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Work/life balance…

time vs money scalesA survey conducted last year by a software firm called Reckon indicated that over 50% of respondents judge their success by having a life/work balance rather than high profits (as preferred by 33% of them.) The survey questioned 1300 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) across Australia.

In comparison, a survey by the Business Mums Network, also last year, discovered that nearly 65% of respondents (mostly micro businesses run at home by mothers) started a business to be with their children and 44% started to earn money.

In both cases, it appears that small business owners are interested in a life/work balance, including more family time, that they believe is available as employees. Although the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008 (released last week) indicates that employees have reduced their working hours in the last 6 or 7 years (41.4 hours per week in 1999/2000 and 39.4 in 2006/07)

The Reckon survey also pointed out that 18% of SMEs found the accounting aspect of business to be holding them back from success (that is, accounts take up time that could otherwise be used for family time) and 17% found a drop in personal drive to be limiting.

What do you think? Do you run a small business for control and life balance, or primarily for profits? Is there a certain aspect of your business that you find particularly difficult or time consuming?

PS A new survey is currently underway to find out how small/micro businesses view their finances. It will be interesting to see if the micro business responses again differ from the SME responses.