Female-led SMEs aiming for profit, embracing work/life balance & utilising business tech
Australian female SME operators are prioritising profit and growth, are making the most of online technologies and are feeling good about their work/life balance, according to the latest MYOB Business Monitor.
In the March 2014 survey by Australia’s leading accounting software provider, 58% of female SME operators are satisfied with their work/life balance and 57% describe their business as successful.
MYOB General Manager, Marketing, Caroline Ruddick says many female business owners and managers recognise how highly rewarding it is to be in business, and their hard work and determination is paying off.
“It’s pleasing to see that two thirds of business women are satisfied with their work/life balance. Managing a business can be a juggling act with many business responsibilities vying for attention, before business owners get to their personal priorities. It’s inspiring to see many are relishing their personal life and work priorities while thriving in business.”
Business performance & economic confidence: great expectations
Although 20% of female business operators experienced a revenue increase in the 12 months to February 2014, almost one third (31%) expect their revenue to increase in the 12 months to February 2015.
The best performing female-led businesses are based in South Australia, where 33% saw an increase in annual revenue from February 2013. This was followed by Tasmania (25%) and Queensland (23%).
Looking ahead to February 2015, female SMEs in South Australia are more likely to expect their revenue to rise. 40% of South Australian female business owners expect to increase their revenue, followed by those in Victoria (36%) and New South Wales (32%).
In terms of their hopes for the health of the domestic economy, 24% of female SMEs overall believe the economy will improve in the 12 months to February 2015. Male business operators are slightly more optimistic, at 28%.
Aspirations & goals: profitability a key focus
When it comes to the aspirations and goals of business women, 42% aspire to grow their business and ‘not just drift’. When asked what business growth means to them, improving profitability is the leading indicator (77%).
Further indicators of business growth to female business operators include improving revenue (75%), having a good team/systems in place to have work/life balance (37%), an expanding range of products/services (34%) and improving market share (33%).
In addition, 40% of female business owners and managers don’t want to make lots and lots of money because being a business owner is a lifestyle choice. Pursuing their passion was the aspiration for 18% of business women.
Business technology: women more switched on
The MYOB Business Monitor found female-led SMEs are more likely to have an online presence for their business than their male counterparts (59% compared to 50%). Of these business women, 26% reported having a business website only, 14% solely relied on social media for their business online, and 19% had both.
Female business operators are also savvier with social media and cloud computing than their male counterparts. 47% utilised social media and 35% utilised cloud computing for their business, compared with 35% and 31% of male business operators respectively.
Looking at the online technologies that female SME operators use for business, rather than personal purposes, the top five are:
- Accepting online payment from customers via internet banking, a shopping cart or mobile app (44%)
- Buying products/services online (28%)
- Using search engines to promote their business via SEO (27%)
- Connecting with customers and fans via Facebook (24%)
- Using email marketing (22%)
“Women business owners and managers are setting themselves goals that are essential for success in business as they aim to increase profitability and revenue. The research suggests the keys to overall success is also work/life balance, making the most of online technologies such as cloud computing, understanding their market and competitors, and offering a range of quality products and services.
“We’ve spent many years conducting research into SMEs’ use of online technologies. It’s clear to us that there is a strong correlation between strong business performance and businesses with an online presence. For example, those with a website are 56% more likely to see annual revenue rise, and those who use cloud computing are 30% more likely to do so. We know online technologies can help many businesses become better connected, more productive and more competitive.” says Ms Ruddick.
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About the MYOB Business Monitor
Established in 2004, the MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of small and medium business owners and managers, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. The most recent study ran in July and August 2013, surveying 1,022 operators from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes around areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline work, technology usage and government. Note: the weighting of MYOB client and non-client respondents is reflective of overall market proportions. This media release details the survey findings for the 300 importers and exporters in the respondent pool.
About MYOB Australia
Established in 1991, MYOB is Australia's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than AU$30 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit myob.com.au.