SME owners struggle to delegate tasks to their staff

29th July 2016

A large number of small business owners admit to finding it hard to pass the baton on to their staff members and relinquish responsibility over all types of daily tasks, according to a recent study by Opus Energy.

The report surveyed 250 SME owners, examining the amount of energy they invest into their business and the way the run them.

The outcome of the study was that the vast majority of SME owners fall into one of five categories: ranging from the weightlifter, who carries the weight of the company on its shoulders, to the archer, who has a keen eye on the future growth of the business and is keen to achieve growth targets with the fewest roadblocks.

Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of small business owners admit to checking their emails constantly all day, while almost half (47 per cent) of respondents often work through the weekend.

Louise Boland, managing director, Opus Energy, says that most business owners just find it too difficult to let go of certain responsibilities to even their most trusted employees.

“An overwhelming amount actually prefer to get on with tasks on their own, with almost half taking full responsibility for new business development within their company,” said Boland.

“This inevitably has consequences in their personal lives, potentially causing them to burn out, and making it difficult for them to keep their personal life, and work, separate.

“It is no wonder that SME owners are the backbone of our nation. Working long hours and taking responsibility for every aspect of running a business takes up a huge amount of energy.”

The study also notes that internal working relationships are somewhat suffering as a result of SME owner challenges. Only 12 per cent of owners admit they stop to have a chat with colleagues when they arrive in the office; resulting in disengaged team members.

“The data shows many small business owners are taking the burden of the whole business on their shoulders, constantly checking emails and finding it hard to make free time; it appears we are a nation of weightlifters!” added Boland.

“Small business owners are driven by the passion they have for their business, which is fantastic, but it can also mean they forget to take a break every now and then, and appreciate how far they have already come.”

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