SMBs in Australia are Confident about 2023

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by KnowESG
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Sendle surveyed Australian small businesses and found that they are looking forward to a growing and stable 2023.

The results of Sendle's annual Small Business Survey have been announced. The parcel delivery service asked more than 900 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Australia what they expected and how they felt about the coming year. Even though the next year is likely to be rough because of the economic downturn and rising costs of living caused by inflation, 80% of respondents think that online sales will grow in 2023.

According to the survey, 37% of small businesses anticipate a 25–75 per cent increase in online orders over the next year. The Automotive & Marine industry is expected to expand the most in 2023, with 38% of small businesses expecting more than a 75% increase in online purchases in the next 12 months. This was closely followed by small businesses in the Office Furniture & Supplies and Food & Beverage industries, which predicted a 75% increase in online orders over the next year.

“Sendle’s 2022 Small Business survey tells us that it’s not all doom and gloom for small businesses,” said Laura Hill, Managing Director of Sendle Australia. “The recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales may explain this confidence, with our parcel volumes up 50 per cent during the November sales period. Many small businesses continue to see an uptick in online sales growth, as consumer spending remains resilient.”

As expected, respondents anticipate some difficulties in the coming year. When it comes to online sales growth, 51% of small businesses say growing product and service costs are their biggest challenge. However, despite the forecasted challenges that some are already feeling the heat from, small businesses are rising to the challenge. More than half of the people who answered the survey said they are happy with the available help, which could include help from the government for SMBs.

After the Albanese government's first federal budget, SMBs could apply for grants to help them grow over the next year and beyond. The Small Business Digital Adaptation Programme in Victoria was established to provide $1200 in rebates so that small businesses can use a variety of digital business tools.

The Victorian Government worked with 14 vendors to build or improve websites, improve cash flow, start online marketing, manage jobs and projects, and keep better track of inventory. Ecwid Inc., Mr Yum, MYOB, Shopify, Square, Xero, and Squarespace were among the partners. This is one of several programmes in the works to help small businesses in the coming year. The budget also included $62.6 million in grants to help SMBs become more energy efficient.

Sendle's survey prioritises sustainability. Sendle says it is Australia's only delivery service that doesn't produce any carbon dioxide, and it regularly invests in green practices. The report said sustainability is a vital business practice that is here to stay. 34 per cent of respondents said their products were obtained ethically or sustainably.

Small businesses in the food and beverage industry are leading the way, with more than half claiming that 75–100 per cent of their products are sourced ethically or sustainably. According to the survey, sustainability is helping small businesses reach more people who care about the environment. In the last year, 34% of small businesses said that demand for locally made goods had gone up.

34% of companies say they have added more sustainable business processes and products in the last year. However, the poll found that there is a need for further education and support for sustainable practices. While one-third of these enterprises declare ethical and sustainable sourcing, a further 32% admit they have no idea whether the products they sell are ethically or sustainably obtained.

“Growth is a top priority for small businesses, of course, but what matters is that growth is smart and sustainable,” said Hill. “Small businesses increasingly recognise that sustainable products and practices are not only good for the planet but also the bottom line. However, Sendle’s survey reveals that more educational resources are needed for small businesses to make the transition easier and quicker.”

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Source: Power Retail

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