Thursday, 03 September 2015 12:55

It’s tough being a small business owner


Life can be tough for small businesses as they battle to maintain financial stability while continuing to grow their business.

A new study by cloud accounting software provider MYOB reveals just how tough it is for SMEs, with some of Australia’s smallest businesses – those with annual revenue of less than $75,000 – saying they have had to dip into their personal savings to cover costs.

While SMEs say their first port of call when their business runs into financial difficulty is accountants, 62% of them have had to utilise some form of business financing in the last 12 months.

Nearly half (48%) of SMEs say accountants are the professionals they turn to when the going gets tough.

“The survey highlights that accountants are invaluable to business owners regardless of the industry or the size of business,” says MYOB CEO, Tim Reed.

“Rather than just being called upon at tax time, they are actually a constant source of financial advice throughout the year, helping businesses grow and remain profitable.”

Reed says the results also demonstrated that the majority of those surveyed who had staff (86%) said that they provide some flexible work options to them, with the most popular being flexible working hours (59%) and time off for family or religious commitments (58%).

“Businesses with 1 to 5 staff members are the most likely to offer the option to work from home.

“This is good to see because flexible working can increase business productivity, reduce turnover and improve job satisfaction.”

And, MYOB says the Productivity Commission’s recent proposal to introduce more flexible arrangements for the retail and hospitality sectors has been generally well received by the SME community.

“Those retail and hospitality businesses surveyed (40%) agree that a reduction in weekend penalty rates will bring costs down and 23% say it will allow them to employ more staff,” Reed observes.

“While the majority of SMEs may not be directly affected by a reduction in weekend penalty rates, they are fully supportive of the proposal. This change would have a positive impact on our retail and hospitality businesses allowing them to reduce staff costs and invest the saving in the long term growth of their business.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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