4th August, 2014

Small businesses confident about the future

Small businesses Down Under are increasingly positive about the future, with many enthusiastic about growth in Australia and the world.

These findings come from a recent survey by McNair Ingenuity Research and the SME Association of Australia (SMEA). The joint survey revealed that many companies were looking to hire new staff in the next year, with a quarter indicating that they would be adding to their existing workforce.

This compared to 12 per cent who thought they would be losing staff over the next twelve months.

SMEA Chairman Craig West pointed to the positive sentiments which many firms are experiencing about the future despite the potential challenges faced by these companies.

“The majority of SMEs surveyed expect both the Australian economy and prospects for revenue growth to improve over the next year,” said Mr West. “An interesting observation is that the majority of this employment growth will be from businesses that were established post GFC when global economic uncertainty prevailed.”

Businesses in Western Australia are also sharing in this positivity, as confidence remains high across the state, despite potential changes in mining forecasts.

Although business optimism was up, the survey also pointed to a number of possible issues which SMEs thought might drag on their companies. The main trend which owners are troubled by is the potential for changes in general economic conditions, with 71 per cent of respondents concerned about this issue.

Compliance issues and cash flow also ranked highly among the risks identified by those surveyed, with 62 and 53 per cent of respondents respectively.

Interestingly, the high Australian dollar was of little concern for SMEs; 63 per cent saying it had little to no impact on their company.

Finally, small businesses are choosing to invest in new technology. More than half of those surveyed suggested they would be investing in new software and hardware capabilities for their companies in order to handle potential issues which might arise like cyber crime.

Author: Murray Bruce