The recent spate of disasters from the droughts to the bushfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Austraila’s small businesses hard.
The latest research from accounting software provider Reckon showed that 1.8 million (78 per cent) Australian small businesses feel the added pressure due to COVID-19, while 29 per cent feel the same due to the 2020 recession scare. The situation has been so bad in recent months that almost half (47 per cent) of small-businesses owners have seriously considered closing down.
Despite this data, the Reckon Resilience Report shows that small-business leaders have the resilience to weather these tough times, with three quarters (74 per cent) saying they tend to bounce back after hard times and nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) saying it doesn’t take them long to recover from stressful events.
The research measured levels of resilience among more than 1000 people across Australia using the Brief Resilience Scale, which defines resilience as the ability to bounce back or recover from stress. It also asked small-business leaders about their biggest sources of hardship and how they developed resilience.
Reckon CEO, Sam Allert, said that the findings were timely given recent challenges experienced by small businesses in the country.
“Running a business is extremely rewarding, but success sometimes comes at the end of a bumpy road,” Allert said. “Things have been tougher than usual for Australian businesses recently – from drought, to fire, and a global pandemic. That is why it is more important than ever for us to talk about resilience and what it means for the small business sector.
“Empowering Australia’s small businesses for success is critical to maximising the sector’s health,” Allert added. “Given the challenging times, our aim is for the Reckon Resilience Report to spark a national conversation about developing even more resilience within the sector and how that can empower small-business owners to continue driving success for themselves.”
The report illustrated that more than half (51 per cent) of small-business leaders define resilience as knowing how to tap into tools and resources for support, the top five being mentors (33 per cent), business and financial experts (16 per cent), books such as self-help guides (16 per cent), mental health professionals (16 per cent) and online resources (10 per cent). Additionally, highly resilient small-business leaders tend to use technology to their advantage (90 per cent) to run their business.
“The findings suggest that being able to identify and use all the right resources to succeed professionally and personally is a hallmark of the most resilient small business owners,” Allert said. “Those who do so are naturally better at bouncing back during tough times.
“Those who can identify and draw on the right resources will find the going easier. They can tap into JobKeeper-ready payroll software or engage professional accountants to quickly access the Government stimulus funds and retain staff through the current challenging circumstances. They’ll be much more likely to bounce back,” he concluded.