Survey reveals the emotional impact of running a small business

emotional, low confidence, sacrifices

A new survey by small business platform Xero reveals how running a small business has affected the personal lives of those who do so. Conducted by Lonergan Research, the survey of more than 500 Australian small-business owners and managers found that 81 per cent of them say that it’s taking away from their personal lives. Furthermore, 68 per cent say that the past 12 months have been more emotionally draining than any other year they’ve been in business.

The survey also found that many people running small businesses are missing out on a romantic life, with 39 per cent of singles unable to remember the last time they went on a date. In addition, 53 per cent have not enjoyed a family holiday because of the pressures of running their business. Stress and lack of sleep are also common, with 72 per cent experiencing symptoms of stress because of their business, and 45 per cent have experienced sleeplessness – overall, they have missed out on more than eight million hours of sleep each week due to the demands of running their business.

The survey was released in time for Xero’s launch of its Emotional Tax Return competition in which Australian small businesses can submit a claim for an emotional expense of running their business for a chance to win the share of a prize pool that totals $50,000.

“Running a business can be a highly rewarding experience but it’s likely to have its challenges,” Trent Innes, Managing Director of Xero Australia and Asia, said. “It’s often a juggling act and can lead to missing out on some of the funner things in life. And that’s only been heightened after a particularly challenging year. The research has really shone a light on some of the hidden emotional costs being felt by small business owners across the country.

“This year, we’re aiming to make tax time better and give back to some small business owners across the country through our Emotional Tax Return competition, giving them a chance to make up for some of the things they might have missed while on the journey of running their business,” Innes added.

The Emotional Tax Return competition is part of Xero’s overall Business, but better campaign designed to help small businesses do “beautiful business” by the end of financial year. The competition is open to small-business owners across the country with an annual turnover of less than $10 million and have fewer than 20 employees. They can enter the competition by heading to the Emotional Tax Return page on the Xero website.