DEC 9, 2013

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Marketing Maven

It's Work-Life Balance Season

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A major challenge for all kinds of small business owners, not just mortgage brokers, is achieving a proper work-life balance. But this time of year is the right time for them to get things in order, and many of them recognize that fact.

For mortgage originators, a large part is the nature of the business. Many mortgage brokers and loan officers make it a point to be available outside of what is the normal business day. It is a major differentiation point between them and those who originate loans for banks or thrifts.

(By the way, I mention loan officers here because while not being a formal business owner, he or she “owns” what they do day in and day out, as several sales trainers have pointed out.)

A recent survey of Canadian small business owners by American Express found nearly eight in 10 plan to use the holiday season to re-establish a work-life balance, and they are also encouraging their employees (or assistants as the case may be) to do the same.

“The Ebenezer Scrooge approach to work seems to be long gone. Instead, today’s small business owners foster a balanced approach to continue to motivate employees and offer a positive work environment,” says Athena Varmazis, vice president and general manager, small business services, American Express Canada.

While most of those polled by American Express (63%) feel they have a healthy balance, 58% of them feel guilty when they take time off. In fact 63% said they check their phone once or twice a day when they are on vacation for more than a couple of days.

“One of the great characteristics of a business owner is they often view their business as a passion rather than work. As a result, we’re seeing business owners challenged with fully disconnecting and achieving work-life balance,” Varmazis says.

As for their staff, nearly two thirds of the small business owners surveyed realize that when their workers don’t take all of their allotted vacation time, it is likely to result in burn-out and lower productivity.

More than half believe that promoting work-life balance within their company is a tactic to leverage to attract new employees and keep the current ones.

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