Office Depot reveals the findings of its Annual Women's Small Business Survey
Many surveyed said finding the balance between work and life is easier when you have your own business.
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One thousand women small business owners were consulted between Feb. 1 and 6 by Office Depot about the challenges they face when running a business amid the U.S.'s current economic climate.
Kevin Moffitt, executive vice president of The ODP Corporation and president of Office Depot, stated:
We’re committed to helping these entrepreneurs get everything they need to succeed.
Conducted by market research firm OnePoll, here are some of the biggest revelations:
- 70% enjoy being their own boss
- 1 in 6 say they feel stress every day
- 28% started a business out of necessity, after losing their jobs
- 23% have problems with fatigue
- 13% reported difficulties finding employees
- 42% said funding concerns have decreased
- 73% said their work-life balance has improved since opening their own business
- 59% aimed to increase their profits in the next year
- 53% aspired to expand their customer base and 28% are looking to expand their business
- 35% expressed a need for marketing help
- 34% requested networking tools or platforms
- 25% sought greater access to office supplies
The home office
“The last few years have demonstrated that it’s possible to start, run and grow a successful business from home with the right products, services and solutions,” added Moffitt.
With 55% of small businesses operating from home, the survey asked about the challenges:
- 1 in 5 say they have invested more than $5,000 of their own money in household equipment and tools to help run their business. This includes purchases like laptops (36%), printers (35%), and software (24%)
- 35% employ family members
- 19% avoid hiring relatives
The most common challenges, as quoted from those surveyed, were as follows:
- “Always being on the clock”
- “Balancing distractions, staying on task, organizing space, and managing work-life in the same space”
- “Being able to lie down too much. Not having co-worker camaraderie”
- “Customers wanting to come into an actual office space”
- “Finding enough space for storage”
- “Finding qualified employees is the most difficult part of running my business”
- “Getting so consumed and hyper-focused...tend to work longer hours. Will also pop in the office to work after hours too often”
- “Having a very young child and needing to balance getting a job done in a timely manner as a single parent”
- “Just having the motivation to work at home sometimes is rough”
- “Keeping personal information private and not being productive”
- “Making new contacts”
- “Missing out on the 'human touch' or being with other people (in person)”
- “Stable internet connection”
- “Sticking to a schedule while trying to be a full-time mom”
- “That people expect me to be available all of the time, just because I'm at home and not at an office”
- “Building a brand, developing a customer base, and so on”
- “Not having enough space, not having big enough equipment, and not having a commercial store to sell my product in”
- “The worst thing is when people think that they can bother you during your work hours just because they know that you are at home”
- “Time management and lack of efficient workspace”
“When provided with easy access to innovative tools and resources, the sky is the limit for what these small business owners can achieve. And that success ripples throughout their communities, inspiring others and spurring new businesses,” said Wesley Brinkhurst, vice president of marketing for Office Depot.
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