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Families sacrificing for business survival - study

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand families are making the sacrifices necessary for businesses to survive. Almost three quarters of small business owners have to sacrifice time with their families in order to work longer hours, while 58 percent have had to cut back on family holidays, according to a new MYOB study.

The most recent MYOB Business Monitor, a regular survey of over 1000 New Zealand small and medium enterprises, found that New Zealand small business owners are routinely having to give up what they value most - time with their families - in order to keep their business running.

As a new financial year begins, New Zealanders should keep in mind the massive sacrifices made by small business owners and their families, says MYOB General Manager Julian Smith.

"Small business owners are some of the biggest drivers of the New Zealand economy, but I don't think there is a widespread understanding of the sort of sacrifices they are making. The research shows that small business owners are routinely having to give up time with their family if they want to stay in business," said Julian Smith.

According to the MYOB business monitor, the four most common sacrifices small business owners had to make all involved time away from their families:

74 percent of respondents said they often had to work longer hours

58 percent said they had cut back on family holidays.

48 percent said they had cut back on family or household expenses.

38 percent said they missed out on important family occasions.

"Small business owners are having to ask their families to give up a lot in order to keep their business running. That is a real burden on small business owners, and it's one that is not often appreciated," said Julian Smith.

According to the survey, small business owners consistently rate their relationships with their family as more valuable to them than their business and take more pride in their family than in their business success.

64% of those surveyed said they were very proud when their children succeeded, 63% said they were very proud when they first had children, and 53% said they were very proud of getting married or settling down with their partner.

By contrast, only 36% were very proud of getting their business to a level where it provided them with a comfortable living, and only 30% said they were very proud of their businesses' first month or year making a profit.

"So while small business owners are telling us that time with their family matters most to them, they are being forced to give up that time to make sure their business survives. Small businesses employ 31% of our workforce, with a further 10% self-employed, and make up nearly 90% of New Zealand businesses. The new financial year is a good time to look back and appreciate all the work and sacrifice that goes into keeping this vital part of our economy afloat."

Julian Smith says one of the things that business owners can do to reclaim time is gain more efficiency through their systems.

"This is precisely what drives businesses like MYOB to offer comprehensive time saving business systems that can make a real difference in freeing up business owners time to enjoy whatever they see as success, be that more time to work on business development or more time with their family."

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