One-Third of Small Business Owners Report Losing Motivation
Starting a new business can be extremely exciting as the fruits of your labor and vision are realized. Unfortunately, as time goes on and as that shine wears off, some entrepreneurs may find themselves feeling less motivated to manage their businesses. If that’s the way you’re feeling, it may be nice to know that you’re certainly not alone.
According to a recent study by Vistaprint (as shared by Small Business Trends), one-third of entrepreneurs report losing motivation since initially launching their businesses. This survey talked to 1,030 small business owners across three countries: the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Specifically, Vistaprint focused on businesses with fewer than 10 employees and ranked responses by the participant’s location.
Here at home, respondents said their top reason for losing motivation was the level of stress involved with running a business. Meanwhile those in Canada and the U.K. cited the lack of predictable or stable income as their top concern. That sentiment actually ranked second among American business owners with lack of work-life balance coming in third.
Vistaprint also asked entrepreneurs about some of the side effects of losing motivation and how they identify when it’s happening. Across the board (or around the globe, as it were) the top answer was that business owners would procrastinate on necessary projects. Placing second in the U.S. and Canada, respondents said they stopped posting on social media when their motivation levels fell. Similarly entrepreneurs in the U.K. reported not updating their website as much when motivation was lacking.
Regarding the study’s findings, Vistaprint Customer Strategy and Insights Director Simon Braier said, “Starting a business is not so different from 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.” However, Braier notes that, “By consistently reminding yourself why you started your business and seizing new opportunities you can avoid slumps in motivation and keep the spark alive.” Additionally the survey asked respondents for some of their best tips for staying motivated, with top responses including seeking new challenges, setting new goals, and refreshing your brand. Others suggested creating in-store events, partnering with other businesses, and expanding the products or services your offer.
Ultimately there’s a high chance that you as an entrepreneur will experience ebbs and flows in terms of your motivation. In these cases, referring to the tips offered by Vistaprint’s study participants may help you turn things around. Alternatively, if your lack of motivation turns out to be more than just a temporary funk and seems to signal that a change is necessary, there’s no shame in pivoting. Whether that means selling your business, starting a new one, or choosing one of many other options, what’s important is that you find what makes you happy and sparks your motivation once again.