Resilience and optimism among small businesses despite ongoing challenges


The recently-released 2022 Small Business Bravery Report by BizCover revealed that many small businesses are continuously evolving their services, products, and the way they serve their customers as means of adapting to the ongoing challenges they are facing.

Despite the uncertain road ahead, the report highlighted that 62 per cent of small-business owners have a positive outlook about their business’ potential to grow or recover in 2022.

In addition, 28 per cent have said that they will keep developing new products or services in response to ongoing change while making sure they have a cash buffer for emergency situations.

The report noted as well that this optimism is in sharp contrast with their general outlook on the country’s overall economic recovery. Less than 40 per cent of those surveyed are optimistic about Australia’s economic recovery this year. Retail (45 per cent) and hospitality (47 per cent) industries, which were the most affected by lockdowns and other measures during the pandemic – were the most worried about what 2022 has in store for them. Regardless, these businesses are looking to put business plans on hold.

“While there is a lack of confidence in the overall economic recovery of Australia in 2022, Aussie small businesses aren’t deterred,” says BizCover CEO Michael Gottlieb. “It’s great to see overall optimism about their ability to continue trading through all of this and see opportunity for growth.”

It was also revealed in the report that over two-fifths of those feeling confident about the year ahead cite their strong customer base as the top reason for their optimism, while nearly the same amount cited their excellent or competitive product or service.

“People generally go into small business because they are passionate about their product or service – they want to take control of their future and they want to make a difference,” Gottlieb said. “But that doesn’t mean their business will thrive. Successful small-business owners are willing to learn, to change or adapt and make sacrifices. I think the results of this survey highlight the way these traits are really strong amongst Australian small-business owners.”

BizCover also noted in the report that the pandemic triggered a time of reflection and what it sees as a “new way of small-business owners emerge with a clear vision and purpose.” The responses, according to the report, illustrate the high number of people who took a leap of faith and launched their own ventures in 2020 and 2021, despite challenging circumstances. ABS business count data indicates 88,000 new businesses opened their doors (virtually or physically) in the financial year ended 2021, with many more businesses set to open this year.

“I think we will see record growth for new small businesses in Australia,” Gottlieb said. “A lot of people have a good idea that they want to turn into a small business, but it often remains just that.  COVID saw people rethink their priorities, and I think we’ll see more people execute their ideas and take on the opportunities that they see.”