12 August 2016 09:00
Small business owners suffering from burnout
A new survey of small business owners has found that many are stressed and tired because of long hours and worries about the future.
The 2016 Small Business Wellbeing report, produced by Bizdaq, has found that most business owners (64%) say that they are happy with their work-life balance - but that still leaves many business owners struggling.
Long hours are a key issue. While the average Briton works 37.4 hours a week, small business owners work an average of 50.5 hours a week. The report finds that more than half a million small business owners haven't been on holiday since they started their business.
As a result, 28% say that their health has been negatively affected by running their business; a further 26% say their social life has been negatively impacted; and 18% say that their family life has been affected.
The researchers asked small business owners how the UK's decision to leave the EU had affected their business confidence. 36% reported feeling more worried about the future for their business in light of the result, with just 20% saying they felt more confident.
The survey has also highlighted significant regional differences - the north is home to far more unhappy small business owners, with 26% saying they're unhappy with their work-life balance compared to 14% in the south. In addition, twice as many small business owners in the north (22%) say their health - both physical and mental - is affected by running their business as in the south (11%).
"The fact that so many small business owners are struggling is astonishing and really shows the need for the Government to do more to support the backbone of the British economy. Now more than ever, the UK needs strong small businesses, and without the support they need we could start to see them close down," said Sean Mallon, CEO of Bizdaq.
"The [abolition] of Business Link and the regional adviser programme by the Coalition government in 2010 left a vacuum in small enterprise in the UK. Where small business owners previously felt the benefits of having a local support network, there are currently no services that owners can turn to when looking for support."