SME confidence is on the rise, with businesses looking to employ more full time staff and pay their staff more, according to the latest MYOB Business Monitor survey of more than 1000 business operators around the country.
Employment growth is on the horizon for SMEs, with 15 per cent of businesses planning to increase the number of full-time staff in their business. This figure has increased from 11 per cent in the same Business Monitor survey of November 2017.
Just under a quarter (23 per cent) of operators surveyed revealed they intend to increase wages and salaries paid to employees in the next 12 months. Pay increases are most likely in the manufacturing and wholesale industry (31 per cent) and the retail and hospitality trade (29 per cent).
Two in five operators (41 per cent) expected their revenue to remain the same over the next 12 months, with a further 33 per cent expecting their revenue to increase in the next 12 months. For the next quarter, 40 per cent of operators indicated they had more sales/work in the pipeline for the June to August period.
SMEs indicated continued confidence and optimism going into the new 2018-19 financial year. 33 per cent of Australian small and medium business operators expected the Australian economy to improve over the next 12 months, showing continued improvement since May 2017 when only 25 per cent of Australian operators expected to see an improvement. Overall, satisfaction levels with the Federal Government are also up to 33 per cent since May 2017.
Among the sectors, the manufacturing and wholesale industry are most likely to expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months (46 per cent), and the the construction and trades industry are least confident in predicting continued economic improvements (24 per cent).
MYOB CEO, Tim Reed, said the results show the SME community is continuing to walk-the- walk. “By putting people first and investing in human resources, SMEs are showing their confidence in the economy and their commitment to building better businesses. Investing in skilled workers is the means through which they will create future innovation and gain a competitive edge,” he said.