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The Biggest Business Issue Facing NZ Business Owners in 2020

Article by Rob Dorey

What are the key issues for New Zealand business owners?

We all know business owners in New Zealand face a lot of issues on a daily basis, and some of those can be a real challenge.

It may come as a surprise for you to learn the results from a recent survey conducted by a business consulting firm, where NZ SME Owners [Small and Medium sized businesses] were asked what the biggest issue is in their businesses.

“51% of the people interviewed, identified that achieving work/life balance was the main issue in their business and 41% identified their issue as time management.”

Consensus was both issues were seen as areas that needed support and something they could not fix on their own.

SME’s are a big deal in New Zealand

Considering New Zealand has approximately 350,000 SME businesses contributing approximately 30% of New Zealand's GDP, reducing business owner stress is an issue that management training service providers are particularly interested in.

Looking deeper into the issue, we see that this is not isolated to New Zealand business owners. Overseas business advisors and coaches are seeing the same trends.

Why is it so hard to achieve work/life balance in business?

Work/life balance is usually a defined problem linked directly to poor business performance, staff inefficiency or failing business systems.

Professional business advisor Rob Dorey sees all sorts of variations of work/life balance challenges regularly with business owners. The sort of comments we hear:

  • It is so hard to get time to spend with my family as my phone rings constantly and I am always behind with my emails.
  • I can't really leave the business for any length of time as things turn to custard
  • I am not sure how I can set up things that would give me more time off without damaging profits
  • I have tried to write a business plan and employ more staff to free me up but it's just too busy
  • My phone never stops and I spend a lot of time involved in the office side of things when I should be out promoting my business.

SME business owners are being pulled in all directions and potentially this is definitely part of the reason they are struggling with work/life balance.

This "overwhelm factor" has been diagnosed by some of the world's leading emotional health experts. It is a condition known globally as ADT (Attention Deficit Trait) and is becoming the biggest challenge to small businesses owners globally.

Is Attention Deficit Trait affecting you?

ADT stands for Attention Deficit Trait* and put simply ADT means the brain circuits are overloaded and simply can't process any more data.

This leads to the business owner gradually losing the capacity to attend fully or focus on any one task to get it done.

What contributes to brain overload?

  • A tidal wave of tasks coming in daily
  • Relentless requests from customers and staff members
  • Emails mounting up
  • Social media distracting and putting more data into the brain
  • Smart phones and business owners being on call 24/7
  • Family commitments and pressures

What tends to happen next is the business owner goes into total overwhelm and the following symptoms can be seen in daily life:

  • Distractibility
  • Impatience
  • Difficulty in staying organised
  • Procrastination
  • Pretending everything is fine
  • Constant low level feeling of panic
  • A tendency to miss deadlines
  • Guilt because unable to keep up
  • Working in survival mode daily

The cycle continues relentlessly 24/7 and gradually gets worse. The good news is this is not a disease but rather a state of mind that can be remedied.

The experts say that the brain (when in a state of ADT), has an extremely high overwhelm factor and becomes so hyper-focused on the day-to-day issues, that it has no time to instruct us to go out and seek help.

Combine this with a good dose of "Kiwi" pride and the end results is business owners battling away on their own and getting more and more frustrated as time progresses.

Our brain is designed to protect us, by putting up mechanisms of defence known as "emotional-cognitive constellations".

In other words the brain (when in a state of ADT), has extremely high overwhelm factor and becomes so hyper-focused on the day to day issues, that it has no time to instruct us to go out and seek help.

Combine this with a good dose of "Kiwi pride” and the end results is business owners battling away on their own and getting more and more frustrated as time progresses.

Simple solutions that may help:

  1. Talk to a friend

    The ear of a good friend can be helpful for business owners even if it is just to release some stress and take time to process what is going on inside the business. However, no major financial decisions should be ever taken from these conversations without seeking a second opinion from a proven source.

  2. Take some time out

    Do something relaxing such as walking on the beach, or spending time in a quiet area such as a city park. Sometimes just giving the brain time out will give you both time to think with more clarity. Do this and you will see the benefit.

  3. Have an early night at least once a week

    Rest is important to the brain and yourself, so an early night every now and then can be very valuable.

  4. Resist drinking alcohol

    Adding quantities of alcohol to the mix just makes things worse and will impair your brain even further. It will also add to the fatigue so stick to water!

Business is a Vehicle for Life

At Business Success Partners, we have built our practice around a strong view that "Business is a Vehicle for Life". A solid, well running business is a key part of our strategy with clients for handling the "overwhelm factor". Things can be different and much better!

If you think we might be of some help, simply click below and we will definitely touch bases.

“Speaking with Business Success Partners was the best thing we ever did. If you need any help with your business these guys can help you out”

- Frank Pope, Pope Electrical

“Going it alone is very tough, and having an expert to help us was the best business decision we have ever made. We have just had 3 months of record sales and profits in a row and it's a completely different business now to what it was when we first spoke with Phil at Business Success Partners.”

- Tony Wright, Laser Plumbing

“For me it's definitely been well worth it. We implemented plans to invest in our staff which has allowed me more time to be able to focus on the strategic element of the business. Its working!”

- Chris, Powdercoating NZ

“These guys are amazing and very approachable. Take a chance and meet with Business Success Partners, that’s what business is about really, taking chances and it has paid off for us!”

- Ann-Marie Sinclair, Sinco Customs

Transform your life today with Business Success Partners. Powerful business advisory through a business success partnership. If you are looking for a business advisor, a business consultant or a business mentor, then click here to request a meeting with a Success Partner.


*Edward M. Hallowell, founder of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health
*Ministry Of Business Innovation and Employment
* Bizrewards Study 2016