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Nearly Half Of All Kiwi Business Owners In It For Lifestyle


Media release: 29 August 2011

Nearly Half Of All Kiwi Business Owners In It For The Lifestyle

Kiwi business owners have a more enviable lifestyle than their Aussie cousins – with 44% believing they can maintain a work/life balance, compared to just 35% of Australian business owners, according to a new MYOB Business Monitor report.

According to the survey, 30% of Aussie business owners think work/life balance is a myth, compared with just 25% of Kiwis who own their own business.

The survey also revealed that around half (48%) of all local businesses are run by an owner who is working to achieve a range of lifestyle goals, compared to just 40% of Aussie business owners who are in it for the lifestyle.

MYOB general manager Julian Smith says although we tend to characterise life as easier across the ditch, it is Kiwi business owners who are more laid-back.

“It appears that Kiwi business owners are better able to maintain a balance between their working life and family, leisure and other lifestyle pursuits.”

“More local business owners too have set up their own operations in order to enjoy the freedom and flexibility being a business owner can bring – provided you can achieve that all-important work/life balance, something around a quarter of Kiwi business owners struggle to do.”

Mr Smith says while its encouraging to see local business owners defining success in more ways than just making a profit or achieving growth, having a large lifestyle-focused business segment is not all good news for the economy.

“Business owners that are lifestyle seekers have the lowest confidence in the economy – with just 22% expecting to see improvement in the next 12 months,” says Julian Smith.

“They are also the least confident about future revenues, with just 28% expecting increased revenue in the next year, and have less work in the short term – just 25% reported an improved sales pipeline for the April – June quarter.”

The report also highlighted some marked differences in industry sectors when it comes to maintaining a work/life balance. The retail and hospitality sector appears to demand the most from business owners, with 32% saying work/life balance is a myth, followed by the manufacturing and wholesale industry (27%), while the finance and insurance sector (55%) and the property and professional services industries (49%) are most likely to see a work life balance as possible.

Business owners in Otago/Southland feel they are most likely to be able to create a work/life balance (51%), followed by Taranaki (49%), Wellington (48%) and Northland (46%). Just 38% of business owners in Bay of Plenty and 35% Hawke’s Bay and see themselves as having work/life balance.

“People go into business for a broad variety of reasons, and it’s a mistake to characterise all business owners as having the same needs, ambitions or measures of personal and professional success,” says Julian Smith.

“However, whatever your motivation – whether you want to build your company into a huge organization, or just create a good job for yourself that gives you the freedom to do more of the things you love – the key to creating success at any level is to find ways to work more effectively, rather than just work more.”

“MYOB’s guiding vision for the last 20 years is to make business life easier – to free business owners to achieve success, however they define it.”

- ENDS -

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