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How to get back in touch with the reason why you got into business

There’s a reason why you’re in business. It’s what makes you turn up each day and keep pushing. Maybe it’s the freedom of being your own boss, the satisfaction of helping others, the thrill of upskilling, or even just the life your job affords you.

Self-employment can be a rewarding, but demanding way to make a living. It takes persistence, dedication and resourcefulness to work for yourself and build a successful business.

Sometimes, the pressure and stresses of work can get in the way of why you started your business in the first place. It’s tough out there, and you can end up bogged down, confused, or losing touch with what’s at the core of why you do it.

When I’m talking to small business owners, there are many sources of stress for small business owners. Below are just some of the key ones, but there are many ways to overcome these and reconnect with why you’re in it.

I’m stressed about money

The small business economy is a major part of Aotearoa’s economy, contributing more than a quarter of GDP and accounting for 97 percent of all businesses across the country.

When our small business community is humming, everyone benefits. Whatever your industry, there are digital tools to help you keep better track of how your business is doing.

For example, signing up to Digital Boost will give you the tools and insight you need to understand how to improve your cashflow and productivity.

It’s free, only takes a minute, and can really help Kiwi small business owners with their understanding of money issues within their business – as well as the potential solutions to them.

I’m working too much

For many Kiwis, making the decision to become a small business owner is rooted in the ability to be their own boss and live more flexibly while working fewer hours.
But this isn’t always the case – small business leaders are telling us they are working unsustainably long hours.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 small business owners and sole traders across Aotearoa, one in three small business owners feel they’re working too many hours a week.1

Not only this, but more than a quarter of them believe the number of hours they work per week is unsustainable.2

Overworking can have a negative impact on your wellbeing and eventually lead to burnout, not to mention directly impacting your bottom line as you’re less likely to make your best business decisions when under pressure.

Digitisation is the key to unlocking time and streamlining administrative tasks, with almost half of small business owners thinking their wellbeing would be improved by making their business more productive with digital tools.

I’m not looking after myself

When you’re focusing on the success of your business, it can be easy to let things like your wellbeing fall down the priority list.

But you’re not doing your best work when the pressures of life and business get too much. Now’s the time to take control of your wellbeing and the health of your business.

That’s why Xero has developed the Self-Employed Check-In, a guide to improving resilience and wellbeing in the workplace with a focus on self-employed Kiwis.

By establishing routines and rhythms, setting clear boundaries, managing stress with the tools available, taking small steps to look after yourself and finding support, the guide details how little steps can add up to big changes over time.

I’m worried about my team’s wellbeing

It’s hard to know what to do when your team is struggling. But as a manager, you need to help make sure they’re cared for and have the support they need.

Establishing a supportive work environment is not only the right thing to do, it can make your business more profitable.

There are also wellbeing support services you can offer your team. If you use Xero, you, your employees and families have access to free confidential professional counselling sessions through the Xero Assistance Programme (XAP).

By understanding what’s getting in the way of your why, you can get back on track faster and reconnect with what made you start a business in the first place.

It’s time to take action and reconnect with your why.

Visit Xero.com/why-were-in-it to find out more.

1. 32.7% of small business owners believe they work too many hours a week.
2. 28.3% of small business owners don’t think it’s sustainable to keep working the number of hours they currently do.

Read: Boost business wellbeing without the big budgets

Craig Hudson
Xero Managing Director for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

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