Over half of UK SME owners will be working Christmas Day

Over half of UK SME owners will be working Christmas Day
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ MIND AND I

More than half of small business owners in the UK will be working on Christmas Day, with the majority feeling increased pressure to stand out and meet customers’ expectations during this period.

According to recent small business research undertaken by Vistaprint, only 12% of small business owners expect to switch off for the whole of the Christmas period.

Indeed, over three quarters of UK small business owners work in some capacity during the entire festive season.

While two-thirds of those working on Christmas Day expect to work more than six hours, 18% anticipate working more than ten hours straight, eating into their Christmas festivities.

On Christmas Day, 1 in 5 UK SME owners will be keeping an eye on emails, while 15% said they would be working a normal day and 17% catching up on paperwork.

This comes as a result of increasing demand and pressure on small business owners to fulfil consumer demand during this busy season. With many one-person bands not able to enjoy the Christmas period as a result of looming workload.

Even among those who take a break on Christmas Day, nearly two thirds (62%) will jump back into work on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, with the majority being service providers, tradesmen and business/marketing consultants.

The biggest challenges UK small business owners face at Christmas is making their business or brand stand out above increased competition and the general noise of Christmas.

Trying to satisfy customers’ orders before the Christmas break, solving cash flow problems, fulfilling enhanced demand and ensuring deliveries arrive on time are all other areas that cause small business owners to be pulled in multiple directions.

Simon Braier, Director of Customer Strategy at Vistaprint, said: “Small business owners put their hearts and souls into their businesses and naturally at key times of the year this pressure increases.

“But Christmas is also an important time for family, and we’d like to encourage small business owners whenever possible to take a well-deserved rest during this period.

“Returning to their business after spending some quality time with their family can help business owners bring fresh ideas and a renewed sense of drive to their work, ensuring a strong start to the new year.”