In this communication we will again address the question of “WHAT IS KEEPING YOU AWAKE NIGHT”, based on the research of B Star, a research house based in Australia. In particular we will discuss the subject of Stress and Lifestyle balance.
B Star, report that stress and lifestyle was tabled as the number 3 concern of all business owners.
“The stress is getting to nervous breakdown stage”
The success of SME’s is heavily dependent on the involvement and personal effort of the business owners.
Research by B Star report that only 30% of owners believed their business could operate without them.
Consequently, the majority of business owners foster their stress levels by not taking regular breaks.
Despite this, little is being done to reduce the day to day dependence on the business owner.
“I stepped out of the business for 18 months to pursue another venture. It didn’t work. Without my direct involvement, the books were a mess. No-one was following the systems or collecting debtors. I had to come back”
Given this dependence, it is very important that owners take care of themselves. Notably, 79% of owners say they are paying attention to their diet and overall health.
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is fundamental to preventing the onset of burnout and exhaustion, which remain key risk factors for business owners.
The majority of business owners report being tied to working in their business, with only 57% being able to spend their desired amount of quality time with family.
“I am thinking of stopping full time work in 5 years. I would just like to enjoy my family. I don’t spend enough time with them now.’
Staff can be a way to reduce stress through delegation of responsibility and sharing of workload. However only 49% of business owners believe their staff are engaged to grow their business.
Some 70% of business owners were not managing staff with strategies for staff retention and motivation. As a result, businesses that employ staff are more likely to indicate stress caused by staff management and motivation.
Family owned and operated businesses can also generate their own, unique stress. Families do not always work well together in a business. Children may not have the necessary skills, and may not want to work in or take over the family business.
“I need someone to replace me, and sit in the driver’s seat. My daughter would not be good in the office, and we clash too much. My son is too young and wouldn’t handle the stress”
Different expectations between family members often causes conflict and stress. For example, misunderstandings and assumptions, instead of communication are common.
“Succession is on hold for now. We are sorting out conflict within the family”
Adding to personal stress, business owners sometimes report that they need to make choices between their obligations to family, or their business.
“Right now I am focused on family, rather than building business value. I am happy where we are now. The kids are growing up. Growth is a consideration for the future (1-5 years)”
Where is this all leading to? Well in summary, many owners create the imbalance of stress and lifestyle themselves. They are the business, they continue to work in their business and not on it. When looking to sell the business the perceived value that the owner is expecting is not evident as they are the strength behind the value of the business they have built.
You can depend on Insight CA Limited, as your Trusted Advisor and Accountability Partner to properly plan and provide for the needs of your business and its ongoing journey of growth and succession, while creating value in the business with less reliance on the business owner, thereby in time reducing the stress and creating a more balanced lifestyle choice.