News and Financial Solutions Articles.
Small Business

A Business or a Job?

June 10, 2016

I recently read an interesting article titled “The Four Burners Theory: The Downside of Work-Life Balance”. The basis of the article was that one’s life can be represented by a stove with four burners on it, with each burner representing one quadrant of your life: family, friends, health and work. The Four Burners Theory says that “in order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful, you have to cut off two”. They key outcome is that we are often forced to choose between living a life that is unbalanced while being high-performing in a particular quadrant, or living a balanced life, without maximising your potential in any quadrant.

The article got me thinking about my own life, business and personal, and how this theory applies to me. I could easily relate to the theory, and see how the balance of juggling demands in each of those quadrants can impact on my ability to build and operate a successful business. Each and every week my calendar gets filled with business and family commitments, and after that I try (often unsuccessfully) to slot in time for a bit of exercise, maybe a visit to the gym, a good sleep-in, or a catch up with friends. More often than not, events that fall into the ‘health’ and ‘friends’ categories take a back seat to those that fall under ‘family’ and ‘work’.

Obviously this may be good for my family life and the health of my business in the short-medium term, but it also has the potential to undermine my long-term health and wellbeing, which could in turn be to the detriment of my family and business over an extended period.

I then started thinking about the many clients we see who either operate or are looking to start a small business. Many of those venturing into business ownership for the first time imagine a successful business with regular cashflow, flexible working hours, and the creation of a saleable asset that will assist with their retirement. In reality, what they often end up with is a continual drain on their business (and personal) cashflow, an 80 hour working week, and a business totally reliant on them. That is, when the time does come to exit the business or move on to a new venture, they have nothing to sell. They are the business. In fact they haven’t created a business at all, all they’ve done is create a job for themselves.

Whether you are starting a small business for the first time, trying again or looking to develop an existing business, many of these hurdles and pitfalls can be overcome by careful planning, budgeting and monitoring of business performance. Understanding what drives business performance and ultimately impacts on your bottom line will better enable a you to develop a saleable asset (a business, not a job), and also help you to determine whether their proposed venture is likely to deliver the benefits and lifestyle that you are really seeking.

BCV’s structured business advisory program is here to assist you with business planning and monitoring your business performance. We can help you get a better understanding the key drivers of your business. We can also assist with business valuations, and assist you in structuring your business so it is that is exactly that – a business – rather than just a job for yourself that places a continual strain on your work-life balance and cashflow, and provides little long-term financial benefit.

Contact us today for a complimentary Business Fitness Review.

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Sean Limpens

CPA, Partner

  • ‍Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
  • Commercial Sector Experience
  • Qualified Mortgage Broker
  • Specialises in Small Business Accounting, Business Advisory and Mortgage Broking.