SELF-employed Wiganers have been extolling the advantages of being their own boss.
The number of people working for themselves has been on the increase in recent years, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
In the North West, the number has increased by 36,000 with 13 per cent of the total number in employment now working for themselves.
And while the report highlights that self-employed workers tend to work longer hours, being one’s own boss has clear advantages according to two successful Wigan business women.
Sarah Ward, who owns Truly Scrumptious, an award winning cafe in Aspull, explained that being self-employed allowed her to follow her own vision.
She said: “It is very true that you have to work long hours to make a success of what you’re doing but I feel that it is all me and it is my vision that I’m working towards.
“I don’t have to worry about that feeling of waking up in the morning and thinking that I’ve got to go to work. It gives you a bit of passion about what you’re doing.
“I’m a very motivated person so being self employed suits me. I also have been really lucky with my staff. I have been able to pick them and I know that they share my motivation.”
Nationally, the numbers of self employed workers have increased by 367,000, the majority of which in recent years since the recession.
Sarah added: “The downside to it is that I find I’m always thinking about the business and you don’t really get days off because your work is never far from your mind.
“But I can see why people have turned to it since the recession, you’re not relying on a big company or a boss in London who is making the decisions that affect you.”
The ONS report stated that self-employed tended to be older than employees and were more likely to be male.
The North East had the lowest percentage (11) of its workforce self-employed, while the highest was London with 18 per cent.
Another award-winning businesswoman, Mandy Summerscales, of Fashion PA boutique in Leigh, stressed that going it alone is a huge commitment.
She said: “I would say that you shouldn’t expect to take a wage straightaway and remember that you don’t get any health benefits - things like going to the dentist - you have to fund yourself.
“It is a fight everyday and a hard way to make a living but it is a way of making sure you enjoy the rewards a lot more.
“Yes, you do work longer hours and it is the most difficult decision a person can make to go for it.
“But you have the chance to do something you are passionate about and not everyone has the chance to do that. I’m very proud of what I have achieved being self-employed.”