More than half of small business owners (55%) say growth is being held back by the amount of time they are forced to spend on business administration, new research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed.

According to the findings, a small business owner spends over 33 hours each month on internal business administration – more than double the time they spend on new business development.

Owners say they could use the time spent on business administration more productively, with 61% claiming they would spend more time on sales development.

Just under 70% say that the burden of tackling issues, ranging from tax to employment law, insurance, and health and safety, is preventing them from focusing on their business’ primary purpose.

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

Accounting tasks, such as paying suppliers, takes the longest amount of time according to the survey, followed by business banking and tax.

Dave Stallon, commercial director at the FSB said: “It is a common frustration amongst owners of smaller companies that they are unable to find the time to work on their real business activities, because they are too busy completing administrative tasks, however essential they are.

“These businesses need expert support they can trust in order to minimise time dedicated to business administration. If they do this, they can maximise the time spent making their businesses bigger, better and more profitable.”

“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.”