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Small business owners sacrifice family time

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Small business owners pay for their success through a lack of family and personal time, a Curtin Business School study has found.

Money Can’t Buy Me Love’ explores the reflections of 59 financially successful Western Australian small businesses and finds that lack of personal time and harm to family life are common concerns.

Lead researcher Paull Weber said society often used financial data to measure business success, and in so doing ignored large personal sacrifices business owners made.

“In recent years we have seen a strong shift in research and management focus in larger organisations towards the importance of work-life balance,” Dr Weber said.

“However, work-life balance is often a foreign concept for small business owners.

“The results from the study suggest the small business owners, while they are overtly financially successful, pay for their success through a lack of personal and family time.”

The study focuses on a group of financially successful business owners with an average salary of $209,000 a year.

Dr Weber said the results created as many questions as they provided answers.

“Our study shows that there needs to [be] further research into the area of work-life balance amongst small business owners,” he said.

“Perhaps a better way to monitor success is to include more relevant measures of performance such as profit per hour worked.”

Co-authoring the study with Dr Weber were Louis Geneste and Carolyn Dickie.

A broader study into the matter of small business success is due for release in early 2012.

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