Two in five SME owners either operate multiple businesses or plan to, according to new research from MYOB with Tim Reed, the cloud accounting provider’s CEO, declaring “the great Australian entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.”
Findings from MYOB’s latest SME Snapshot – a survey of 589 business owners – indicate that a quarter of operators (25%) are operating more than one actively trading business, with the average being 2.5 businesses. Additionally, one in six owners said they wanted to start a new business or another new business (16%).
Owners cited creation of new revenue streams (66%) and the offer of greater financial security (57%) as the main factors underpinning the decision to operate additional businesses.
Asked whether SME owners were launching additional businesses because they were unable make a living with just one, Reed told Dynamic Business:
“Our previous research has shown business owners are constantly trying to get the balance right when it comes to cash flow. Many feel the impact of late payments on their personal finances (35%) and their ability to cover expenses such as rent and electricity (32%). An additional business could help with this cash flow, and lift profit margins for small business. It’s clear we need to do more to support our SMEs in order to give them a fair go in business. It would be a positive move to see the government put forward an initiative to implement a national prompt payment protocol, to ensure payments to small businesses are not delayed. That said, the research also showed that there are business owners who have experienced success in their first business and have since been inspired to start another (15%).”
Proving that entrepreneurship can be a time-consuming pursuit, one in four of the survey participants (26%) told MYOB they would either only be taking the public holidays off over Christmas – or they would not have any time off at all.
“The owners who believe they will need to work through the holidays are mostly in the retail and hospitality industry (28%), followed by constructions and trade services (7%),” Reed said.
“The Christmas period is a busy one for business owners and beyond 2016, the New Year means evaluating processes and cash-flow, and planning for the year ahead, so for many owners the busiest part of the year is waiting for them in the next few weeks. Fortunately, a majority are enthusiastic about the journey ahead with two thirds (64%) feeling optimistic about their business’ success over the next year and only 10% feeling pessimistic.”