New report highlights challenges of business owners in 2019

Cash-flow, work-life balance, profitability and staffing are the key issues for small and medium business owners (SMBO) in 2019, according to new research.

The Small Business Galaxy Poll, commissioned by Officeworks in partnership with the Herald Sun, found that business owners are generally positive about the year ahead, with small business ownership remaining an essential ingredient in the 'Great Australian Dream' for many Aussies.

But while the dream of business ownership looks glam from the outside, it's still a tough gig. 

The report found that managing cash flow kept about a third of owners up at night. Looming deadlines worried 24 per cent and profitability and managing staff issues were concerns for 23 per cent. Sourcing new business was a worry for 22 per cent of owners.

Of the 500 businesses surveyed, 57 per cent said their business was a full-time job. Most businesses, at 67 per cent, were home-based, and nearly one in five described their business as a type of side hustle, supplementing their income. Of the home-based businesses, 82 per cent are turning over less than $50,000 a year.

Yet despite the challenges, Australians still highly value the 'bonuses' of running their own business, namely flexible hours, managing their work flow and freedom to make their own decisions. 

According to the Pulse, motivation for starting a business varied, with 31 per cent saying they were driven by passion and 27 per cent motivated by money.

However while SMBOs are thriving on the thrill and challenge of running their own business, the dream of flexibility and fewer hours isn't the reality, with many owners working harder and longer than they envisioned when they started their business.

Small business owners are encouraged to remmeber the importance of their own physical and mental health by prioritising scheduling time off and holidays where possible. Business experts say finding the right employees you can delegate to is essential to managing your work and home life. 

The common theme of the report is that when people go into business for themselves, they know they are going to work hard - but quite often don't realise just how hard. 

Yet despite the demands, hours and stresses of of running a business, 68 per cent of respondents said they were happy with their work-life balance and life as an SMBO. 


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