A recent Sage survey focused on how small businesses are changing the way they conduct business in a recovering economy. We found that many small business owners are continuing to put in more hours, extending their work week, and taking less vacation than they were five years ago.
Extended Work Week and Less Vacation
The survey found that 37 percent of small business owners are working an additional 11 or more hours per week compared to 24 percent who reported the same in the 2012 survey. Small business owners are vacationing less as well with 43 percent saying that they are taking significantly or somewhat less downtime over the past three years.
Living the American Dream
The Sage Reinvention of Small Business survey asked small business owners whether they believe that they are living the American dream by owning their own business, and 56 percent responded “yes.” In a surprising affirmation of the American entrepreneurial spirit, when asked if they had contemplated giving up their business over the past five years, during the economic downturn, a resounding 76 percent of respondents said “no.” Moreover, small business owners indicated that the main reason that they have their own business is that they always had a dream of running their own businesses (38 percent), followed by it being a family or personal obligation (24 percent) and dissatisfaction in the corporate world (23 percent).
Adaptive Approach to Business
In a sign of possible optimism, 49 percent cited investing in technology as the top change or improvement made to their business over the last five years. Other top responses to the same question included: better management of cash flow (48 percent), more use of mobile technology (44 percent) and better management of inventory (32 percent).
Other highlights of the Sage Reinvention of Small Business Survey include the following:
- 68 percent of small business owners are working both longer days and more weekends.
- Of those small business owners who have contemplated leaving their business, the top reasons were:
- Dissatisfaction with the progress of sales of their business – 38 percent.
- It was more work or time than they thought it would be – 30 percent.