UK business owners risk a summer burnout by not taking a proper break, claims research released today by Make It Cheaper, the business price comparison service.
Of the 1000 business owners surveyed, 14% aren’t planning any holidays at all this summer, with a further 38% staying close to home. For those planning a holiday, it isn’t all good news, with 29% of people taking less time off in 2010 than in previous years.
Nearly two thirds (59%) acknowledge the high ‘burn out’ risk of the hours they work running their businesses.
Over a third (35%) get stressed out about finding reliable people to cover them while they are away, and even when on holiday, one in five (20%) aren’t able to switch off from work. Very few business owners worry about staff absenteeism though (3%), showing a reassuring level of trust in employees.
Jonathan Elliott, managing director, Make It Cheaper said: “Being horizontal on a sunlounger is the perfect opportunity for business owners to read up on the latest management books and dream up new ways of increasing profits while reducing overheads. This is important downtime and shouldn’t be cut short because you are worried about the business. It’s better to have a way of staying in touch and the peace of mind that, if something major happens, you’ll get to know about it.”
Simon Reed, Publican, Pheasant Inn, Bridgnorth added: “A holiday is important, especially from a seven-day a week business. However, for many years the only breaks we have had are short ones. We have a small rural pub with no staff and it is very expensive finding stand-ins; the pub trade has declined enormously in the last two years, and it’s almost not worth paying other people to keep the pub open while we’re away. The business would suffer if we closed the doors for a week, so we just take short breaks when we can.”
Beverly Lay, Founder, www.allthingsoriginal.com, an online boutique based in London, added: “The business – or at least my Blackberry – comes with me everywhere I go so strictly speaking I haven’t had a real break since I started my business. I find it really hard to switch off but I’m the kind of person that is always hatching a new plan or thinking about new ways to make money. I do have moments when I worry about my work/life balance, particularly as I’m juggling running my business with being a new mum.”
The research also shows that of those who are planning to take time off, over a third (38%) are planning the ever-popular staycation, either in their homes or the UK, with only 14% planning a luxury long-haul trip. A third (34%) will be taking a short-haul trip to Europe.
The main reason for holidaying in the UK is cost (40%), with fear of being too far away from the business at this critical economic time (31%) another significant concern. A patriotic 6% claim it is to support other UK businesses.
Encouragingly, nearly half of those going away (45%) have decided to leave spending cuts at home and enjoy their break to the full. However, nearly a quarter (24%) will be economising on luxury accommodation and 22% will sacrifice paying for sun loungers. 8% of business owners will save money by not taking their kids with them!
The research was conducted with Make It Cheaper’s customer base with 1000 businesses surveyed. Make It Cheaper receives 2,000 utility price comparison enquiries each week and helps 50,000 businesses a year to switch.