Sole traders relying on family and friends
A recent study conducted by Lloyds Bank Insurance has found that nearly two thirds of the smallest businesses in the UK are supported by friends and family members of those who run them. As many as 64 per cent of micro business have revealed that they rely on the help of their nearest and dearest to keep their business afloat with an average of six hours’ work put in by those close to the business owner.
A few of those contributing their valuable time and energy to help run these small businesses are paid an ‘average salary’ but more than half of those who regularly put time into a business are doing so for free. This usually takes the form of providing their experience and expertise to the business owner when it comes to making decisions about the future of their business, some are managing practical tasks such as running errands, dealing with online marketing such as social media accounts and providing childcare to allow the proprietor to work uninterrupted.
The traders who were relying on help from others usually needed a spouse, partner or close friend to help them run their business in a more manageable way, although emotional support was a close second. Lloyds believe that this reflects the difficulties inherent in setting up and maintaining a small business, with many owners relying on those around them to make a success of their venture, particularly in the early days. One in ten of approximately 500 business owners who responded to the survey said that they would not be afloat without the input of friends and family members to their businesses.
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