Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Do you have what it takes to start up a new business? – Try our quiz below. These top 20 challenges that a study of 500 entrepreneurs found were the toughest to conquer for a new business.

Nearly one-fifth of those polled said they worked a minimum of 13-hours every day in their first year of setting up their business, with seven per cent slaving away for 16 hours or more every day.

One entrepreneur confessed the hardest thing about flying solo was getting your friends to understand why you couldn’t come out for dinner.

Others explained how they risked it all to give up a well-paid, safe job to venture into the unknown.

Maintaining a social life, taking time off for holidays and dating are among the hardest things about starting your own business, the research found.

Establishing your business in the marketplace, working weekends and believing in yourself also appeared among the challenges when finally making the decision to ‘go out on your own’.

Researchers also found over half of SME’s funded their businesses themselves, with 46 per cent sourcing their capital through other means in order to get off the ground.

Bank loans, redundancy payments and financial support from family members were the most popular sources for additional funding.

The study also found start-ups need an average of £16,309 in order to take-off, with an average loss of £9,420 in the first year for those in the red.

However, over half believe that hard work does pay off, with many seeing profits of nearly £7,000 in their first year of launching.

The study was commissioned by Virgin Money for the launch of their SME savings account for young businesses.

Despite the majority agreeing that starting a business is no easy feat; ninety-eight per cent agreed they enjoy having their own business.

In fact, more than eight in 10 said being your own boss is one of the best things about launching your own company, with 58 per cent stating it is more rewarding.

Being in control of your career, expanding your network and building your character also featured as benefits of starting from scratch.

These are the top 20 challenges of starting a new  business:


    1. Taking time off/holidays
    2. Working long hours
    3. Not having as much disposable income
    4. Striking a work-life balance
    5. Working weekends
    6. Getting customers
    7. Dealing with the admin
    8. Making a name for yourself and the business
    9. Never being able to switch off
    10. Spending time with family
    11. Ensuring accounts are up to date
    12. Completing admin
    13. Believing in yourself
    14. Taking work home
    15. Spending time with your partner
    16. Finding time for hobbies/other interests
    17. Managing finances more effectively
    18. Socialising with friends
    19. Having patience
    20. Staying motivated



It’s no surprise a number of business owners are reaping rewards within their first year, with half stating they sought after advice when starting their company.

More than a quarter asked for the expertise from another entrepreneur, with an equal percentage getting insight from the bank or a friend.

And three in 10 wished they always had someone on hand to go to for financial advice when launching their enterprise.

Hugh Chater, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Money who commissioned the research said: “Tthe freedom and fulfilment of running and growing your own business outweighs any trials and tribulations faced.

“Ultimately, hard work delivers its own satisfaction, enjoyment and reward and 98 per cent of people who run their own business said they wouldn’t have it any other way.”

By Ben Gelblum and Astrid Hall

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