the survey, carried out by Intouch Accounting suggested that more than half of under-35s reveal they’d like to own their own business – suggesting that entrepreneurial spirit is strong among generation Y.

This is reflected in the ongoing drop in the average age of Intouch Accounting’s own client base – now at 39 and trending downwards, month by month, as new clients come on board.

Women below the age of 35 were the most passionate when it came to the prospect of self-employment – with a staggering 60% of younger women across the UK stating that they’d consider taking the leap.

Over half of female respondents between 18 and 35 cited the lack of stable income as their number one cause for concern when it came to the reality of setting up – while less than 10% of these women considered the prospect of working unsocial hours to be a deal-breaker.

Burdens of business ownership

According to the study, it isn’t just the finances Britain’s would-be entrepreneurs are afraid of – as the responsibilities and stresses associated with starting up scooped a hefty 24% of the vote.

On top of that, 16% of participants were apprehensive when it came to the prospect of forfeiting their existing job benefits – and over 13% of those surveyed were discouraged by the idea of working long hours.

Recent data from Groupon revealed that over a third of British adults either run their own enterprise or are planning to set up – with the freedom of being their own boss cited as the number one motivation.

But with independence comes responsibility – and it appears that this professional freedom is actually the greatest deterrent for many of Britain’s aspiring business owners.

Paul Gough, Managing Director at Intouch Accounting, said:

“I think the survey results prove the UK flexible workforce is here to stay. 40% of the population surveyed and more than half of generation Y are entrepreneurial – that’s great news! When the Government shows its true colours and gets behind the UK Contractor, reducing the uncertainty about the future of this invaluable part of the economy, this figure will undoubtedly increase. Predictability of income can be improved by clarity of voice and action from HMRC and I welcome that.”

Greater Manchester


  • Financial fears are a key concern in Greater Manchester, with 54.0% of respondents citing the lack of stable income as their number one deterrent
  • The responsibility and stress associated with owning a business is causing 26.0% of aspiring business owners in Greater Manchester to think twice
  • 24.0% of those surveyed in Greater Manchester were daunted by the prospect of securing funding for their startup
  • Unsocial schedules were a deal-breaker for many of Greater Manchester’s participants – with 24.0% put off self-employment by the long working hours
  • The accounting aspects proved intimidating to 20.0% of would-be entrepreneurs in Greater Manchester, as the idea of managing their business finances gave them cause for concern16.0% of respondents were reluctant to sacrifice their existing job benefits in the name of starting up for themselves


Elliot Simmonds

Elliot Simmonds

Managing Editor at Pennine Business News
Elliot Simmonds is the Managing Editor of Pennine Business News. His key focus is on promoting the site to businesses across the North of England and the UK. He retains an active involvement in producing content for the site and contributes a range of articles to the site.

With around eight years' experience working in both marketing and market research, Elliot works extensively with small businesses to develop their marketing strategy as a consultant when away from PBN.

He has featured as PR and market expert on the Guardian Small Business, judged the UK Blog Awards in 2014, and was short listed as Stockport Young Business Person of the Year in the same year.
Elliot Simmonds

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