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Despite many starting a business to pursue a passion, new research suggests that a third of the UK's small entrepreneurs have fallen out of love with their business.

Thirty-two per cent of entrepreneurs surveyed by Vistaprint said they have completely lost all motivation to run their business since launching. And a quarter of those say they experience this feeling several times a year.

“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,” saidVistaprint customer strategy and insights director Simon Braier.

“By consistently reminding yourself why you started your business and seizing new opportunities you can avoid slumps in motivation and keep the spark alive.”

A lack of regular or stable income, high levels of stress and lower than expected earning potential were the biggest reasons cited for losing 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 (46%) 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 (21%) 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.”