Small businesses anticipate growth, despite tough conditions

Small businesses anticipate growth, despite tough conditions

Research carried out by Australia’s leading online small business lender, Prospa, shows the majority of Aussie small business owners rate the health of their business as good and are anticipating growth this year despite the tougher economic climate.

A recent study commissioned by Prospa of 520 Aussie small business owners showed 70% rate the health of their business as good and more than four in five (83%) are anticipating growth in the next 12 months.

The top tactics businesses are employing to achieve growth included word of mouth (45%), account growth (40%), advertising/marketing (27%) and referrals from other businesses (27%).

Despite the optimistic outlook, 88% of business owners anticipated major challenges over the next 12 months, driven by increased operating costs (42%), higher inflation (35%) and increased costs of freight and transport due to rising fuel costs (30%).

The top five growth tactics small business owners plan to use funds for are investing in digital technology (23%), upgrade or purchase of new equipment (23%), and training staff (21%).

Prospa Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder Beau Bertoli (pictured) says the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners continues to inspire him.

“It’s a tough climate and not surprisingly, the survey also showed that 84% of small business owners anticipate challenges over the next year with increased operating costs, high inflation, and increased transport costs causing the biggest headaches for small business owners.

“However, the past three years have shown that business owners are resilient, that they can navigate difficult environments and pivot to capitalise on opportunities.”

The survey also shows more than a quarter (26%) of business owners intend to access external funds to support the needs of their business in the next 12 months. The average amount they intend to borrow is $23,585.

“There’s also no doubt that access to fast, flexible funding is crucial for small businesses at this time. Prospa’s products and flexible solutions allow small business owners to smooth out irregularities in their cash flow or fund growth opportunities,” said Bertoli.

Lahra Macnab, Founder and Director of Lala Design has used loans from Prospa to fund growth in her wedding stationery brand.

Harnessing growth opportunities, Lahra decided to reinvent her business in 2022. With a rebrand and digital refresh, Lala Design became the Paper & Ink Studio.

She said it was an easy decision to approach Prospa to fund her latest project.

“This latest loan from Prospa enabled us to give the brand an overhaul so it’s staying current and up-to-date,” Lahra said. “I chose to go with Prospa for a number of reasons – the trust we had already built, the small daily deductions and ease of application for finance.”

Lahra says Prospa understands the unique challenges small businesses face. “It’s easy and non-judgmental,” she said. “We’ve built trust. Prospa has helped me grow my business and given me peace of mind.”