Gen Yers may be the only group within Australia’s small-to-medium operators to take heart from the latest MYOB Business Monitor.
Despite an eye-watering eight-year low amongst SMEs’ economic confidence, Gen Y business operators were most likely to see positive revenue results over the last year.
Are you an over-60s operator? Alas, sucks to be you. According to MYOB, baby boomers were most likely to experience a fall in revenue in the past 12 months.
What’s more, 26% of SMEs quizzed said they don’t expect the domestic economy to improve for at least two years, the highest percentage recorded by the MYOB Business Monitor since the study commenced in 2004.
Only 19% of the 1,043 SME business owners and managers surveyed expected the economy to improve within the next 12 months. That’s compared to 35% of folks asked the same question back in March 2011 and 54% in March 2010.
Twenty per cent said their revenue rose in the past year, while 38% said their revenue went south. Twenty-nine per cent of Gen Yers saw positive growth; 41% of boomers experienced a dip.
Industries fairing the worst from the losses were Construction and Trades (46%) and Manufacturing and Wholesale (45%). Manufacturing and Wholesale was also the industry most likely to see revenues rise (25%), followed closely by Transport, Postal and Warehousing (24%).
MYOB CEO Tim Reed said, “These results paint a stark picture of the financial and emotional challenge facing small-to-medium business owners, their families and their staff over the next year.”
“They will need significant support from their networks and the government in order to swim strongly through these challenging times.”
“Given the lack of confidence in Australia’s short-term economic future uncovered by our latest MYOB Business Monitor, it’s unsurprising that we also found the majority of SMEs expected to make no change over the next year to their levels of staffing, salaries, investment in R&D, sales promotions, overseas exports and more.”
“Having said that, more than one third intended to increase their focus on customer retention strategies during that time and close to one third intended to increase their attention on customer acquisition strategies.”
Amid the doom and gloom, 30% of businesses anticipated their business revenue to rise in the next 12 months, while 39% expected theirs to hold steady.
Reed called upon the government to provide SMEs with support and initiatives.
“External pressures such as rising fuel prices, weakened cashflow and daunting levels of paperwork are keeping business owners up at night as they head into the most compliance-heavy, end of financial year period since the GST was introduced.”
“They will applaud any government initiatives that inject funds into their bank accounts and take away some of the tax time pain.”