Entrepreneurs and Work/Life Balance — The Struggle is Real

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When entrepreneurs aren’t working, they’re thinking about working

With over 30.2 million small businesses in 2018 employing 58.9 million people across the United States, it’s no wonder small businesses are known as the lifeblood of the American economy. Whether you’re running a small mom and pop ice cream shop, or taking care of people’s car problems so they can get to work and kid’s soccer games, entrepreneurs dedicate much of their time serving their customers and community.  

In a survey commissioned by GoDaddy, 500 small business owners provided valuable insights into their worries, as well as their efforts to strike a balance between their professional and personal lives.

When entrepreneurs aren’t working, they’re thinking about working

The survey revealed that entrepreneurs’ top concerns were making money and attracting new customers, spending an average of 8 hours a week worrying about their business outside of working hours. That’s a full 17 days a year dedicated to worrying. Over half of small business owners say they have trouble switching off from work during their free time.  

The survey also found:

  • Small business owner says they lose four hours of free time every week to handle business matters.
  • 41% of small business owners say they often get pulled away to deal with business matters when trying to take a break.
  • Only 36% of small business owners report they generally have a somewhat healthy work/life balance.

These numbers show that maintaining work/life balance is not a walk in the park for many entrepreneurs. In fact, half the respondents pointed to not having enough time and having too much work as the top factors that get in the way.

However, entrepreneurs recognize the importance of enriching their personal lives. Sixty three percent of them say they spend time taking care of themselves, while 56% strike a balance by taking a vacation. They also emphasized the importance of scheduling personal time as a priority.

Finding work-life balance is a constant struggle

“Small business owners dedicate a huge part of their lives tirelessly taking care of business,” said Melissa Schneider, GoDaddy’s VP of Global Marketing and trend expert. “Owning a business and trying to enjoy life outside work can be an especially tough balancing act. That’s why GoDaddy is focused on arming everyday entrepreneurs with an arsenal of tools that not only deliver results, but help them start, grow, and run their businesses efficiently. We believe this, in turn, helps them lead better, more fulfilling personal lives.”

The survey also delved into understanding the tools and tips that can help small business owners be more productive. One of the significant insights derived from this study is entrepreneurs’ usage of their personal phone for business, revealing that close to 40% of small business owners spend between one to three hours a week taking care of business on the phone.

1:1 conversations with customers are crucial for entrepreneurs

It’s no surprise that more than half of small business owners consider how valuable 1:1 conversations are to their business. After all, this is an important way by which they can show professionalism to their clients:

  • 81% stress the importance of responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner.
  • 71% strive to always be available/reachable to their customers during business hours.
  • 64% recognize the importance of answering calls professionally.

Especially pertinent to answering calls professionally, the survey also revealed some less than appropriate ways small business owners took business calls on their personal phone because they were unaware that call was for business.

40% of small business owners said knowing whether an incoming call is a business or personal call would be helpful in managing their productivity

Respondents shared that at one point one of them opened a call with, “hey baby,” while another confessed to saying “hello” in a silly voice. Much worse, someone employed a “mean voice” because they thought it was a robocall. Along the same vein, the study found that 40% of small business owners said knowing whether an incoming call is a business or personal call would be helpful in managing their productivity.

Separating Personal and Work Calls with SmartLine

GoDaddy’s SmartLine app allows users to differentiate business and personal calls by providing customers a second phone number for their business on the smartphone they already have. In addition, with SmartLine small business owners can:

  • make and receive calls using their business number to keep their personal number private
  • set their business hours to receive calls during this window so they don’t receive calls during their personal time
  • send and receive texts and pictures from their business number and see all communications with a customer in one place
  • install the app on their current smartphone – there’s no new equipment to buy


Image by: Marjan Grabowski on Unsplash