New research by NRMA Business Insurance shows the majority of small business owners believe the emotional benefits of running their own business outweigh the financial return.
The NRMA Insurance Business Owner Sentiment Study (BOSS) surveyed more than 1,000 small business owners and found they rated being the boss (66%), work flexibility (63%) and the sense of achievement (52%) above the financial rewards (24%) of owning a business.
However, research reveals there is little down time for small business owners with almost half (48%) admitting to losing sleep at night thinking about work. Most common concerns found included managing cash flow (42%), balancing their professional and personal life (33%) and managing financial responsibilities (30%).
“The majority of small business owners are enjoying the flexibility and autonomy of managing their own business with more than 85% telling us they would be willing to do it all over again,” said Craig Wigginton, spokesperson for NRMA Business Insurance.
“However, being accountable for running a business and managing employees can be stressful and time-consuming for even the most seasoned business owner, particularly when professional demands begin to impact personal wellbeing.”
The study highlights that owning your own business can come with a high personal toll with:
- one in three small business owners working more than 50 hours a week;
- 37% taking less than five days’ annual leave each year and 61% taking less than ten;
- 43% having to miss an important family event because of work; and
- over a third (37%) saying their business has put a strain on their relationships with family and friends.
The study also reveals that small business owners are more likely to go to their industry peers (50%), their partner (50%) or their friends (48%) for business advice than a paid professional (32%). Women were found to be more likely than men to seek professional advice (37% versus 28%).
“While friends, family and mentors can provide valuable advice when it comes to starting and growing a business, we would always recommend seeking support from an expert when it comes to financial and legal responsibilities,” said Wigginton.
“Our advice to small business owners would be to identify key areas outside of your expertise where you would benefit from professional advice and plan for times where you might need this extra help, like in the new financial year.”
 The 2016 NRMA Insurance Business Owner Sentiment Study is based on a quantitative survey of NRMA Business Insurance customers undertaken in June 2016. More than 1,000 small business owners employing less than 20 people in NSW, QLD, ACT and VIC took part in the survey.