What Would You Do with 26 Hours of Your Time Back?

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26 Hours of Time Back

26 hours. According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, that is how long it takes – on average – to apply for a loan from a traditional lender. But let’s be honest: as a business owner, you don’t have that kind of time.

In OnDeck’s Main Street Pulse Report, we set out to learn what exactly you would do with 26 hours of your time back.

And one thing is clear: you are constantly racing against the clock. Read on for our study’s key findings.

So, What Would a Business Owner Do with 26 Hours Back?

For small business owners, there are not enough hours in the work week to get everything done to keep their business running successfully. One-third of those surveyed said they’d need an average of 69 hours per week to be successful – well above the national average work week of 47 hours.

In particular, the summer months can be busy for business owners, with 44 percent citing summer as their busiest season. One-third of business owners will not take a vacation this summer. However, according to our survey, a vacation wouldn’t be the first thing they chose to use their 26 hours on; instead, the majority of respondents (43 percent) said they would use those theoretical hours to spend quality time with family and friends.

After spending quality time with friends and family, 24 percent of business owners would use 26 hours of their time back to invest in their business, 22 percent would take a vacation, and 7 percent would pursue an extra-curricular passion outside of work.

To keep their business running, roughly half (49 percent) of the business owners surveyed say they’ve sacrificed personal time and an additional 33 percent say they’ve skimped on time with friends and family. Meanwhile, 10 percent say they’ve sacrificed their health because they don’t have enough time to exercise or go to the doctor.

Where Can Business Owners Use Extra Support? 

Beyond being short on time, many business owners struggle to take time away from their business because they don’t have a trusted “second in command.” Of those not taking a vacation this summer, 33 percent say they can’t leave their business for a long period of time, while 23 percent say they don’t have anyone they can trust to run their business while away.

In addition to needing a competent manager to rely on, many business owners can also use extra help with more straightforward tasks. If given access to a freelancer or intern, 33 percent of business owners would use the extra set of hands for administrative work, 18 percent for greeting customers and 15 percent for running social media accounts.

While applying for financing can often eat up a large amount of business owners’ time, some other areas of the business that they report as time-intensive were:

  • Customer service (42 percent)
  • Marketing (41 percent)
  • Accounting (33 percent)
  • People operations/HR (31 percent)

Reclaiming Time

All in all, 86 percent of business owners agree that exceptional time management is mandatory for business success, with 49 percent describing work/life balance as an illusion, not a reality.

So, how can business owners achieve some semblance of balance?

At OnDeck, we are 100% focused on making the small business loan process more efficient so business owners can dedicate more of their time and energy where it matters most to them.

In addition to streamlining the loan process, we support business owners with educational resources on business financing and management in our Small Business Resource Center.

So Tell Us… What Would YOU do with 26 Hours of Your Time Back?
There’s a lot you could do with an extra 26 hours – let us know what you would do with that time back.



Survey Methodology
The OnDeck Main Street Pulse Report was conducted online by Lucid Market Research from June 27 to July 1, using a national sample from the Lucid panel of small business owners. The 348 respondents surveyed come from a wide range of industries and geographies. To learn more, visit: www.luc.id.