Business owners bullish about growth over coming years

Two thirds of SME business owners are optimistic about the growth of their business over the next five years, research finds.

In addition, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) say that they are thriving as a result of owning their own business, according to a recent survey by AXA PPP healthcare.

SME owners also recognise the greater flexibility (58 per cent) and the greater freedom (37 per cent) that owning a business gives them.

Some 70 per cent of owners also say they are proud, inspired, content or fortunate to own their own business, highlighting the positive effects that having control over your working life can bring.

Glen Parkinson, SME business director at AXA PPP healthcare says, ‘It’s good to see SME owners flourishing as a result of having their own business. Coming into work feeling inspired or fortunate is a great motivator and helps productivity and creativity to blossom.

‘The future looks bright for the UK’s SMEs, which is great news for the economy, as they are the backbone of our economic output.’

When asked what areas of the business they are involved in on a day-to-day basis, business strategy was revealed to be the most common area, with 81 per cent of owners being involved in this daily.

However, 61 per cent of owners also say they have day-to-day involvement in business operations and production and new business development.

More than half are involved in sales and marketing (59 per cent) and customer service (55 per cent) on a daily basis.

More than a third (35 per cent) of the SME business owners think they can delegate more to improve the way they manage their business – a result that neatly aligns with the finding that nearly half (47 per cent) of business owners reported that the pressure of work spills over into their home life.

Despite this, many SME owners do manage to switch off from their work, with more than a third (36 per cent) doing so by spending time with their family and, for over a fifth (22 per cent), by taking exercise.

But only 11 per cent say they would go to the pub or have a drink to switch off from work. And nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of owners reported feeling pressured only some of the time or not very often, suggesting they were getting the balance right.

Parkinson adds, ‘UK SME owners need to delegate more and only have daily involvement in those activities that truly need their expertise. Reducing their involvement in wider business activities and empowering their teams to do these tasks will help build trust and will hopefully prevent them from taking work pressure home.

‘It is very encouraging to see small business owners are taking measures to achieve a reasonable work/life balance even through stressful periods.’

Further reading on business growth

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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