33 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 latest Main Street Pulse Report, we set out to learn what exactly you would do with 33 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, and tune in to OnDeck’s Facebook page over the next couple of weeks for a series of time management resources to help you run your business more efficiently.

So, What Would a Business Owner Do with 33 Hours Back?
For small business owners, the summer months can be especially busy, with 44 percent citing summer as their busiest season. One-third of business owners will not take a vacation this summer, but according to our survey, that’s not the top priority – instead, the majority of respondents (43 percent) said they would choose to take those 33 theoretical hours to spend quality time with family and friends.

Small Business Owners and Time:

  • After spending quality time with friends and family, business owners would use 33 hours of their time back to invest in their business (24 percent), take a vacation (22 percent), pursue an extra-curricular passion outside of work (7 percent) and give back to their local community (3 percent).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 addition to applying for credit, small business owners say other time-intensive areas of running a business include customer service (42 percent), marketing (41 percent), accounting (33 percent) and people operations/HR (31 percent).
  • If given access to a freelancer or intern, they’d use the extra set of hands for administrative work (33 percent), greeting customers (18 percent) and running social media accounts (15 percent).
  • All in all, 86 percent agree that exceptional time management is mandatory for business success, with 49 percent describing work/life balance as an illusion, not a reality.

Reclaiming Time
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 focus more of their time and energy where it matters most to them. In addition to streamlining the loan process, we’ll be sharing time management tools over the coming weeks to help you be more efficient:

Time Management Series
OnDeck will provide time management tips to streamline common time-intensive areas of running a business, including marketing, customer service and people operations. The advice, which also includes work/life balance best practices, comes from OnDeck executives, SCORE President David Bobbitt, small business owners and other small business experts. SCORE is a non-profit organization comprised of 11,000+ volunteer mentors who provide free and confidential small business mentoring and advice.

Facebook Live Chat: 7 Ways Small Business Owners Can Be More Efficient Marketers
OnDeck’s small business expert Ty Kiisel will host a Facebook Live chat to share time management tips and best practices for being a more efficient marketer. To participate, tune in to OnDeck’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/OnDeckCapital on Thursday, September 1 at 2 p.m. EDT.

Quickbooks Online Essentials Contest: Streamline Your Accounting
OnDeck is hosting a contest for small business owners on their Facebook page to win a year’s subscription to Quickbooks Online Essentials. One lucky business owner will be able to more efficiently track income and expenses, create estimates and invoices, manage and pay bills, generate sales and profit reports, and more. Visit Facebook.com/OnDeckCapital to enter. The contest launches today and will run through August 31, 2016. A winner will be notified the week of September 6, 2016.

So Tell Us… What Would YOU do with 33 Hours of Your Time Back?
There’s a lot you could do with an extra 33 hours. Take a look at the video below, then 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.

Take your business further with the experts in small business lending

Apply in minutes

— No obligation

Apply Now

Would you rather talk to us?

Give us a call

(888) 269-4246