Small business owners are struggling to make it when it comes to maintaining a work-life balance. Seventy-nine percent of small business owners continue to make growing their business a top priority, but many are making major sacrifices in the process—their personal time and their personal savings. According to data from the most recent American Express OPEN Small Business Growth Pulse, 89% of small businesses indicate they invest a significant amount of their personal time in an effort to grow their business. Also in line with these findings, six in ten (60%) of them say they spend a larger percentage of time working on their business to drive growth rather than in their business managing details.
Many small business owners are not only giving their time, but are also contributing their personal finances to boost their business. More than 68% report that they invest a substantial portion of their personal savings to help their businesses grow. Within this finding, there is also a difference between male and female business owners. Roughly 72% of male business owners are more likely than their female counterparts, at 62%, to invest personal funds in order to grow their business. Business owners in the manufacturing industry are also more likely to invest a substantial portion of their personal savings in an effort to grow their business, 89% for manufacturing vs. 73% for retail and 60% for the services industry.
What’s more, although 92% of small businesses are confident they can access the funding needed to grow, 64% of small business owners predict cash flow issues to arise over the next six months. Despite confidence in the ability to grow, concerns about the economy remain high.
Other findings revealed that as they follow their path to growth, a number of small business owners are planning both capital and talent investments. As many as 59% plan to hire staff over the next six months, and among those with hiring plans, 29% are planning to hire only full-time workers; 22% are planning to hire only part-time workers; and 8% are planning to hire both full and part-time workers. Additionally, 71% plan to make capital investments, which include investments in computer and systems software/additional software licenses, 42%, and manufacturing/production equipment, 23%.
“As 2016 unfolds, small business owners are working harder than ever to position their businesses for growth,” Janey Whiteside, SVP & GM customer marketing & relationship management, American Express OPEN, said in a statement: “The personal commitments that small business owners make are vital to their success, and their planned investments are indicative of how important growth is in the coming year.”