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Want to earn your money as an entrepreneur? Then you're lazy, study finds

By Ben Lobel on Feb 15th, 2016   @smallbusinessuk

A new study has revealed the top thoughts that spring to British minds when asked their opinions on entrepreneurs; with businessmen and women assumed as ‘lazy’ for not wanting to work a 9-5 job.

Despite this, many were also deemed as inspiring for making the move to earn their own money (21 per cent), according to the research from vouchercloud.com.

Two thirds of Britons have considered becoming an entrepreneur, or going self-employed, but only one in ten have actually gone on to do so, the study finds. Perceptions of those who do are mixed, with some thinking they’re lazy and rebellious, and others believing them to be inspirational.

The survey was undertaken as part of ongoing research into British attitudes towards entrepreneurship and people being proactive about making their own money. A total of 2,481 Britons aged 18 and over, all of whom stated they were in full-time employment, were quizzed about their thoughts and perceptions on entrepreneurs.

 Initially all respondents were asked ‘Have you ever been self-employed or an entrepreneur?’ to which almost all respondents, 91 per cent, stated ‘no’, and just 9 per cent stated ‘yes’. All respondents were then asked ‘Have you ever considered being self-employed or becoming an entrepreneur?’ to which two thirds of respondents, 65 per cent, stated ‘yes’ and the remaining third, 35 per cent, stated ‘no’.

All respondents who stated they had thought about setting up and running their own business but had not gone on to do so were asked why, with the most common responses being ‘I needed a secure, regular income’ (47 per cent), ‘I didn’t have the time’ (30 per cent) and ‘I heard too many negative stories (8 per cent).

Wanting to delve a little deeper, all respondents who stated they had never been self-employed were then asked what they thought of people who chose to do so. When provided with a list of possible responses and told to select the statement that most applied to their beliefs, the top 5 results were as follows:

1.      It’s the lazy option for people who don’t want a 9-5 job - 25 per cent

2.      They’re inspiring, making the move to earning their own money - 21 per cent

3.      Their spouse must make enough money to financially cover them - 16 per cent

4.      Rather them than me - it all sounds very complicated - 14 per cent

5.      They’re rebelling from the norm - 10 per cent 

Respondents who stated they had been self-employed at one point or another were asked whether they’d stuck to it or not, to which the most common responses were ‘it’s the only choice I have in my line of work’ (43 per cent) or ‘I stopped being self-employed to go back into regular employment’ (30 per cent). Furthermore, when asked what industries they had been in to be self-employed, the most popular industries were revealed as ‘construction’ (24 per cent), ‘hairdressing and beauty’ (16 per cent) and ‘network marketing’ (11 per cent).

Chris Johnson, Head of Operations at vouchercloud.com says, 'It’s understandable that many would mistake those who are self-employed or entrepreneurs as lazy for not wanting to work a regular job like the rest of us, but the reality is the complete opposite. Those working for themselves have to put in all the hours god sends to keep work coming in, and are totally accountable to themselves.

'If your employer has a bad month sales-wise, chances are you’ll still get to keep your job and receive your monthly salary, but if someone who’s self-employed has a slow month they may not have enough money to cover their bills. They can’t clock-out at 5pm every day because they need to be working when they’re needed.'