The survey of financial decision makers in small and medium sized businesses found that 60 percent of women are less confident in their ability to successfully manage their business through the downturn than men (52 percent), and are seeking more professional advice.
When broken down, women in regional areas are a lot more pessimistic about their abilities (15 percent), compared with women in metropolitan areas (1 percent).
Business women are now seeking more help in planning for these uncertain times ahead, which is a positive step, according to Larke Riemer, head of Westpac’s Women’s Markets.
“This research clearly shows that women are taking all the right steps to prepare themselves, so they should have the confidence to back themselves to ride out the economic downturn.”
Men on the other hand, are seeking less professional help and are more confident in their abilities, citing managing staff as more challenging than managing cash flow, said Reimer.
Overall, the research found that three-quarters of those businesses surveyed now have a financial back-up plan in place, as opposed to this time last year, and have cut back on additional expenses.
Reimer believes these figures indicate the need for small businesses to get as much help as they possible can.
“This reinforces how important it is for Westpac to support the different requirements of our small business customers through these difficult times.”