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NZ Businesswomen Expecting More in 2014


15 April 2014

NZ Businesswomen Expecting More in 2014
Women more likely than men to see themselves as successful
More focused on business growth via improving profitability

Women are more confident than men of revenue performance in the year ahead while many of them focus on business growth, according to a national survey released by MYOB at the NZICA Women in Business Forum in Auckland today.

In the latest MYOB Business Monitor Report, 48% of New Zealand’s female SME operators expect their business revenue to increase in the 12 months to February 2015, with just 8% expecting a fall. Only slightly fewer men expect an increase (47%), though noticeably more expect a fall (12%).

Women have already made significant gains in revenue growth in the last six months. 34% increased revenue in the prior year, up four percentage points higher on the August 2013 Monitor.

While confident about their own performance, they have lower expectations for short-term economic improvement. The Monitor shows 41% of women who run local businesses expect the domestic economy to improve within the 12 months to February 2015, compared to 54% of men.

Overall, women are more likely than men to rate their business as a success in this survey, with 73% describing their operation as successful, compared to 68% of male business operators.

Finding work/life balance

MYOB New Zealand National Manager Enterprise Division, Allison Fairkettle says although it can be incredibly hard work, running a business is also extremely rewarding for many local women.

“For women, running your own business can be a complex juggling act of a wide range of demands,” says Mrs Fairkettle. “However the results can be very rewarding.”

“This can be particularly seen in the opportunities women have to manage their personal, family and work priorities. Nearly two-thirds of women (60%) in this survey report they are satisfied with their work/life balance.”

Women more focused on business growth

When it comes to the aspirations and goals of the business owner, 50% of both men and women responded that their business wasn’t about making a lot of money. However, more women aspire to grow their business over the long-term, at 36%, compared to men at 33%.

The survey also highlighted a surprising result: more male SME operators (17%) say their business was more about pursuing their passion and money was a secondary consideration, compared to female operators, at 14%.

“What does business growth mean to SME operators? Ultimately, it seems women are setting themselves more pragmatic goals. For 84% of females, it’s about improving revenue, compared to 70% of males,” says Mrs Fairkettle. “For 50% of women it’s also about having a team or systems in place that enable them to have a good work/life balance, compared to just 37% of men.”

Women outperforming in retail/hospitality

The survey also revealed a strong performance for women in a key sector: retail and hospitality. Overall, female business operators in the sector reported higher revenue than the sector average, with 37% seeing a rise in the last 12 months, compared to 30% of all SME operators in retail and hospitality. Just 25% saw revenue decline, compared to 33% overall.

Looking at the year to February 2015, women in retail and hospitality expect to do even better. 58% expect a revenue increase, compared to 50% overall.

Christchurch women lead the way – though Auckland women expect to outpace

The best performing female-led businesses were in Christchurch, where 41% saw an increase in annual revenue, followed by Auckland at 34%, and then Wellington at 26%.

For the 12 months to February 2015, those in Auckland are more likely to expect a revenue gain than their southern counterparts. This is in contrast to the pattern for SMEs overall where the Christchurch rebuild dominates growth. 53% of Auckland women business operators and 48% of women in Christchurch expect to improve revenue, followed by 34% in Wellington.

“It’s great to see women achieving so much for the New Zealand economy and exciting that they are positioning themselves well to take advantage of future opportunities and growth in the local market,” says Mrs Fairkettle.

“It’s also heartening to see that women are using the opportunity of running their own business to achieve a better work-life balance – fulfilling their professional goals and aspirations without sacrificing their personal wellbeing.”

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB website, or its blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube sites.

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