I empathize: Most US small business (SMB) owners are overworked and not getting enough sleep. That’s according to a new Manta ”wellness” survey of more than 1,300 business owners.
The survey asked a range of questions about SMB attitudes and outlook:
- How the fiscal crisis had impact their businesses
- What was causing them the most stress
- What were their hiring plans
- Whether their outlook was optimistic or not
Generally most respondents said that 2012 was a good year and that they anticipate growth this year. However most business owners were not planning on any new hiring for now.
What struck me the most were the following data about work hours and sleep.
Most business owners are working more than 50 hours per week (probably closer to 70). Only 24% are working 40 hours or less. So much for the notion that a lot of SMBs are “lifestyle” businesses. Accordingly only a third (32%) are getting eight or more hours hours of sleep nightly. (I’d like to meet the people who get more than 8 hours of sleep a night.)
Most SMB owners are probably pretty cranky, not getting enough sleep and working harder than they would like. But most are also too cautious and uncertain about the economy to bring in additional help.
This adds some context and color to the otherwise dry statements about SMBs being “overwhelmed” and unable to master digital marketing self-service. There’s just no time or bandwidth to become an expert (or even marginally competent) at an ever increasing number of digital channels.
Those companies and publishers that are asking SMBs to understake self-service digital marketing (including social media) are literally asking them to take time away from running their businesses or from sleep.