One third of entrepreneurs regret going into business

Nearly one third forego pay to keep things going

Ever feel that you are rolling a boulder uphill every day without much return? Then you’re not alone.

According to Opus Energy, 38 per cent of SME owners regret going into business for themselves, citing money worries, time and effort taking them away from friends and family as the main reasons why.

The strains of running a business are eating into the home lives of SME owners, with four in five (79 per cent) making personal sacrifices for the sake of their business over the past 12 months.

Nearly one third (29 per cent) have gone without pay to keep the show on the road, with 36 per cent sacrificing personal time and 31 per cent reducing holidays.

Even when they go on holiday, 23 per cent take their work with them.

And 14 per cent do not even go on holiday at all.

Instead, one third of SME owners want six days a week and a quarter (23 per cent) work seven days a week.

Nearly all millennials (94 per cent) are likely to make personal sacrifices for the sake of their business, but even three quarters of older entrepreneurs aged 55-64 (73 per cent) are also putting business first.

Women are more likely than men to sacrifice family life and relationships for the sake of their fledgling company.

The irony is that most entrepreneurs went into business because they wanted to take control of their lives (56 per cent), deciding when and how much they wanted to work (29 per cent).

Nikki Flanders, COO of Opus Energy, said: “Every business leader needs to make a significant investment to make their business successful, and this investment is amplified for small businesses. The time, money or simply emotional investment needed to start a business and make it profitable is often all-consuming.

“Considering the difficult trading conditions businesses of all sizes have experienced recently, it’s not surprising that SMEs have needed to make particularly hard sacrifices over the past 12 months. However, the fact that small business owners are jeopardising their wellbeing consistently is a worrying sign. We rely on them to drive the economy, so if they’re struggling, we all will.”

The Opus Energy survey contacted 505 SME owners over a 10-day period between late July and early August.