Third of all UK entrepreneurs have ‘fallen out of love’ with their business

employee happiness

While many business owners start companies to pursue their passion, a new survey confirms that this feeling doesn’t last forever.

One third of UK small business owners have completely lost the motivation to run their company since starting up. Of those, one quarter experience this feeling several times a year.

The study explores the factors that affect motivation for UK entrepreneurs, how it impacts them and what they can do to rekindle the passion for their company.

“Starting a business is not so different to starting a relationship. There is the honeymoon phase that carries you through for a while, but long-lasting relationships and businesses both require a lot of work and can come with a few rough patches,” says Vistaprint Customer Strategy and Insights Director Simon Braier, who commissioned the work. “By consistently reminding yourself why you started your business and seizing new opportunities you can avoid slumps in motivation and keep the spark alive.”

When considering the factors most likely to make UK entrepreneurs lose their business mojo, money worries come out on top. Lack of a regular/stable salary is the most common reason for losing motivation, followed by high levels of stress and lower than expected earning potential.

Concerns about money can create a vicious cycle for business owners, as it’s the most business-critical work that is first affected during a lapse in motivation. When asked how they realise they are losing motivation, most respondents say they find themselves procrastinating on projects that are pivotal for their business. Activities that can help to bring in new customers are next on the list to suffer, as unmotivated UK business owners say they are less likely to update their website followed by not posting on social media.

Losing the love for their company can impact an entrepreneur’s wellbeing too, as nearly half of business owners feel guilty when they put off work. On a more positive note, a lack of motivation is temporary for most UK business owners, as only one fifth have considered closing their company down in the previous year.

For entrepreneurs who need to reignite the passion for their work, purpose is the most powerful driver. Most UK business owners regain their motivation by reminding themselves why they started their company in the first place. This is followed by remaining positive and setting new goals.

When asked how they keep their business fresh over the years, UK business owners are most likely to expand their product/service offering, highlighting the importance of seizing new opportunities. Taking time away to “reset” and forging new partnerships with other businesses also rank high as important ways for business owners to stay plugged in.

“Working closely with UK small business owners, we understand many of their pain points,” says Vistaprint UK market lead Charlotte Holmes-Darby. “We’re determined to alleviate as many of these hurdles as possible. From continually expanding and improving our product selection to offering inspiration and expert guidance, we aim to help small business owners be prepared for all the ups and downs they may face.”