39% of small business owners have found running a business “more challenging than expected”

New survey reports 44% of start-up entrepreneurs miss personal occasions due to heavy workloads

More than a third of small business owners have found running a business to be “more challenging than expected”; according to new YouGov survey published this week by First Data Merchant Solutions.

The report, which surveyed 1,020 small and medium business founders and decision makers, suggested that 62% of start-up entrepreneurs find managing a business a ‘constant challenge’, with managing staff and tracking finances the top two tasks said to be the most challenging and ‘time consuming’.

The study linked these pressures to concerns about employee capabilities with 37% of business owners having admitted to worrying about handing control over when taking time away, and 50% of those surveyed said they worried that staff would make accidental errors in their absence.

The findings also indicated a struggle for business owners to find a good work/life balance with 44% of entrepreneurs having missed a personal occasions because they have been pre-occupied with company operations, and one in 10 failing to attend their own birthday celebrations.

Despite almost half of those surveyed stating that they started a business because they wanted ‘more flexible working hours’, almost a fifth have missed picking their children up from school, 11% have failed to attend an anniversary celebration with a partner, and one in 10 have missed a wedding of a friend or relative due to work commitments.

First Data Merchant Solutions general manager, Raj Sond, discussed the findings: “It is a real shame to see that administrative tasks are overwhelming small and medium enterprises to the point that they are unable to focus on growing their businesses.

“It is quite commonplace for business owners to be reluctant to hand over the reins in their absence, but running a small business should be an exciting adventure, not a barrier to leading a normal life.

“Most businesses are born from a spark and a real passion for something. Small and medium business owners need to replicate the power of larger retailers to simplify the running of their businesses.”

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