Almost one-fifth of entrepreneurs start their business as an investment strategy for the future, according to the latest MYOB research, while 18% start up because they want a seachange.
The findings come from the MYOB Business Monitor, a nationwide survey of small and medium-sized business owners and managers, established in 2004.
The most recent study ran after the federal budget announcement in May. It surveyed 1,004 operators, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors.
Among other things, respondents were asked, “What were the main reasons you started in your own business?”
The results were varied, with 19% saying they started their business as an investment strategy for the future, while 18% said they “wanted a total sea change from what I was doing”.
According to the study, 14% said they started up because they thought they could make money from a hobby or an interest, while 11% said they purchased a business previously established and owned by others.
Almost 10% said they were offered a partnership opportunity by someone else, while 7% said they took a redundancy from their employment and used the payout to start a business.
A total of 5% say they started up because they had reached retirement age but wanted to continue working, while 13% said they started up for “some other reason”.
The study shows 6% of respondents “don’t know” why they started up, while 16% didn’t start the business they operate.
According to MYOB, it’s not surprising that so many respondents started a business based on their desire for a seachange, or that hobbies and interests played a part for 14% of respondents.
“For Australia’s business owners, business isn’t business – it’s personal,” MYOB chief executive Tim Reed says.
Earlier this month, MYOB released findings on the proudest moments of business owners, with some surprising results.
More than 40% of the business owners surveyed said starting their business made them “very proud”, but business milestones were outshone by personal achievements.
More than half (54%) of the business owners surveyed said having children made them “very proud”, while 12% said it made them “quite proud”.
Almost 50% of business owners said seeing their children do well in their studies and/or sports made them very proud, while 16% felt quite proud.
This was followed by getting married or settling down with a partner – 48% were very proud while 19% were quite proud.
Almost 30% were very proud about buying their first property, while 43% were quite proud.
Starting their own business came in fifth – 31% were very proud, while 41% were quite proud – followed by growing their business to a level that offers a comfortable living (36% and 34%).
Reed said the survey results show there is more pride in achieving personal milestones than business milestones, although the latter still ranks highly.