Small business owners continue to think that the Australian economy is looking rather bleak, with 66% expecting the economy to further decline in the next 12 months.
This research comes from the latest findings from the MYOB Business Monitor. The twice-yearly report shows 21% expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months, compared to 28% of respondents in December 2019.
Business owners are not optimistic about the timeline for recovery, with 36% stating they expect the pandemic and its economic effects will last for six to 12 months, and another 26% predicting recovery to take another year or two, possibly longer.
“While 39% of small businesses predict revenue will be down in 12 month’s time compared to now, Australian SMEs are incredibly resilient, and almost two-third (67%) of business owners are confident they can get back to normal once the pandemic has ended,” says CEO of MYOB Greg Ellis.
On time payments critical
Concerns about cashflow have increased 12% in the last six months, and the data reveals late payments and cashflow rank highly as sources of pressure for SMEs.
62% of sole traders and SMEs are unaware of e-invoicing and the opportunities it provides, but there is strong support for the process from businesses who are across the developments.
“e-invoicing will help businesses get paid faster, which is going to be key in the recovery of small businesses coming out of this pandemic,” says Mr Ellis.
“We commend the Federal Government’s commitment to electronic invoicing and believe it should be a priority for all businesses. In terms of a transformative impact on small business operations, e-invoicing will be as important as Single Touch Payroll was.”
Significantly, only 15% of business owners surveyed did not identify any immediate, pressing concerns for their business, meaning businesses are feeling the strain of the last few months.
Mr Ellis goes on to suggest that, “With the implementation of social distancing requirements and business hibernation measures, online retail and ecommerce opportunities have become even more critical to business survival.
“Small businesses are seeing the value in digital tools with digital literacy key to accessing and engaging customers in the months ahead.”