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Small businesses happy despite the cloudy economic weather


The current economic climate has often been the subject of negative opinions. Raise your hand if you have not seen a suited-up doomsayer on TV foretelling the economic Apocalypse… see, no hands!

However, the responses and attitudes towards whether, and where, existing businesses are prepared to spend over the next 12 months, paint a rather fascinating picture. These guys are dancing in the rain!

As a new financial year approaches, Australia’s small to medium sized businesses appear  happy with their career choice, according to new research which shows seven in ten of them would likely do it all again if they had to.

The survey by Telstra of 1,000 small and medium businesses across Australia found the most common reasons for setting up a small business are gaining independence, freedom and flexibility, and importantly, a sense of pride.

With 72% of business owners saying they would be happy to start up a business again, the survey also revealed 53% of owners say their business is their passion.

According to Will Irving, Group Managing Director of Telstra Business, the positive sentiment of these businesses is heartening.

“A healthy small and medium business sector is critical for Australia because it employs around five million Australians,” he said.

The research also indicated a majority of businesses are looking to make technology their biggest spend in the new financial year.

“Feedback from our Telstra Business Centres across Australia shows the ‘must have’ device for small business is a smartphone for remote working, productivity and mobility – they simply don’t want to be chained to their desks, workbenches or counters anymore,” Mr Irving said.

“From a Telstra perspective, we are already seeing businesses use smartphones and other devices like tablets to better connect businesses to their customers and allow them to show their products and services to customers up close and in real time,” Mr Irving said.

What are the SMBs’ plans for the new financial year?

According to the research the key areas of focus for the new financial year for small and medium businesses are:

  • 33% will spend more on their business than last year and 55% will spend the same
  • 53% of those businesses spending more will invest in technology up from 45% in 2011
  • 37% of those businesses spending more will invest in plant and equipment down from 57% in 2011
  • 79% will focus on new customers
  • 63% want to manage cash flow
  • 58% are interested in managing their costs better
  • 41% say they would like to feel more in control of their business
  • Nearly 50% of SMBs want to find better ways for technology to support this

“Small and medium size businesses want to get back to the core of what they do best – and that is serve new and existing customers really well, and enable their staff to do so,” Mr Irving said.

Alas! The doomsters’ sermons are falling on deaf ears. These stubborn ‘lost’ souls are way too possessed  by the demon of optimism…

About The Research: The Telstra Business Sentiment research involved interviews with 1003 Australian small to medium sized businesses, supported by Smarter Business Ideas™.

Image by zayzayem