Prospects seem brighter for Australia’s SME sector as it shows its strongest performance of the last four years, while the proportion of businesses experiencing diminishing revenue stands at a five year low.
According to MYOB Business Monitor—a bi-annual national survey of more than 1000 small and medium enterprises by the accounting software provider—23 per cent of SMEs are consolidating increased gains from a steady last year.
State-wise, NSW has shown the highest proportion of businesses (26 per cent) reporting a rise in their revenue, while the largest revenue declines are from Queensland and South Australia (36 per cent).
By sector, the Insurance and Finance industry has experienced positive growth, with 41 per cent of businesses reporting a rise in revenue. The biggest revenue falls this year are in Transport (38 per cent), Retail (27 per cent) and Construction (36 per cent) sectors.
With the SME sector experiencing significant returns, business owners are now expecting stronger backing from the federal government. Only 27 per cent of the SMEs said that they were satisfied with the present support. Owners aged 65 years or above showed a higher level of dissatisfaction as compared to their younger counterparts.
In regard to governance, 34 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with the performance of their state government in the last six months.
However, NSW has reported a different trend. Only 26 per cent of NSW’s SME owners are dissatisfied with the Liberal Party’s performance in the last six months, while 35 per cent are satisfied. This is unlike the figures from the other states. Reportedly, 50 per cent of the businesses in South Australia and 40 per cent in Western Australia are least satisfied with their state government’s performance in the last six months.
MYOB CEO Tim Reed said, “The message from Australia’s small and medium businesses is clear – more support from the federal and state governments is required to allow them to reach their full potential and further develop the key role they play in our country’s economy.”
SMEs in Queensland and Victoria are expected to have the highest increase in revenues in the coming year (35 per cent for both), while those in Western Australia foresee a decrease at 31 per cent.
Businesses with a higher number of potential sales than normal stand steady at 36 per cent. The states with the strongest sales pipeline are New South Wales (40 per cent) and Western Australia (42 per cent), with South Australia experiencing the weakest pipeline at 32 per cent.