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For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Forget balance, self-employment is about work-life blur

6 February 2018

Forget balance, self-employment is about work-life blurNew research shows that even though the vast majority of self-employed workers are glad they made the decision to work for themselves, they had underestimated the amount of spare time they would have.

Crunch Accounting polled 1,000 self-employed workers and found that 86% said they were happy they had set up their own business; more than half (56%) said they became self-employed in order to improve their work-life balance.

However, the findings show that 27% of freelancers are putting in more hours than they were when they had permanent employed roles; and 21% said they work as many hours as before.

The report reveals that most self-employed workers are "on duty" for 13 hours a day. In addition, UK freelancers are typically taking just 14 days of holiday a year and one in eight take no time off at all. Almost half (47%) work while they are away.

Above all, the research found that there is no such thing as a 9-5 existence for most self-employed workers. The findings show that 39% start the working day before 8am and 36% regularly skip meals to keep on top of their workload.

The self-employed workers polled also admitted that they have had to answer emails in some very unusual locations - including public toilets, up a mountain, at a funeral and even on their own wedding day.

Never switching off is taking its toll on many people that work for themselves, according to the report. Two-thirds of the respondents (66%) said they have difficulty sleeping because of work stress; and 72% of these said financial concerns keep them awake.

Crunch ceo Darren Fell said: "Although people might have been looking for a better work-life balance, many are actually finding more of a work-life blur, because they're so passionate about their line of work and their business' success."

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