Mid-sized businesses modify operations ahead of COVID-normal year

15 Mar 2022

Three quarters (76%) of mid-sized businesses plan to make changes to their business operations based on their experiences from 2021, as the country moves into a ‘COVID-normal’ operating rhythm. The top three investments are technology (37%), more full-time staff (35%) and marketing and advertising (28%), according to fresh research from MYOB.

The 2022 Mid-market Snapshot surveyed over 500 mid-market businesses (with 20 to 500 employees), a sector employing more than 17% of the Australian workforce. The research indicates many are feeling hopeful about the year ahead and primed for growth. Eighty-two per cent have more sales or work in the pipeline for the first quarter of this year, in comparison with this time last year, and 38% claim they have ‘a lot more work’ coming their way.

When asked about how they’re feeling about 2022, the top three responses were hopeful (29%), excited (28%) and confident (20%). 

MYOB General Manager – Enterprise, Kim Clarke, says that for the mid-market, 2022 is all about taking things up a notch. 

“Considering the significant challenges they faced, we’ve seen from a range of our market insights that 2021 was a good year for many medium sized businesses. Now, with a strong picture of what headwinds they’ll likely face over the next 12 months, their focus is on fulfilling the growth potential of their business. 

“Mid-market businesses often benefit from both experience and infrastructure to help realise their ambitions. They know what they need to do to take their business to new heights, and those that act now will be more adaptable and resilient to any future trials – as well as a step ahead of the competition,” Ms Clarke said.  

Increasing revenue was the top goal for most mid-sized businesses (37%), closely followed by bolder ambitions including expanding their presence in local markets (35%) and focusing on direct avenues to grow revenue, such as securing more new customers (33%). 

“When it comes to growing a business, there’s no better place to start than by capitalising on the opportunities available on home turf – whether that’s new audiences, new markets or even branching into new offerings,” said Ms Clarke.

Despite overall confidence and ambitions around growth, 2022 won’t be without any obstacles. More than a third (37%) of respondents said a shortage of employees would be their biggest challenge, closely followed by the risk of business disruption due to COVID-19 (36%), and maintaining a steady revenue (35%). 

Businesses in the manufacturing and wholesale industry had the highest proportion of respondents concerned about a shortage of skilled employees (45%), as well as disruption of supplies of goods from overseas (also 45%), while retail businesses were more concerned about maintaining a steady revenue (50%). In construction, the skills shortage also looms large (41%) as an upcoming challenge, followed by the time and cost of compliance (38%). 

“Given the challenges facing many businesses in the wake of the Omicron outbreak, it’s no surprise that skilled employee levels and potential business disruption – like supply chain issues or temporary site closures – are high on the radar of our local mid-market firms,” said Ms Clarke.

“However, having goals focused on growth and a clear plan to rise up against predicted challenges mean there’s every reason to expect a booming year from Australia’s mid-market. From the changes being implemented, it’s clear they know having the right people and the right tools to help them get there, will be key.” 

ENDS

For further comment or other information please contact:

Selina Ife, Communications Consultant, MYOB
E: selina.ife@myob.com 

About the research   

The MYOB Mid-Market Snapshot research was conducted by Dynata, from 13th December 2021-12th January 2022. 538 mid-market business leaders and decision makers (employing between 20 and 500 FTEs) in Australia took part in the survey, which was conducted to achieve a nationally representative sample. 

About MYOB Enterprise 

Scalable to meet the needs of growing businesses (from 20-1,000+ FTEs), MYOB Enterprise offers an integrated, all-in-one business management platform that helps mid-market businesses achieve their ambitions by connecting critical workflows through Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management, Payroll, and Workforce Management solutions – all backed by world-class software tailored specifically for the Australian and New Zealand markets. MYOB Enterprise also offers leading practice management solutions for Professional Services businesses. MYOB’s award-winning Advanced Business platform (powered by Acumatica) has been rated 4.5/5 stars by mid-market customers across Gartner’s Digital Market brands (Capterra, GetApp and Software Advice), and is named as a shortlist recommendation and 2021 category leader across the sites.