Understanding and managing risks sits squarely at the centre of this year’s annual SME Research Report covering the attitudes, practices, ideas and concerns of more than 500 SMEs operating across Australia.
Now in its third year, the Report provides a comprehensive picture on the core concerns for SME owners with Business Planning (#1), Protecting the business and family assets (#2) and Stress and lifestyle (#3) as the standout areas of greatest concern.
98% of business owners believe there are opportunities to grow their business however many cite barriers to growth which make realising this opportunity
Only 20% of those researched have any form of business plan and perhaps more concerning is that 73% of SME owners believe that their business could not continue to operate without them. So while business owners haven’t labelled succession planning as a core concern (perhaps due to a lack of understanding about what it means), the fact they don’t believe their business can exist without them is stressful, affects their lifestyle and importantly presents problems for protecting the sustainability of their business as well as their family assets.
All three of the top concerns in this year’s Report are strategic issues which are intrinsically linked and are associated with identifying and managing risk. This is in stark contrast to the issues identified by the research three years earlier where SMEs cited cashflow and profitability among their top business concerns.
We should all be concerned about the future of SMEs in this country.
CEO and Founding Partner of Prosperity Advisers Group, Allan McKeown says, “We should all be concerned about the future of SMEs in this country. At Prosperity we are helping hundreds of business owners to address their risks – whether financial or strategic – so they can shore up the sustainability of their business and reduce their stress. As the largest employer in Australia, SMEs are the lifeblood of this country so if we don’t help this sector to succeed for future generations then the flow on will directly affect the economy as a whole.”
Unsurprisingly business disruption through technology, the changing buying practices and preferences of consumers, and access and retention of the right resources are all factors which have contributed to the changing needs and issues for SME business owners.
Providing the ‘how’ for SMEs is a key feature of this year’s Report with ideas for what business owners can do to gain greater control, and to grow and improve their business so they can transition and exit on their terms.
Strategic business adviser for SMEs and Director of Prosperity Advisers Group, Siobhan Sellick says, “Embarking on a ‘better business program’ immediately eases the pressure on business owners and their families because it deals with the top three issues raised by the SME Research Report. When I work through strategic planning with my clients there is a sense of relief and a new found enthusiasm for the business and for their future. Not only this, but my clients experience far better financial outcomes too – so it works on many levels!”
For more information please contact:
Siobhan Sellick, Director Prosperity Advisers Group, 02 8262 8700
Allan McKeown, CEO Prosperity Advisers Group, 02 4907 7222