Small business owners are working long hours and suffering from stress but they are happier in their current role and have gained confidence from being their own boss.
These are the findings of a new SME survey conducted by OnePoll for InstantPrint. The research found that 71% of SME owners are happier in their current job despite the stresses and strains of running a business.
The biggest sacrifices business owners say they have made are: family time (46%), holidays (45%) and income (40%).
When asked what they miss most about working for someone else, 22% of business owners cited office camaraderie.
The findings show that one in eight business owners only get three to four hours' sleep a night and one in five have missed medical appointments due to work commitments. Despite this, 68% report having a good work/life balance and 70% said they would never go back to working for someone else. More than half said they had gained confidence since starting their own business.
On average, male SME owners work 45 hours a week compared to their female counterparts who work 10 hours less. Male business owners are more stressed than women, the survey shows; almost 60% of men said they are more stressed compared to 43% of women. The top reason male business owners give for being worried is their business not succeeding (33%), compared to 57% of women who are most worried about finances.
Government plans are a key cause of concern for SME owners, with 26% concerned about how government regulations will affect them.
James Kinsella, co-founder of Instantprint, said: "Despite the challenges, stresses and late nights, the overwhelming majority of small business owners are happier now than when they were working for someone else. Adam and I started Instantprint whilst studying for our university finals … the tough times are tougher than those you would ever face working for someone else, but when things are going well it's a high you can't compare."