‘No-cation’ – small retailers face a summer of discontent, reports Worldpay

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With the great summer 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 that small business owners in retail are among the UK’s hardest workers, with 75% saying they do not have enough of a work-life balance to take holiday. One in five say they haven’t had more than a week off in at least three years. And for one in ten SMEs nationally, 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. Over a fifth of small business owners in retail work seven days a week, with 36% enjoying ‘only’ a six day week, just to stay afloat.

Dave Hobday, UK managing firector, Worldpay, said: “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. Just over a quarter of small retailers (28%) are so swamped by the day to day that they are unable to analyse even basic data to help grow their business, while across industry sectors, 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.