Small business owners spend 17 full days a year worrying about their business outside of work, according to new data.
The statistic emerged in a study of 500 American small business owners, which found that even when they’re off the clock, SBOs worry about their business for the equivalent of an entire work day — nearly eight hours a week.
According to the results of the study, over half of American small business owners (51 percent) say they have trouble “switching off” from work when on their free time.
The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of GoDaddy, also revealed that free time is hardly free time when it comes to small business owners, as 41 percent say they often get pulled away to deal with business matters when trying to take a break.
In fact, the average small business owner says they lose four hours of free time every week to handle business matters.
The survey also found that close to 40 percent of SBOs spend between 1–3 hours talking on the phone every week for business, with 85 percent of those calls coming on their personal phone.
However, close to 40 percent of them said that knowing whether an incoming call is for business or personal reasons would be helpful in managing their productivity and stress.
“Owning a business and trying to enjoy life outside work can be an especially tough balancing act,” said Melissa Schneider, GoDaddy’s trend expert.
“That’s why GoDaddy is focused on arming everyday entrepreneurs with an arsenal of tools that not only deliver results, but help them start, grow and run their businesses efficiently. We believe this, in turn, helps them lead better, more fulfilling personal lives.”
One in five business owners studied (22 percent) say that right now is the most stressed they’ve ever been about their business.
Why? The poll pointed to “money” as the top reason small business owners stress: specifically, whether or not they’ll make enough of it.
The second biggest worry was found to be attracting customers. So how do SBOs display professionalism to retain and find new customers? Responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner was the number one answer (81 percent).
Answering calls professionally ranked second (64 percent). The third most popular response was having a dedicated phone number for all business matters (26 percent).
“Seeing how much our customers rely on their personal phone for business matters inspired GoDaddy to shape an easy-to-use solution that can help small business owners stay organized and work more efficiently,” Schneider continued.
“Our SmartLine app allows users to differentiate business and personal calls, so they can not only answer appropriately, but better manage time spent on business-related matters in their personal time.”
With all the worrying and stress, only 29 percent of small business owners surveyed feel they have a very healthy work/life balance.
So how do SBOs create a healthier work/life balance? The top way was to prioritize taking care of themselves, closely followed by taking a vacation, having regular breaks and scheduling time with family and friends.
Top 10 SBO worries
|Making enough money||54%|
|Having enough time for everything I have to do||35%|
|Cash flow management||22%|
|My competition undercutting my prices||16%|
|Whether or not my business will survive another year||15%|