The Small Business Index survey conducted by Office Depot Inc. has revealed what small and medium-sized business owners’ plans are in regards to taking a break from work this summer. This survey is representative of 1,500 SMB owners which has revealed that one in five SMB owners are taking the opportunity to go on holiday whilst business is slower, however one third will not be jetting off into the sunset any time soon. Owning your own business, especially a SMB requires a certain level of devotion because these types of business ventures take a while to mature. When the opportunity to take a break pops up, it’s not surprising that small and medium-sized business owners take full advantage of it and take a well-deserved break.
60% of SMB owners who are not going on holiday this year stated that financial troubles was the reason why they were not opting to take a holiday. In contrast to this, Office Depot Inc.’s survey has identified two key factors that have encouraged SMB owners to just get away from it all. The first factor is having access to technology, especially mobile technology:
- One in four SMB owners stated that they used technology to stay in the loop in regards to their business whist they were on holiday twice or more a day.
- Half of the SMB owners that were surveyed stated that they relied on technology to keep an eye on their business when they were on holiday.
- Half of the SMB owners that were surveyed agreed that technology made them feel more connected to their business whilst they were on holiday.
- 35% of SMB owners stated that technology did not allow them to “switch off” from work whilst they were on holiday.
The second factor that made SMB owners feel more confident about taking a holiday (35%) was having staff that they could count on when they were on holiday. One of the biggest challenges SMB owners face is recruiting and retaining reliable staff. Being able to go on holiday with the knowledge that trustworthy staff are looking after your business is one of the most important things to a SMB owner.
Additional findings of this survey suggest that there is a direct correlation between business success and taking a holiday. According to these findings, a majority of SMB owners (29%) would rather take a holiday outside of the peak holiday season. A small percentage of the SMB owners that were surveyed (14%) felt that they didn’t have enough staff to keep their business afloat whilst they were on holiday. 21% of surveyors stated that travelling during the summer was not an option because that’s when business is booming.
The executive vice president of Office Depot Inc.’s business solutions divisions Steve Calkins commented that:
“For millions of dedicated small business owners who continue to burn the midnight oil and put in long hours day in and day out, the much-awaited summer vacation provides a crucial opportunity to recharge and refresh.”
We all look forward to taking a much well-deserved break from work, but for small business owners it’s not always that straight forward. When and if the opportunity to take a break arises, like this survey has highlighted, SMB owners have to make a snap decision about their holiday that’s solely based on their business circumstances. Making this choice isn’t always easy, but with commercial and investment interest in smaller companies on the rise perhaps more SMB owners will be able to enjoy more holidays like the rest of us.
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