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As a small business owner, have you skipped paying yourself to protect your operation’s cash flow?

If so, you’re not alone. A survey by the financial services company Kabbage Inc. found that 51 percent have not paid themselves for multiple, consecutive months for cash flow reasons, and that’s among mostly established enterprises (the average survey participant has run her or his business for 10.5 years). In fact, one-fourth of small business owners have gone more than six months without a paycheck at some point.

Young white woman working in computer shop, checking bills and invoices with worried expression

The website Smallbusiness.com has a summary of the results, which show that skipping paychecks, even for a business owner, is stressful. Among the findings:

  • 63 percent regularly stress over or have anxiety due to cash flow concerns
  • 35 percent often lose sleep or have difficulty sleeping
  • 42 percent have sacrificed much of their social life and personal hobbies
  • 32 percent say their family life suffers
  • 91 percent spend as much as 20 hours per week on cash flow management