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Economic slowdown hasn’t deterred small business owners’ confidence in 2023: study

Despite the economic slowdown, new research from online accounting software provider Intuit QuickBooks has found that 80 per cent of Australian small business owners feel “confident”, “optimistic”, and “cautiously hopeful” about their company’s prospective performance in 2023. 

This positive outlook is likely informed by their business performance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The commissioned research found that one-quarter (25 per cent) of Australian small businesses experienced consistent year-on-year growth across 2020-2022, while 45 per cent saw slow but steady growth and 5 per cent experienced soaring profits.

However, out of the entrepreneurs who had difficulty generating profits during a challenging period, a quarter of them have a divided perspective on the year 2023.

A significant portion of this group, 23 per cent, is apprehensive about the future, while 21 per cent of them are uncertain. However, the majority of this group, 56 per cent, has begun the year 2023 with a positive outlook, believing that the situation will improve in the coming months.

Australian entrepreneurs see increased sales, improved marketing activities, expanding their product offerings, and growing their customer base as the strongest opportunities to drive success within their small businesses in 2023. 

Additionally, many entrepreneurs see establishing a brick-and-mortar store or expanding their physical footprint as beneficial for driving growth. Thirty-eight per cent of entrepreneurs see hiring new employees as an opportunity, and 18 per cent are excited to digitise more of their administrative tasks so they can focus more on what they love. 

However, the top five concerns keeping Australian small business owners up at night in 2023 are maintaining cash flow, the likelihood of a recession, retaining and hiring staff, breaking even, and the potential impact of rising inflation.

Lars Leber, Vice President of Intuit QuickBooks Australia, said, “Australian small business owners have been incredibly resilient over the past three years, and our research shows that these turbulent times have not shaken their spirit. It is encouraging to see there is a sense of hope for business growth in 2023 from the experienced entrepreneurs to those just starting out.”

“Small business owners have always been the backbone of Australia’s economy. This will not change in 2023 as they look to employ more staff, ultimately helping to improve economic prosperity,” added Leber.

“As a former small business owner, I know balancing the books can be one of the most stressful parts of running your own business, but a clear understanding of your cash flow is critical, especially in times of economic uncertainty. 

“By implementing an accounting software solution and engaging an accountant, advisor or business expert, Australian small business owners can gain a clear understanding of their position and take back some of the control into 2023,” he said.

Intuit QuickBooks helps small businesses manage their books, get paid fast, manage capital, and pay employees with confidence. To find out more, visitquickbooks.intuit.com/au.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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