As Aussie’s, we’re known for our ‘mateship’. On the world stage, and at home we’re the ones who are always willing to lend a hand. And we are strong enough to gracefully receive help when we need it. Getting through Bushfires and Covid has given us a lot to be proud of.
Through both disasters and now an oncoming recession, SME’s have been one of the hardest hit. And the impact of this can be in all areas of our life. SMB is the backbone of our economy, accounting for 35% of Australia's gross domestic profit and employing 44% of the workforce. When I think of small business I think of my local grocer, who stayed open on the frontline when we all had to lockdown. But it also includes the farmer that provides my grocer vegetables. And the mechanic that keeps his tractor going. We live with a tapestry of communities sewn together by the businesses that service our needs. More than our economic backbone, they are heartbeat of local communities. There has been a welcome call recently to support small and local. You could argue this not entirely philanthropic, because in supporting small local businesses, we all thrive
But what is the outlook for Small Business in Australia? Consumer buying habits have changed. Buyers have learned to live with less and prioritize differently. They are suddenly more willing to buy online, with sales of companies like Amazon soaring. But the news is not all bad. Australia has gone into this recession in a better position than most other countries. A recent report by Xero indicates Small Business revenue is slightly up and the companies that have embraced technology appear to be doing better than most.
So, as a small business what can you do to thrive?
Use Government Support. Along with Job Keeper there are a number of state grants and loans you may be eligible for. We've listed them all here
Reduce Costs. There may be more you can do here than you think. Check if you can defer rent payments, refinance loans, or renegotiate vendor contracts. Keep stock low and manageable. Consider asking customers to pre-order high-ticket items. In Covid times, it is reasonable to act lean.
Marketing. History has shown businesses that market themselves during a recession are the most likely to thrive when the economies recover. And with consumers are most likely to change behaviors and switch loyalties at this time, the risk of not marketing can be great. It’s understandable to feel like your spinning you’re wheels, but making time to ensure your business is engaging with its customers will always pay off.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to Ask for help. No-one is immune to difficult times and you’ll be amazed how many people are willing to lend a hand
And as consumer there couldn’t be a more important time to show our mateship. There are a few things you can do to help:
When you have a positive experience, show your support by sharing, reviewing and telling friends – you are their most effective advertising!
If you have marketing skills, talk to us about becoming a Marketing for Good member to help actual small businesses improve their marketing position