76% of SME owners losing sleep over the state of their business

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SME owners in the UK are at breaking point, new research[1] from Opus Energy reveals. Just over 3 in 4 (76%) SME owners are losing sleep over their business, with company finances and costs (35%), work/life balance (27%) and attracting customers (24%) the main reasons cited for the lack of shut eye.

The strains of running a business are also putting pressures on the home lives of SME owners, with four in five (79%) making personal sacrifices for the sake of their business over the past 12 months. Over a third state they have sacrificed personal time (36%), 31% have reduced their holidays and another 29% have gone without pay. In fact, 23% of SME owners said they worked even when on holiday, with a further 14% saying they don’t take any holidays at all.

Millennials were much more likely to make personal sacrifices for the sake of their business (94%) than their older counterparts (73% for both 45-54 and 55-64 year olds), with females more likely than males (85% / 76% respectively). It is hardly surprising, therefore, that over 1 in 3 (38%) regret starting their business, with profitability, time and effort, and their investment being detrimental to time spent with family and friends as some of the reasons why.

Considering the top reasons for starting their own business centred around control, i.e. working for themselves (56%), controlling their future earnings (30%) or controlling their workload / time (29%), it seems SME owners attempt to gain, or regain, control over their working life is damaging the quality of their personal life.

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