Biggest Bugbears of a Beauty Biz Owner


Attracting new customers, balancing professional/personal life and working long work hours are the three biggest stressors of small business owners in the beauty, health and wellbeing industries, according to new national research.

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The survey of 1500 small business owners released this week by NRMA Business Insurance found that yours is the “Passion Industry” and that you are most likely to have started your business to “do what I love for a living” – 31% versus 24% on average.

Further, that “being my own boss” scored as the best thing by beauty, health and wellbeing professionals about running one’s own enterprise – 54% compared to a national average of 47%.

And nearly half (47%) of those canvassed in the sector by the annual NRMA Insurance Business Owner Sentiment Study (BOSS) survey said they want more help with their marketing and communications.

The main finding of this year’s BOSS was that, across the spectrum of industries, Gen Y and Millennial small business owners (aged 18-34) are the hardest working and most ambitious in the country, working longer hours, taking less holidays and holding loftier ambitions for their business than their older counterparts.

The research found:

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  • More than a quarter (27%) of small business owners aged 18-34 are working more than 50 hours each week, compared to 24% of small business owners aged 55 and over
  • More than two thirds (70%) are taking less than two weeks’ holiday each year, compared to 49% of small business owners aged 55 and over
  • 43% said they want to dominate their industry, become a household name, or earn as much money as possible, compared to just a fifth (21%) of older small business owners who share the same ambitions
  • Nearly 1 in 3 (29%) Gen Y and Millennial business owners say they started their business to follow their passion, compared to less than a quarter (23%) of those aged 35 and over.

“We know Millennials are like no generation before them, seeking job environments that offer flexibility, autonomy and a sense of purpose, as well as the creative freedom to grow and move around,” said Amanda Whiting, Executive General Manager of Small Business for NRMA Business Insurance.

“While this often wrongly lands Millennials the reputation as fickle or entitled, it is these qualities, coupled with Gen Ys and Millennials being the most ambitious and tech-savvy generations, that make younger people well suited to running their own business.

“It is particularly interesting to see that while Millennial small business owners might be working longer hours and taking less holiday than their corporate counterparts, the sense of purpose and achievement which comes with being your own boss outweighs the hard yards.”

The study also asked small business owners what they love most, what causes them the most stress and what they find most rewarding about running their own business. The findings showed Gen Y small business owners are the most stressed in the country, about a range of issues including:

  • Managing their cash flow (41% compared to a national average of 33%)
  • Working long hours (25% compared to a national average of 22%)
  • Their financial responsibilities (29% compared to a national average of 23%)
  • Staying ahead of the competition (15% compared to a national average of 11%)
  • Attracting new customers (27% compared to a national average of 23%).

Despite the stress and personal toll that comes with running a small business, 70% of young small business owners are confident that their business will have a better 12 months ahead, while 58% of small business owners aged 35 and over share this optimism.

“No one is an expert at everything and even the most experienced small business owners can feel out of their depth from time to time,” says Ms Whiting.

“Our advice to small business owners both young and old, is to build a network of trusted experts who you can lean-on when you need practical professional advice and support.”

Overall the BOSS survey found when asked to name what causes them the most stress, small business owners nominated the following:

  1. Managing cash flow (33%)
  2. Balancing their professional and personal lives (30%)
  3. The increasing costs of doing business (24%)
  4. Attracting new customers (23%)
  5. Managing their financial responsibilities (23%)

When asked what they most liked about running a small business, owners said the:

  • Freedom and flexibility (62%)
  • Sense of achievement (54%)
  • Being their own boss (47%)

… all of which outweighs the financial rewards (27%) of running a business.

However, 41% say they have missed an important family event because of work and another 43% say their work places a strain on relationships with families and friends.

When it comes to their ambitions, small business owners are in it for the lifestyle, with a majority (70%) either happy with how their business is performing (26%) or not willing to trade further financial rewards for their lifestyle (44%).

Only 14% want to grow to become the dominant player in their industry while less than 1 in 10 (8%) just want to make as much money as possible.

  • Following their passion and doing what they love for a living (24%) was the number one motivator for starting a business, while the desire to be the boss (22%) was a close second. The longing for a lifestyle change (11%) was the third biggest motivator.
  • When asked where they would like more help, nearly half (45%) of all small business owners nominated financial management as the area where they need the most help.
  • Another third (36%) nominated marketing and communications
  • 16% said their legal responsibilities is where they need help the most.
  • Just 5% said they run their business by getting professional advice
  • 1 in 5 (19%) said they run their business by “trusting their instinct and going with their gut”.
  • Small businesses are worried about digital disruption, with nearly half (47%) saying they’re concerned about the impact of new technologies and automation on their business.
  • The majority of small business owners are confident that there are better days ahead with 60% believing the next 12 months will be better for their business than the previous year.

Top five perceived risks for small business

  1. Increased competition
  2. Changes in the Australian economy
  3. Workplace health and safety risks
  4. Legal risks
  5. Natural disasters


By Spa+Clinic Team

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