SME owners work 15 months a year

SME owners work the equivalent of an extra 3 months in a year, according to a survey by the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA).

The average SME leader works an extra 10 hours each week, according to the poll of 500 SME owners, directors and senior managers. Based on a 40 hour week, this is equivalent to an additional 3 months each year.

SME owners are becoming bogged down in day-to-day tasks instead of focusing their energies on developing their businesses and investing in skills. According to the survey, each week employers spend:

  • 90 minutes working on marketing
  • 77 minutes focusing on HR-related jobs
  • 62 minutes maintaining IT systems
  • 73 minutes dealing with insurance
  • 37 minutes sorting out office supplies.

Steve White, chief executive of BIBA, said:

"It is concerning to think that SMEs work an extra quarter a year, effectively doing a full year's work by October. Much of this time is spent on tasks that have nothing to do with their core business goals."

The issue of increasing the productivity and efficiency of businesses in the UK is becoming a key issue for the government. A new fund designed to boost the productivity of small businesses at a local level was launched in March, and the All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group has issued a number of recommendations to raise productivity levels in the UK.

Commenting on the parliamentary report, Brian Binley, chair of the committee, said:

"Small businesses have been responsible for much of our recent economic growth and addressing the barriers that hold them back and giving them the right support is crucial to closing the UK's productivity gap."

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