Work/life balance separates successful entrepreneurs from those who fail

New research reveals common traits needed to create a successful small business - time with family and investment in tech listed as "success factors"

Entrepreneurs are more likely to be successful if they make time for family and have a good work/life balance, that’s according to new research published by Xero today in its Make or Break study.

Surveying over 1,050 small business owners in the UK and over 1,000 in the US, the report looked at the factors which separate “thriving” small businesses from those that fail. It found that the majority of “successful” small business owners made time for their loved ones and family, with 58%  having cited spending time with family in the evenings as crucial to the effectiveness of their company.

What’s more, the report indicated that small business owners who had previously failed with a venture were more likely to achieve success the second time around and also suggested that service businesses were more likely to succeed than product businesses. 59% of service businesses survived in the last year, compared to 19% of product businesses.   

Other “success factors” listed in the report included:

  • An investment in technology  – 86% of small businesses were found to use technology to increase productivity
  • A lean start-up approach – 51% of the small firms surveyed said they had used less than £5,000 to start-up
  • Mentoring – A third of successful entrepreneurs said they had turned to mentors to help them grow their business
  • The ability to manage finances – 65% of entrepreneurs who had to close a business said it was due to financial issues such as cashflow and access to capital

Xero UK managing director, Gary Turner, said of the report:

“What small businesses learn from early failure can be a positive thing.

“Second time round, small business owners learned to keep costs to a minimum, limit overheads like rent and employees, and are more likely to develop robust business plans and take a more considered approach, limiting expansion before hitting profit targets. Businesses come back stronger the second time round.”

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