The report found that the outlook of small business owners is very positive, with 70 per cent saying they felt proud, inspired, content or fortunate to own their own business. In addition to this, 62 per cent stated they were thriving as a result of business ownership.
When questioned further on the benefits they felt owning their own business provided, 58 per cent said it gave them greater flexibility, while 37 per cent said owning a business gave them a greater level of freedom.
Glen Parkinson, SME business director at AXA PPP Healthcare, commented on the findings, saying: “It’s good to see SME owners flourishing as a result of having their own business. Coming into work feeling inspired or fortunate is a great motivator and helps productivity and creativity to blossom.”
What responsibilities are SME owners taking on?
The survey highlighted how SME owners are having an active role in a number of different areas of their business. Business strategy was the most common area, with 81 per centstating they were involved with this on a day-to-day basis.
61 per cent said they were involved in business operations, production and new business development on a daily basis, 59 per cent reported a daily involvement in sales and marketing, and 55per cent said they were regularly involved in customer service.
Maintaining a good work/life balance
It seems as though many small business owners are managing to find a good work/life balance with 63 per centof respondents saying they only felt pressure some of the time or not very often. When asked what they did to switch off when they weren’t in work, 36 per cent said they spent time with their family and 22 per cent said they exercised. Only 11 per cent of the business owners said they would go to the pub or have a drink after work to switch off.
There are still changes to be made, however, with 35 per cent of SME owners saying they felt they could delegate more responsibility to improve the way they manage their business. This result aligned with 47 per centsaying that sometimes the pressure of work can spill into their home life.
Parkinson concluded by discussing how SME owners need to prioritise which areas of their business they are going to involve themselves in, saying: “UK SME owners need to delegate more and only have daily involvement in those activities that truly need their expertise.
“Reducing their involvement in wider business activities and empowering their teams to do these tasks will help build trust and will hopefully prevent them from taking work pressure home. It is very encouraging to see small business owners are taking measures to achieve a reasonable work/life balance even through stressful periods.”
Aldermore offer a range of business savings and business finance options designed specifically to help SMEs thrive. For more information about these offerings, get in touch with Aldermore.
*Data from research conducted by AXA PPP healthcare with 500 owners of small businesses employing up to 30 people in June 2015.
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