SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Most small business owners may never know the true meaning of a nine-to-five workday or a five-day-a-week job, but the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index finds they wouldn't have it any other way. Today's small business owner works an average of 52 hours per week, with fifty-seven percent working at least six days a week, and more than twenty percent working all seven. Small business owners surveyed take an average of two weeks of vacation per year, with fourteen percent not taking any vacation at all. Of those taking a vacation, thirty-nine percent do work-related activities (phone calls, emails, etc.) during that time. However, sixty-five percent of those surveyed say they make time outside of work for things important to them, and forty-nine percent say their personal life is rarely affected by stress from work. "Perhaps the most obvious and important benefit of being a small business owner is that you get to do what you love and are inspired by everyday," said Richard Amador, CEO of CHARO Community Development Corporation in Los Angeles. "Yes, we battle stress and long hours, but the difference is we know we built this business, and it's our sweat equity that determines its success. This helps our businesses, our customers, and the economy." While sixty-seven percent are content with their work-life balance, another twenty-two percent are not. Despite some dissatisfaction with work-life balance, eighty-seven percent of all respondents say they're satisfied as a small business owner and ninety-four percent say they are successful. Moreover, eighty-four percent say that if they had to do it all over again, they would still become a small business owner. "All of us are looking for ways to improve our work-life balance. This is a unique challenge to manage, particularly for small business owners, who tend to wear multiple hats and do the jobs of many," said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, executive vice president and small business segment manager for Wells Fargo. "But small business owners have such strong optimism and are so passionate about what they do, it's not surprising this is carrying over into how they live their lives. Small business owners tackle the work-life balance challenge with enthusiasm and confidence, and demonstrate the two can co-exist." Forty-seven percent of small business owners surveyed say if they won $10 million in the lottery, they would still work in their current job. Only nine percent would stop working altogether, while eight percent would opt for a combination of work, pursuing other areas of interest, and volunteering. The Index, which measures business confidence and overall market conditions as seen by small business owners, dropped 11 points, 110 to 99, over the past quarter. This is the first drop in the Index score since third quarter 2004. The decline, mostly seen in small business owner's expectations for the year ahead, could be attributed to the continuation of high energy prices, particularly gasoline prices, which reduce the disposable income of consumers and can contribute to reduced sales. High energy prices also create higher operating costs for small businesses, which could be another contributing factor. To understand and support the growth of small businesses nationwide, Wells Fargo partnered with the Gallup Organization to create the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. Since the third quarter of 2003, the Index has surveyed small business owners on their perception of current conditions and future expectations relating to financial situation, revenues, cash flow, capital spending, number of jobs and credit availability. About Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $435 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,000 stores and the Internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the United States to receive the highest possible credit rating, "Aaa," from Moody's Investors Service. Providing financial products and services to more than one million businesses with annual sales up to $20 million in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, Wells Fargo is the #1 lender to small businesses in the United States in total dollar volume according to the most recent CRA data (2003). The second largest national SBA lender in dollars, Wells Fargo is an SBA Preferred Lender in 28 states, and originated 3,555 loans for $495 million in 2004. Wells Fargo has also been ranked the number one SBA 504 lender nationally for the last two years. Its targeted business services programs provide outreach and education to women, African American, Latino, and Asian business owners about financial services. Since 1995, Wells Fargo has loaned more than $25 billion to women and minority business owners. About the Gallup Organization For more than 60 years, the Gallup Organization has been a recognized leader in the measurement and analysis of people's attitudes, opinions and behavior. While best known for the Gallup Poll, founded in 1935, Gallup's current activities consist largely of providing marketing and management research, advisory services and education to the world's largest corporations and institutions.
SOURCE Wells Fargo & Company