New Westpac research has revealed the majority of businesses are upbeat about the future and believe they’ve faced the worst of the pandemic, despite challenges like labour shortages and supply chain disruption.
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of small businesses believe the economy will rebound further in the next 12 months, while more than three quarters (78 per cent) feel better prepared to deal with COVID-19 uncertainty this year.
With businesses gearing up for growth in the months ahead, Westpac has announced an exclusive partnership with business management platform MYOB, to provide eligible business customers with a bonus 12-months of the MYOB Business Lite or Pro software, saving customers up to $600.
The cloud-based software reduces complexity for growing businesses, helping them spend more time operating and innovating, by automating tasks such as cashflow management and financial reporting, alongside premium features such as payroll.
“Westpac’s latest research shows Australian small businesses are confident about future success, despite some economic uncertainty. In fact, 68 per cent of small businesses said they are optimistic about the current business environment, while three quarters (75 per cent) expect their sales to increase and seven in ten (71 per cent) expect their business to grow in the next 12 months,” said Mandy Rutherford, Westpac Managing Director for Cash and Transactional Banking.
“As the economy continues to rebound after COVID-19, consumers are back spending with confidence, and we’re hearing about customers with more savings than ever before and businesses not being able to keep up with demand. It’s no surprise businesses are feeling positive about the year ahead.
“We also found nine in ten (89 per cent) small businesses using business management systems say it has helped their business grow. Interestingly, 29 per cent of small businesses don’t use any software but believe it could help their business, and they have nominated cost (16 per cent) as the main barrier to entry.
“Equipping small businesses with the tools they need beyond everyday banking will help business owners and operators have better oversight of their financial position, to assist with planning and decision making.
“In the coming weeks, we will also be further integrating customer banking data within MYOB business management software. This will allow customers to view daily updated activity across their business term deposit, credit card and transactional accounts, for more convenient and transparent financial insights,” said Ms Rutherford.
The research also found that while small businesses are upbeat, there are still economic headwinds. Small businesses highlighted increased cost of living (45 per cent) as the biggest challenge for them over the next 12 months, followed by inflation (39 per cent), interest rate rises (31 per cent) and disruptions from COVID-19 (30 per cent).
“Giving SMEs full oversight of their business operations has never been more essential in establishing certainty for the future,” explains Emma Fawcett, General Manager of SME for MYOB.
“The research shows current economic factors are creating a tightrope for Australia’s SMEs. Pressures spanning the cost of doing business through to the availability of critical materials and talent, have the potential to form a thorny compilation of issues for business owners to navigate. All can result in cashflow complexities that are challenging to plan for.
“We are delighted to be working with Westpac to provide a solution for businesses across Australia.”
The offer is available for new and existing eligible Westpac business customers who sign up as new MYOB customers via www.westpac.com.au/myob.
Customers must subscribe and pay for the first month of a MYOB Business Lite or Pro subscription using their eligible Westpac business card, to receive a bonus 12 months.