SMEs forecasting growth in the next 12 months

New research reveals that SMEs are confident about their future and ready to drive their next phase of growth. Small-business lender Prospa’s survey found that 81 per cent of Aussie SMEs expect their businesses to grow in the next 12 months. This is despite 87 per cent of business owners anticipating challenges within the same timeframe.

“Aussie small-business owners have not had an easy ride navigating through the pandemic, supply chain issues, staff shortages, and now increasing operating costs,” Beau Bertoli, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer at Prospa, said. “Despite ongoing challenges, the majority of small-business owners have been working hard to make smart decisions to drive new revenue and become more efficient to propel growth.”

The survey revealed that seven out of 10 business owners have either made, or are in the process of making, changes to their business. The top three changes made by SMEs include diversifying payment acceptance methods (10 per cent), expanding through eCommerce platforms (19 per cent) and reducing operating hours (23 per cent).

More than a third also said they have increased the prices of their products and services over the past 12 months. In addition, 28 per cent of small-business owners intend to access capital for their next phase of growth, and 71 per cent of those intend to do so in the short term to manage the current environment.

“The entrepreneurial mindset of small-business owners has been inspirational, as they find ways to pivot and make difficult decisions to change according the current market conditions to ensure they can keep their business moving,” Bertoli said.

Susan Toft, founder and CEO of the Laundry Lady, is an example of one of the surveyed small-business owners who is confident enough to invest in growth.

“I started out servicing my local area. I’d collect laundry and ironing, do it at home then deliver it back to the client,” Toft said. “But I always had the vision that I could scale and offer the same kind of opportunity to other people like me who are looking for flexible work from home.”

The Laundry Lady has grown from using eight to 80 contractors in the just 24 months, and now services five states.