Global Survey Finds British Small Firms Have Easier Life

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9th October 2012 18:33 - Business Support

A survey of 3,000 small companies in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the US has revealed Britons enjoy the shortest work week as well as the least red tape.

UK entrepreneurs work fewer hours than their counterparts at an average of 38.5 hours per week – in contrast, Germans have the longest at more than 47 hours weekly.

The study, which was conducted by Hiscox, also saw small business owners in Britain reporting the least red tape affecting their progression than those in any of the other countries.

Furthermore, British surveyants were among the most satisfied with their lot in life, with over half saying they are happier running a small business than working as an employee in a larger company compared with an average of 39% claiming the same elsewhere.

Dutch respondents in the Netherlands however had the greatest number of entrepreneurs reporting low stress and thus high satisfaction levels.

In terms of the optimism factor of small firms in the current economic climate, most surveyants across all countries said they felt slightly more confident than last year – 47% of Britons expect an improved 12 months of trading compared with 40% last year.

Nevertheless, one in three of all respondents said they had trouble sleeping because of economic worries, and a quarter said they feared bankruptcy while this figure rose to 53% in Spain.

Finally, the study found a quarter of British small business owners said they had either  abandoned plans or put them on hold because of the Eurozone crisis, compared with 37% in Germany and 76% in Spain.

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