Entrepreneurs see regular breaks as vital to small business success

New research shows that the UK’s small business leaders recognise the importance of frequent breaks and downtime to the success of their business and a healthy work-life balance – but day-to-day pressures mean many are struggling to carve out the time. According to the survey by American Express, a clear majority (82%) agree that regular time off from work is important for their wellbeing, while a similar number (84%) believe that activities or interests outside of work are vital to help them unwind and disconnect. Two thirds (66%) would like to discover a new interest or hobby if time allowed.

However, the reality is that some entrepreneurs struggle to achieve this. Almost half (46%) admit feeling guilty about not spending enough time with family or friends and one third (33%) say that they stopped their hobby when they started running their own business.

The survey also found that almost eight in 10 (78%) agree regular breaks are important to being a good leader and over half (56%) think they and their business would benefit from more time away from the workplace – a five percentage point increase compared to last year’s research.

Amanda Salt, Vice President, Small & Medium Enterprises, UK Card Services at American Express, said: “It’s encouraging that our research found a majority of small business leaders recognise the widespread benefits of downtime – whether that’s enjoying a favourite hobby or taking a personal trip. Meaningful time away from work is essential so they can switch off, recharge and find fulfilment away from day-to-day pressures. Our focus is on supporting entrepreneurs as they grow their business through rewards that give them more choice in how they achieve a healthy work-life balance.”

The research comes as American Express launches a series of limited time offers that see the most generous ever Welcome Bonuses on its American Express® Business Platinum and Business Gold Cards. Until 30 March, new Business Platinum Cardmembers who sign up can earn a Welcome Bonus of up to 120,000 Membership Rewards® points; 80,000 points when they spend £12,000 in the first three months, and another 40,000 points 14 months later.

Over the same period, new Business Gold Cardmembers are eligible for a Welcome Bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points when they sign up and spend £6,000 in the first three months, and another 20,000 points 14 months later.

By using Membership Rewards points, small business owners can make more of their downtime by turning their everyday business spending into activities and treats. These points earned on every transaction give entrepreneurs flexibility to use their rewards in a way that best suits them. Terms apply.

The Welcome Bonuses come in addition to a range of existing benefits for Business Platinum and Business Gold Cardmembers, including:

  • Cashflow Management, with up to 54 days to pay for purchases, cash can stay in your account for longer, making money management more flexible.
  • The ability to transfer Membership Rewards points to one of our partner’s frequent traveller programmes, and to use them for hotel stays, flights, dining and more.
  • Access to AmexExpense: American Express’ digital expense management tool to simplify expense filing. It’s free to use, simple to set up and integrates with accounting software, making it easier for business leaders to handle cashflow at a crucial time for cost management.