With a significant number of catering equipment distributors being small to medium enterprises (SME), a new study by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) could make worrying reading for the sector.

According to the new research, more than half of small business owners (55%) claim their company’s growth is being held back by the amount of time they have to dedicate to business administration.

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The findings show that a small business owner spends over 33 hours every month on internal business administration – representing almost a quarter of an individual’s average working hours.

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In addition, a typical small business sees around 70 hours of employee time tied up in business admin alone.

Two-thirds of smaller businesses (67%) say the administrative burden is preventing them from focusing on their business’ primary purpose.

The study reveals that three-quarters of business owners (76%) spend more time than they would like on business compliance, tackling issues ranging from tax, employment law issues and insurance to dealing with workplace pensions, accounting tasks or health and safety issues.

Dave Stallon, commercial director at FSB, commented: “The government has pledged to remove £10bn worth of red tape over the course of this parliament.

“FSB welcomes this focus on deregulation, which should free up small business owners to spend more time doing business and creating economic growth.

“Initiatives like the Cutting Red Tape programme, the ‘one-in-three-out’ approach to new regulations, and steps to boost the Regulatory Policy Committee are all moves in the right direction.”