Home Business Survey finds that British Family businesses remain profitable throughout the cost of living crisis, despite owners working longer hours than other European countries – with nearly 10% working an 80 hour week.
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Survey finds that British Family businesses remain profitable throughout the cost of living crisis, despite owners working longer hours than other European countries – with nearly 10% working an 80 hour week.

by wrich

As SMEs across the country begin to feel the squeeze of the cost of living crisis, UK-based payments provider, SumUp (www.sumup.co.uk), has surveyed over 1000 family-owned businesses across Europe to better understand how they are coping. 

The findings showed that owners of UK family businesses are working increasingly long hours, with nearly 60% of business owners working more than 50 hours per week, 9% working 80 hours per week and 4% working more than 100 hours per week. Results also showed Britons were more industrious than their European counterparts; British family-owned businesses had the highest percentage of owners working more than 60 hours per week (28%), followed by France (26%), Italy (24%), Germany (22%) and Switzerland (5%).   

Despite adopting longer working hours, 44% of UK businesses’ stated their income had improved as a result of starting their business – whereas 38% expressed that they had not seen an improvement – suggesting that despite recent challenges, the majority of family businesses remain resilient and profitable. 

UK family-owned businesses were also the most optimistic that the next generation of family members would continue to run their business, with 50% of owners stating that they believed this would be the case – compared to just 22% who felt this would be unlikely. Comparatively, French businesses were the second most optimistic, with only 29% of owners feeling confident that the next generation of family members would take on the businesses. With nearly 79% of UK businesses surveyed being first generation, this data suggests that owners are expecting the businesses to remain in the family for generations ahead. 

Further analysis showed: 

Working Hours 

  • Only 41% of business owners work less than 50 hours per week 
  • 15% of business owners work 50 hours per week 
    • 15% of business owners work 60 hours per week 
    • 6% of business owners work 70 hours per week
    • 9% of business owners work 80 hours per week 
    • 2% of business owners work 90 hours per week 
    • 4% of business owners work more than 100 hours per week

 

  • Nearly a third of business owners (33%) stated that family members have helped out by working unpaid hours in their free time

Personal income 

  • Nearly half of business owners (44%) said their income improved after starting their business 

Family generations 

  • Nearly 80% (79%) of UK family businesses are first generation owned, second only to Germany, where 86% of  family businesses are first generation owned
  •   12% of owners said their businesses were second generation owned
  •   4% of owners said their businesses were third generation owned
  •   6% of owners said their businesses were fourth generation owned or beyond

 

  • 50% of UK family business owners believed that future family members would continue to run their business, showing them to be considerably more optimistic than other business owners across Europe (29% in France and 28% in Germany)

Seeking advice 

  • More than half of business owners are seeking advice on how to run their business from the internet (56%)   
    • Despite the internet acting as the most popular resource for business owners seeking advice, word of mouth was the second most popular method (48%), suggesting that businesses still lean on their fellow traders for words of wisdom. 

Cashless payments 

  • The majority of business owners integrated cashless payment in order to make transactions easier (62%). 
    • In line with this statistic, 52% also stated that it was consumer demand that drove them to adopt card readers, highlighting the growing demand for cashless payment.
    • Additionally, just over a fifth of businesses (21%) also cited the increased security of card readers as a reason for introducing them. 

Nina Etienne, Vice President Marketing Europe, at SumUp, comments:  “This data highlights the indomitable work rate and determination of SMEs and family-owned businesses across the UK. Despite the concerning backdrop of the cost of living ciris, small business owners continue to go above and beyond to ensure the survival of their businesses, which in the case of many of those surveyed, have been passed down across numerous generations. SumUp are keen to do everything they can to help guarantee our merchants can run their businesses efficiently and cost-effectively, and will continue aiming to provide the appropriate tools and hardware to do so, throughout this current crisis and beyond.” 

Methodology

SumUp conducted a survey of family businesses across Europe and received over 1000 responses.

About SumUp

SumUp is a leading global financial technology company driven by the purpose of leveling the playing field for small businesses. Founded in 2012, SumUp is the financial partner for more than 4 million small merchants in over 35 markets worldwide, helping them start, run and grow their business. Through its Super App, SumUp provides merchants with a free business account and card, an online store, and an invoicing solution – as well as in-person and remote payments seamlessly integrated with SumUp’s card terminals and point-of-sale registers. SumUp is committed to leveraging its success to make the world a better place and has pledged to donate 1% of its revenue to support  environmental, educational and entrepreneurial causes. For more information, please visit sumup.co.uk  

 

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