The average amount of time a small business owner spends working is 47 hours per week, just one hour less than the maximum number of working hours permitted by the European Working Time Directive. However, many are working much longer in order to maintain and develop their business, with a third (33%) of small business owners now working over 50 hours per week and one in six (15%) working in excess of 65 hours a week; the equivalent of a minimum of 13 hours per day over a five day working week.
With the number of insolvencies up by 39% in the second quarter of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008, many small business owners are being forced to work longer hours, simply to keep their business afloat.
Paula Ickinger, head of business banking marketing at Abbey and Alliance & Leicester, said: “The recession is having a huge impact on small businesses in this country and many owners are sacrificing their work-life balance by working longer hours as they struggle for the survival of their business.
“Not only do business owners have a very tough economic climate to contend with, they’ve also been burdened with mounting piles of red tape and bureaucracy at the same time, which can distract them from the running of their business. They therefore need to make sure that they are getting as much help from their suppliers as they can, including their business bank.”