‘No-cation’-Small business owners face a summer of discontent



  • One in five business owners haven’t had more than a week off in over three years
  • Business owners spend a day a week on finance and admin paperwork

Research from Worldpay has revealed that 70% of UK small business owners do not have an adequate work-life balance with 40% working 6/7 days a week just to stay afloat.

With the great summer holiday getaway just around the corner, millions of Brits are currently deciding whether to head to the Med, or place their faith in a staycation. But long hours, stress, and a fear of handing over control are giving rise to a new phenomenon among the UK’s five million small business owners – the ‘No-cation.’

That’s according to research from Worldpay, which found 70% of UK small business owners do not have a good enough work-life balance to take holiday. One in five small business owners say they haven’t had more than a week off in at least three years. And for one in ten, even the idea of a few days leave is off-limits, unless absolutely essential.

According to Worldpay’s research, the reality of juggling the day job with everything from finance, to HR, to chasing customers for payment can quickly become overwhelming, and work-life balance is the first thing to suffer.

Finance, cash-flow and paperwork top the list of business headaches, with the average small business owner spending the equivalent of 48 days per year on admin tasks, while more than 40%  average a six or seven day week, just to stay afloat.

Dave Hobday, UK Managing Director, Worldpay, commented: “Small business owners need a holiday more than most, but worries about sales, cashflow, and customer loyalty mean they often spend summer on the shop floor instead of the sun lounger.

“Operational tasks are a fact of life, but there’s something wrong if they start becoming a barrier to growth, prosperity and happiness. Business owners need to find ways to take back control of their information to become more efficient, make smarter decisions, and get that well-earned break.”

According to Worldpay’s research, one in five small business owners use nothing more than a pen and paper to run their business. A third of SMEs admit they spend no time whatsoever analysing data about their business.

Worldpay’s new online tool, My Business Dashboard, provides businesses with an easy way to access and review transaction data, saving them time on financial admin, giving them valuable performance insights, and even helping them identify the optimum time to take a couple of well-deserved days off.

The full data for the UK below. Here are some interesting facts the research revealed about Cardiff.  Worldpay discovered that SMEs in Cardiff are among the hardest workers in the UK:

  • They work 8% longer than average small businesses
  • One in five works more than 9 hours a day
  • A quarter say they run their whole business using nothing more than a pad and pen while 60% say they spend no time looking at their business data to aid decision making
  • 73% admit their work-life balance doesn’t allow them the time to take holiday

A quarter say it’s been at least three years since they took more than a week