SME owners in work/life struggle

Almost two-thirds of SME owners say running a business is a 'constant challenge', a survey for card payment provider First Data Merchant Solutions has found.

YouGov asked more than 1,000 SME owners about their work-life balance and found that 44% have missed a personal occasion because they were too busy running the business.

The survey found:

  • 11% have been unable to attend an anniversary celebration with their partner
  • 1 in 10 failed to attend a wedding of a friend or relative
  • nearly a fifth have missed picking their children up from school
  • 1 in 10 missed their birthday celebrations.

39% of respondents said that running a business was harder than they had expected, with 32% saying the experience was 'exhausting'.

The most challenging tasks for business owners are:

  • managing employees (32%)
  • accounting and tracking finances (25%)
  • keeping on top of admin (22%).

Many respondents admitted that they add to the pressure by not delegating tasks among employees. 49% said that they want 'to be in control' of the business while 37% are concerned about giving employees more responsibilities when they take time off.

Raj Sond, general manager at First Data Merchant Solutions, said:

"Most businesses are born from a spark and a real passion for something. Unfortunately, the reality is that this enthusiasm becomes diluted by the drudgery of time-consuming administrative activities.

"SME owners need to replicate the power of larger retailers to simplify the running of their businesses and they should look to technologies that can help them achieve this and ensure they don't extinguish that spark."

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