How to set up and run a small business

You are here: Home » News » Half of all business owners rely on their partners for support

Half of all business owners rely on their partners for support

August 22, 2012

A new survey suggests that over half of all small limited company owners rely on help from their partners to run their businesses.

The poll, carried out by Direct Line for Business, paints an interesting picture of how small companies are run, and how spouses and partners are often the most trusted advisors a business owner has.

According to the findings, 48% of small company owners rely on their partners to undertake general administrative work. 19% take on their partners as receptionists, 14% provide ‘legal and accounting services’. Other typical duties carried out by ‘other halves’ include sales & marketing, IT functions, and acting as a PA.

One of the benefits of using the skills of a partner is that they are less likely to make a fuss about the amount of money they are paid. Almost one third of respondents to the poll said that they do not pay their partners anything at all. On average, the partners work two days per week, with a quarter working three or four days per week.

Loyalty is often cited as the most valuable characteristic business owners gain by employing (or using) family members to help run their companies. On average, partners have been working for their businesses for four and a half years, although 65% have other jobs elsewhere.

Commenting on the survey findings, Jazz Gakhal from the insurance provider said that is was ‘heartening’ to see the commitment of partners to sustaining small companies, often with little personal reward at all.

Unsurprisingly, given the industry sector he represents, Gakhal reminded small trade businesses to ensure that their partners are adequately covered in the event of an accident at work.