Survey: Small Business Owners Waste 4 Billion Hours Each Year


If there could be just a few more hours in the day, you’d have a lot of happy entrepreneurs. A recent survey from OfficeMax shows that small businesses want to spend three hours more each week on activities that will help grow their companies – but just don’t have the time.

The survey also shows that administrative demands are sapping the time that could otherwise be spent growing the business. Business owners report spending nearly 4 hours per week on activities like credit card and payroll processing. Cumulatively, entrepreneurs are wasting more than 4 billion hours each year on these tasks, the survey found.

Aside from taking up a lot of time, these sorts of responsibilities are also draining for business owners. Nearly half, or 41%, say administrative tasks sap their passion and energy for running their companies.

Vendors Pose Major Concerns    

Two-thirds of small business owners say they have serious concerns about their business service vendors, from availability to compatibility.

Just over half of respondents say they are worried their vendors don’t understand their business, and 44% say they are concerned about their vendors’ availability. Additionally, 40% say they question their vendors’ ability to stay on top of technology trends.

Vendor quality isn’t the only issue keeping business owners up at night, however.

Over half of business owners surveyed say changes in health-care laws will have a high impact on their businesses in the next year, and 61% say economic uncertainties will play a major role in their businesses’ near-term future.

OfficeMax interviewed 321 small business owners with 100 or fewer employees from September 18 to September 29 for the survey.