Percent sign wearing Christmas hat

Christmas unlikely to boost SME bottom lines

Local business owners are feeling pessimistic about seeing revenue rises during the upcoming Christmas season, as many express doubt the economy will improve any time soon.

According to the latest MYOB Business Monitor, business owners are seeing declining revenues and have low expectations about an improvement over the next 18 months. Close to 70 percent of businesses aren’t expecting an economic recovery over the next 12 months, and 30 percent believe sales will be lower in the Christmas quarter compared with 14 percent last year.

Just 29 percent are expecting an increase in sales in the Christmas quarter, compared with 49 percent last year.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed said the findings point to the difficulties that local business owners have been experiencing over the past year.

“Queensland business owners have been particularly hard hit, with 50% of all business owners reporting revenue falls.”

As many don’t expect Christmas to provide a sales boost, Reed suggests businesses take other action, such as talking to business advisors or accountants to review or create a cashflow plan, particularly in managing purchases.

“Managing team leave carefully is also another area to look at as this can impact on both cashflows and bottom line results. It is also important to be smart about marketing – getting online to reach more customers if your business isn’t already using the internet is a good idea,” Reed added.

Longer term revenue predictions weren’t any more positive, with MYOB finding the majority of Australian business owners (58 percent) expect revenue to remain the same or reduce in the next 12 months.

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