No rest for the productive

2005

In an antidote to endless research about work-life balance, flexible working and the like, a survey by Bank of Scotland has revealed the deeply unfashionable fact that the more hours an entrepreneur invests in their business, the greater chance they have of achieving growth.

Bank of Scotland Business Banking found that more half the small companies that grew by more than 10 per cent over the last three years are run by someone who works over nine hours a day.

But almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of businesses achieving no growth were run by people who worked fewer than nine hours a day.

As Bank of Scotland's Kevin Gillett pointed out: "Businesses experiencing the highest levels of growth also have a higher percentage of owner-managers working longer hours.

"It seems there's no rest for the productive."

While the UK is Europe's most entrepreneurial major economy, starting a business is a precarious activity. Almost eight out of 10 ventures still fail in their first five years, and only one in 25 survive longer than 10 years.