You won’t find too many small business owners on the beach these days.
Thirty-seven percent of small business owners say they are working an extra 11 hours or more per week than usual, according to Sage North America’s recent Reinvention of Small Business Study. That’s a 54 percent jump from those who reported doing so in 2012. On top of that, 43 percent of small business owners say they’re vacationing less than they did five years ago.
Julie Busha, owner of Nicole Foods in Cramerton, N.C., took her last vacation in 2006 and spent the last three major holidays working.
“I spent all of Fourth of July at my computer,” she said. “After [a major summer trade show], I was getting followups ready to go, even though I knew the buyers who I was reaching out to were on vacation.”
Busha is used to working this way; she runs her business by herself and has never had any employees. And although hiring some help would ease her workload, she’s hesitant to do so.
“I have to personally weigh how long I just rely on myself to carry out my business versus pulling dollars from marketing to hire someone,” she said.
Unlike Busha, Tiffany Gillespie, owner of Philadelphia-based To the “T” Event Planning, does have a staff. However, it comprises four part-timers who work 20 hours a week, leaving Gillespie to work overtime and most holidays.
“I can’t go out of town for Thanksgiving, Christmas or other major holidays because I have to be there to service my clients, make catering orders and do events,” she said.
Gillespie plans to hire a couple of full-time staff members next year as her business continues to grow. Other small business owners are planning to do the same: NFIB’s September Small Business Optimism Index found that job creation plans have been higher going into the fall.
Perhaps with some extra help, small business owners will finally schedule some well-deserved time off.