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Small business owners are on average working seven hours over time per week according to a poll involving over 1000 small and mid-sized businesses by accounting solutions provider, MYOB.

While 39 per cent of business owners claimed that flexibility and a balanced lifestyle was more attractive than the financial benefits of operating a business, 59 percent work more than 35 hours per week. Almost a quarter work over 45 hours per week and 3 per cent work as much as 65 hours.

MYOB General Manager SME Solutions, James Scollay, said “what’s interesting is that although so many SMEs start their business as a lifestyle choice prioritising flexibility, they are so overworked with running their business, they end up working almost six days per week, giving them no flexibility at all.”

The survey found that while many SME owners want to develop their business, 46 per cent spend no more than 2 hours per week on activities not related to day-to-day operation.

Mr Scollay said “that’s very little time business owners have available to focus on key development areas like business planning, training and networking.”

Respondents to the survey reported that networking, developing growth plans and extra training were some of the activities they would undertake if they had extra time.

“Finding ways to create even an extra day in the calendar for local business owners could make a real difference not only to the health of their business but the opportunities for the small business sector to reach its potential for growth,” Mr Scollay said.

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Daniel Jacobs

Daniel Jacobs

Daniel Jacobs was editor of Dynamic Business.

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