Financial criteria are usually considered to be the most appropriate measure of business success, yet many small business owners are motivated to start a business on the basis of lifestyle or personal factors. Non-financial goals could lead to alternative measures of success, particularly in the small business sector. To explore the significance of these two dimensions of success, 290 small business owner-managers in Western Australia were surveyed. Respondents rated the importance of items relating to lifestyle and financial measures, which they used to judge their business success. Findings suggest that both financial and non-financial lifestyle criteria are used to judge business success, with the latter being more important. Personal satisfaction and achievement, pride in the job and a flexible lifestyle are generally valued higher than wealth creation. Personal factors such as age and also business characteristics influenced perceptions on the importance of these factors.
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