Holiday? What Holiday? The biggest challenge for SME business owners is simply switching off
A survey of 500 SME owners and directors has revealed the harsh reality of running a small business today and the impact it can have on well-being. ‘Never switching off – even while on holiday ’ has been ranked as the hardest thing about running a business while long hours and winning customers come joint second. Furthermore, close to 1 in 10 directors are currently considering cancelling their own holidays and the same proportion are thinking about delaying payment to themselves, to support their business.
The survey by Purbeck Insurance Services, the UK’s only insurance provider to offer Personal Guarantee insurance found that pressure on family life caused by business had worsened in the past year for 28% of the SME owners and directors surveyed. 25% said long hours had also become worse for them for them while 23% said switching off away from work had become harder in the past twelve months.
While the average hours worked a week according to the study is 45.5 hours, 29% of the owners and directors surveyed work over 55 hours a week.
The hardest thing about running my business:
I never switch off – even on holiday
Uncertainty about the economy
The pressure on family life
Threat of competitors
No one to turn to for advice
Source: Purbeck Insurance Services based on a Censuswide Survey of 500 owners and directors of UK SMEs
Todd Davison, Director of Purbeck Insurance Services said: “The findings of our survey underlines the pressure piling on the owners and directors of UK SMEs. It’s a pressure they carry constantly and we see this when directors with Personal Guarantee Insurance in place approach us for help when they are struggling with their business loan repayments and are not sure which way to turn.
“Cancelling a holiday or taking a break in pay may seem like a solution in the short term but by seeking out professional advice, business owners may find there are less drastic steps they can take to get their business back on track. This may involve securing new finance with the risk mitigated through Personal Guarantee Insurance, talking to other businesses in the same industry to learn best practices or finding new revenue opportunities, for example renting out part of their premises.
“Business owners may feel guilty about taking a holiday when their business is going through challenges but a break from work is not a luxury, it’s a necessity, allowing SME owners the time to take stock and re-charge.”