By Daniel Hunter

With the summer holidays just around the corner, millions of Brits are currently deciding whether to head to the Med, or place their faith in a staycation. But long hours, stress, and a fear of handing over control are giving rise to a new phenomenon among the UK’s five million small business owners — the ‘No-cation', according to Worldpay.

The study found that 70% of UK small business owners do not have a good enough work-life balance to take holiday. One in five small business owners say they haven’t had more than a week off in at least three years. And for one in ten, even the idea of a few days leave is off-limits, unless absolutely essential.

According to Worldpay’s research, the reality of juggling the day job with everything from finance, to HR, to chasing customers for payment can quickly become overwhelming, and work-life balance is the first thing to suffer.

Finance, cash-flow and paperwork top the list of business headaches, with the average small business owner spending the equivalent of 48 days per year on admin tasks, while more than 40% average a six or seven day week, just to stay afloat.

Dave Hobday, UK Managing Director, Worldpay, said: “Small business owners need a holiday more than most, but worries about sales, cashflow, and customer loyalty mean they often spend summer on the shop floor instead of the sun lounger.

“Operational tasks are a fact of life, but there’s something wrong if they start becoming a barrier to growth, prosperity and happiness. Business owners need to find ways to take back control of their information to become more efficient, make smarter decisions, and get that well-earned break.”

The study found that one in five small business owners use nothing more than a pen and paper to run their business. A third of SMEs admit they spend no time whatsoever analysing data about their business.