Having trouble finding new customers?

Is attracting new customers a major headache for you in your business?

You’re definitely not alone.

MYOB has released its latest Business Monitor findings, and attracting new customers has emerged as the number one pain point for businesses.

The release of the latest data from the bi-annual business survey found that 27 percent of small businesses surveyed said an inability to find new customers caused “an extreme amount or quite a lot of pressure” on their business.

This figure was up from 24 percent in the previous quarter.

This figure was even more alarming for small businesses, with a whopping 44 percent listing an inability to find new customers as a major pain point.

Elsewhere, there was a staggering jump in the number of businesses who said late payments from customers were putting them under “undue pressure”, with 26 percent saying this was the case.

This is up a staggering seven points from the previous quarter.

“The RBA tells us on average, an invoice will take 45 days to be paid,” MYOB Chief Executive Tim Reed said.

“For a small business owner who is managing professional and personal bills while also trying to invest in their business, this is too long – and part of the reason why we are pushing for a Prompt Payment [Protocol].”

On the bright side

On the bright side, however, the latest Business Monitor findings indicated that some key pain points have reduced for small businesses over the past seven years.

Things such as upgrading IT software, interest rates, tax obligations and fuel prices are now at the lowest point they have been in the past seven years.

For example, in August 2013 fuel prices were a major pain point for 46 percent of respondents while that figure is now riding low at 23 percent.

An analysis of the data revealed that the toughest time for small businesses was between October 2010 and August 2013 while a more positive outlook started to emerge from the end of last year.

The latest report also revealed that SMEs were now more at peace with technology then they have previously been.

This time last year, 19 percent of SME business owners felt technology was a pain point while today that figure is just 16 percent.

“It’s great to see that small business owners are seeing technology as a benefit rather than a pain-point, even if it’s a slow transition,” said Reed.

“Traditionally, small businesses have been slower with technology uptake, so we’re pleased to see that more accessible, simple and cost-effective technology is changing the attitude around technology adoption.”