Finance Work Why a third of Australian workers are considering starting their own business

Why a third of Australian workers are considering starting their own business

Small business owners are often more satisfied with their jobs.
One in three Australians are thinking about starting their own business, but not all of them will. Photo: Getty
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One in three workers have considered quitting their jobs to start a business in 2020, and research shows they might be happier for it.

A survey by internet domain registrar GoDaddy found 39 per cent of Australians are dissatisfied with their jobs, and 30 per cent have considered quitting within the next year to launch their business.

This entrepreneurial mindset was more prevalent among younger workers, with 48 per cent of respondents aged between 18 and 29 considering taking the plunge into self-employment.

The most common reasons Australians gave for wanting to start a business were ‘increased earning potential’ and a better balance between their work and personal lives.

GoDaddy’s survey also found that 10 per cent of would-be entrepreneurs are motivated by the desire to overcome a societal or industrial problem, rather than better pay or more free time.

But many of these aspiring business owners are unlikely to take the next step and turn their hypothetical business into a real one.

More than half of those surveyed (62 per cent) said the cost of setting up a business was a major hurdle.

A further 40 per cent said finding the right guidance and advice was also a big challenge.

Small business owners more satisfied

GoDaddy’s survey results come just days after research found entrepreneurs in the formative stages of launching a business are more satisfied with their work than other people.

A Danish study of around 300,000 people across 32 countries found self-employed workers are happier than those working for others – but their happiness was not the result of being their own boss.

Instead, the research by Aarhus University professor Christian Bjørnskov and Copenhagen Business School professor Nicolai J. Foss found the actual tasks entrepreneurs must complete led to their improved job satisfaction.

These tasks require fast thinking, intuition and creativity, and are separate from the kinds of managerial jobs that established business owners typically engage in.

But the two academics also found a caveat – business owners were only more satisfied with their jobs when they chose to be self-employed.

Small business owners who are forced into their role out of necessity – often driven by the risk of unemployment – were often less satisfied than employees.

The Danish research also found the motivation for becoming self-employed is often “perverse”, as self-employed entrepreneurs typically earn less than they would as an employee elsewhere.

But entrepreneurs’ job satisfaction lifted by the same amount as if they had received a notable increase in their household income, the research found.

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