Convenience store customer

A new study has highlighted the poor work-life balance enjoyed by the majority of small retail business owners, with three quarters unable to take a holiday because of their workload.

The survey of 500 business owners, commissioned by payment processing company Worldpay, also revealed nearly a quarter (23%) have not had more than a week off in over three years.

The same proportion of retail business owners work seven days a week, while 36% work a six-day week and over a third (35%) work between nine to 12 hours each day.

Finance, cash flow and paperwork top the list of time-consuming tasks, with the average small business owner spending the equivalent of 48 days per year on admin tasks.

Over a quarter of small retailers (28%) are so swamped by the day-to-day they are unable to analyse even basic data to help grow their business, the research suggested.

“Small business owners need a holiday more than most, but worries about sales, cash flow, and customer loyalty mean they often spend summer on the shop floor instead of the sun lounger,” said Dave Hobday, UK managing director, Worldpay.

“Operational tasks are a fact of life, but there’s something wrong if they start becoming a barrier to growth, prosperity and happiness. Business owners need to find ways to take back control of their information to become more efficient, make smarter decisions, and get that well-earned break.”

The survey polled retail business owners with fewer than 50 employees.