The majority of business owners find that the stress and responsibility of running a business has a negative impact on their personal lives away from work, new research has revealed.
The study, from Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, shows almost half (46%) of business owners feel they miss out on ‘me time’, and over a third (39%) feel they miss out on family time.
When asked what are the current biggest fears and stresses of running a business, more than a third (37%) of business owners said not having enough sales or orders, followed by cashflow of the business (34%) and not delivering work on time (22%).
Findings also show how over a third of business owners (39%) rarely take a lunch break, and that 30% feel they lack human interaction and are guilty of checking their phone at mealtimes at home.
Of the 501 business owner surveyed, almost half (49%) have not taken a holiday in the last year, and 10% of those in the recruitment sector have never taken a holiday.
Older business owners (aged over 55) and sole traders tend to be less stressed and have fewer fears for their business. For example, business owners of this age are more likely not to be affected by anything due to stress or responsibility of the business (41%) and 38% of sole traders do not lack anything due to the stress of running their business.
London is the region where business owners suffer the most from stress and fear for their business, while those in the South East tend to be less stressed and have fewer fears.
Andy Dodd, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, commented:
“Running a business comes with considerable pressure as highlighted in our research and something I have experienced personally. It is easy to allow the many hats you have to wear as a business owner to subsume any work life balance you have.”
“One of the many issues business owners face is finding good people, surrounding yourself with a great team is important to ensure you have the confidence to take time away from the business to recharge your batteries and meet your personal commitments. Ensure you plan your resources well ahead of intended holidays and that your people have the requisite skills, roles and responsibilities to manage the business in your absence.”
Top tips on how to manage a hectic work-life balance
Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance also spoke to a number of SME business owners to detail how they best manage their workload and personal lives:
James Lloyd-Townshend, CEO at recruitment agency Anderson Frank says:
“Exercise is a great stress reliever. I’ve always enjoyed sports and I believe that if your body feels better, then so does your mind. Exercise helps get the endorphins pumping, which can put you in a great place to tackle the challenges you will face in your job.”
“Helping all of our colleagues enhance their mental and physical health is also something I’m passionate about, and we have introduced a programme called Frank Wellbeing. This offers helpful exercise tips and advice to staff and we organise and pay regular opportunities to exercise such as boxing, our running club and yoga classes as well as fitness challenges in which they can win prizes.”
Natalie Lovett, director of The Whitewed Directory also provides tips on how to manage your time as an entrepreneur and working parent.
“When the list is long, it’s easy to procrastinate. This is a definite weakness of mine, but I get over it by having ‘power hours’. Write a realistic task list for an hour of time, include a couple of jobs that are draining you and you’re avoiding, turn off phone, e-mails and social media off and crack on.
At the end of the hour have a 15 minute catch up on calls and e-mails and repeat. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve and it’s enormously satisfying.”
William Forshaw, founder and CEO of British luxury leather brand, Maxwell Scott believes making time for yourself is crucial as a business owner and says “it’s important to dedicate a few hours out of your week to develop yourself on a personal level. Having another hobby to focus on can be really helpful to re-balance, too. It gives you a sense of achievement and perspective on where you are and where your business is at.”
For the full Business Owner Welfare report, visit https://www.hitachicapital.co.uk/business-owner-welfare-report