Inc.com has one of those headlines that really didn’t take a survey to find out: Business Owners Work Twice as Much as Employees, Survey Finds. Surprised? Me neither.
How much do we work?
Thirty-three percent of small-business owners reported working more than 50 hours per week, while an additional 25% said they work more than 60 hours a week, according to a poll of readers of the New York Enterprise Report. The poll, conducted throughout January and February, found that 70% of respondents also worked at least one weekend on a regular basis.
So, is there any hope for us? Here are two suggestions from the same story.
Suggestion #1: Work for a Reason
“The small-business owners who are happiest begin with an end in mind,” [said Rhonda F. Waters, a Ph.D. in organizational development and president of the Boston-based Mutare Group, a consulting firm that specializes in organizational assessment and executive coaching.] That end, she added, might be a house in Florida or money for their children’s education, but having it in focus ensures that the day-to-day challenges of an unhappy customer or a malfunctioning printer doesn’t get blown out of proportion.
Suggestion #2: Delegate with or without hiring
“We’ve quantified [that] people spend 20% of their time on what would be considered low-value work.” [said Amy Richman, a senior consultant for WFD, a workplace consulting firm based in Newton, Mass.]
Effective time assessments might free up a day, a week, or more, by cutting out work that is really unnecessary, Richman added.
Waters suggested that small-business owners who want more free time should focus on fulfilling the needs of the core clients who bring in the most money, and delegate everything that they don’t have to be doing themselves.
If you are thinking about that second point, you may want to re-read 10 Ways to Delegate Without Hiring Staff.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.