Small business owners make New Year’s resolution to take more time off

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One in every five UK small business owners will be making a New Year’s resolution to take more time off, according to a survey by XLN Business Services.

One in every five UK small business owners will be making a New Year’s resolution to take more time off, according to a survey by XLN Business Services.

“Small business owners often work long hours with few holidays, so it’s no surprise that some small business owners have decided they need a bit more time off.” said Christian Nellemann, founder and CEO of XLN. “But as we all know, when you run your own business it is easy to plan to take a break and harder to actually do it. My advice to business owners is to put a date in the diary for later in the year as soon as you can - and then get cover for your business arranged. Once you have someone booked to stand in for you, it is harder to then pull out of your holiday.”

As 2012 begins, small business owners across the UK are thinking about the new year and what it will bring to their businesses. Catherine Longton, proprietor of Moorland Books, a bookshop in Oldham said: “My main worry is about whether economic growth can be sustained with all the pessimistic forecasts we’ve heard in the media,” said Ms Longton. “It’s been rewarding and enjoyable to be my own boss and I am determined to make it succeed. If I can make it through these tough times then I hope to do even better in the good times!”

In the same survey, 33% per cent of small business owners said their New Year’s resolutions would be to increase sales, while another 19% said that they would like to reduce costs.

The first part of the XLN survey looked back over the last 6 months and asked SMEs to rate factors surveyed affecting their business such as number of customers, price inflation, profits and more out of a maximum 10 marks, with a high score being favourable. The combined average response this time was 4.54/10, compared with an average of 4.45/10 in the previous survey. This means businesses are slightly more positive about their actual performance than they were last time. In particular there was a marked improvement in the score for total overall value of business sales from 4.98 to 5.17, meaning that small business owners believe price pressures seem to have eased slightly.

A second part of the survey looks forward over the next six months and measures how positive businesses are about the same factors, but as they expect them to be in the future. The overall score for this forward looking measure has risen from 4.26/10 last time to 4.30, meaning small businesses are now more optimistic about their prospects than they were three months ago. In particular, the number of customers they are expecting to visit their businesses has increased from 4.66 to 4.80, meaning business owners feel more confident despite wall to wall negative media coverage on the economy over the last few months.

Finally, the survey also asked about the current government’s performance with regard to small business issues. Business owners rated the government with regard to new regulations for small businesses an average of 3.42/10. The government was also hit by criticism of taxation of small business, with owners rating them a poor 2.55/10 on this measure.

The full results of the survey are attached to this e-mail and available as a pdf at the following URL:

Additional information

For more information, interview opportunities or additional quotes, please contact:
Barney Jones            +44 7713 629694

About Small Business Opinion Survey

Small Business Opinion is a survey conducted by small business telecoms provider XLN Telecom with a view to taking the temperature of small businesses in the UK. The survey is sent to members of our small business owners database who on completion of the survey are eligible upon completion to enter their e-mail address to receive a copy of the results and a chance to win John Lewis vouchers.

About XLN

XLN Business Services is the small business specialist. The business was founded by Christian Nellemann in 2002 and has its headquarters in London, United Kingdom.

XLN provides phone line and business broadband connections plus mobile, energy and card processing to 130,000 small businesses in the UK. We negotiate discounted wholesale rates from our big name suppliers and pass the savings on.

XLN is the fastest growing independent Telecom Service Provider in the UK focusing on the Small Business sector. The company is profitable and backed by a leading institutional investor.

XLN’s founder and CEO was first recognised as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 for Technology and Communication, winning again in 2010. XLN has also been a National Business Awards Finalist for 5 years: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010. In 2007 and 2008, XLN was ranked on the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 survey of the 100 fastest growing technology companies in the UK.

In 2011 XLN was listed as #6 in the Sunday Times Buyout Track 100 and #84 in the Sunday Times Profit Track. IN 2010 and 2011 XLN also won British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) awards for ‘Best Private Equity Backed Management Team’.

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Barney Jones