The healthcare, manufacturing and construction sectors are the most confident small businesses in Australia, feeling optimistic for the rest of 2020.
Businesses that are (understandably) not so confident include professional services, accommodation, food and the education industries.
The research comes from a report released by global small business platform Xero.
Its stats show that nearly half (48%) of surveyed small business owners are optimistic about their prospects in the second half of this year, and that one in four (23%) expect revenue to jump up by more than 10% by December.
“Here we are in the middle of both a pandemic and the worst recession in three generations,” says one of Australia’s leading social commentators, Bernard Salt.
“The fact that half of all small businesses remain optimistic about their prospects in the second half of the year says something about sheer determination and inherent optimism of the small business community in Australia.”
Transformation in the new world
COVID-19 will change the way that everyone does business in the future, with remote working set to be the new norm with the emergence of ‘self-contained’ suburban regional centres.
Managing Director of Xero Australia and Asia, Trent Innes says: “Small business has long been the backbone of Australia’s economy, and so when the pandemic hit, the sector bore the brunt.
“We also see that the pandemic has hastened the adoption of digital trends by businesses, highlighting the importance of continued investment in digitisation in the revival of our small business economy.”
Another common theme among businesses that report prospering is investment in technology, with 35% expecting to increase their investment in tech even further in the next three months. Of those looking to invest in the coming months, sales and marketing platforms will be the primary investment focus, followed by product/service innovation and project management.
“Small businesses that have prospered during the pandemic may well have been in the right industry at the right time but, according to the survey, the best-of-the-best adapted, found new markets and invested in technology,” concludes Mr Salt.