SMALL BUSINESS | Personal lives are suffering

Most hard-working small-business owners are feeling the pinch at home with research from CGU Insurance showing their work-life balance and social lives are some of the biggest sacrifices they have to make to ensure the success of their businesses.

BACK SEAT: "Your happiness, and that of your family, shouldn’t have to take a back seat to your business,” said Kate Wellard. Generic picture: energepic.com, Pexels

BACK SEAT: "Your happiness, and that of your family, shouldn’t have to take a back seat to your business,” said Kate Wellard. Generic picture: energepic.com, Pexels

The survey of 921 business-owners reveals that although most small-business owners view success as the freedom to make their own decisions (68 per cent) and achieving work-life balance (66 per cent) – almost half are sacrificing work-life balance (41 per cent) and more than a third are missing out on important social events (35 per cent). 

REALITY: "But the reality is there are only so many hours in the day,” said Kate Wellard. Generic picture: Markus Spiske, Pexels

REALITY: "But the reality is there are only so many hours in the day,” said Kate Wellard. Generic picture: Markus Spiske, Pexels

According to CGU research the top sacrifices of small-business owners are:

Work/life balance: 41 per cent

Job security: 38 per cent

Missing events: 35 per cent

Isolation due to long hours: 33 per cent

Physical health: 17 per cent

So there are almost 850,000 small-business owners across Australia sacrificing work-life balance to make their business a success. 

“One of the biggest challenges of running a small business is finding a way to grow without it taking a toll on your personal life. Your happiness, and that of your family, shouldn’t have to take a back seat to your business but the reality is there are only so many hours in the day,” said Kate Wellard, small-business spokeswoman for CGU.

The company’s research reveals many owners struggle to get the help they need with one in five (20 per cent) saying attracting talent/accessing skilled workers is a key challenge. This equates to over 410,000 owners struggling to find help.

Attracting and keeping customers and managing legal/compliance matters are major challenges (43 per cent and 26 per cent). Many owners fee hopeful (32 per cent) and positive (22 per cent) but one in five feels underappreciated (19 per cent).

“Running a small business often means doing everything yourself but this often doesn’t lead to a healthy business or happy personal life. One of the best things about running your own business is you’re in the driver’s seat. You can make changes that make a difference,” said Ms Wellard.

“Work smarter, not harder. Making sure you have the right support in terms of staff and professional advice when you need it can make a huge difference. It can free up more time for family and friends or doing what you love. Networking is vital, with 56 per cent of owners saying this is their main business support. It may seem counter-productive when you’re already busy, finding time to network can lead to new opportunities, new solutions and new staff.”

  • Constructive ideas: cgu.com.au/moretime.

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