SME owners looking on the bright side of life

‘Tis the season to be optimistic for Australian SME owners, with one in six wanting to start another business.

The insight comes from the latest MYOB SME Snapshot, which also found that just 10 percent of businesses were either ‘quite pessimistic’ or ‘very pessimistic’ about their prospects in the coming year.

Overall, 64 percent of SME owners were optimistic about the future, with female SME owners slightly more optimistic than their male counterparts.

Key stats

  • 25 percent of SMEs operate more than one active business
  • One in six want to start a new business or another new business
  • 26 percent won’t take a Christmas break or will only take public holidays off this year

An optimistic small business community is generally read as a sign of the health of the broader economy.

“It’s clear that business growth equates to a stronger financial standing in the mind of most SMEs,” said MYOB Chief Executive, Tim Reed, “something that is outweighing the perceived risk factor in starting a new business.

“Our small and medium business owners are telling us that growth isn’t something to be scared of, suggesting that the current business climate is a positive one.”

The fact that 25 percent of SME owners continue to operate more than one business is a sign that Australia’s getting entrepreneurial.

In a sign of increasing confidence, one in six SME owners are seeking to add another business to their portfolio.

“It’s encouraging to see so many small and medium business owners looking for ways to expand their offering,” said Reed.

“When the SME community grows, our economy is bolstered, our communities become better facilitated and innovation prospers.”

Those who wanted to start a business said creating new revenue streams and greater financial security were the chief reasons for starting a new business.

However putting in the hard yards to create that revenue stream and security runs the risk of adding to an already full plate for SME owners.

One in four respondents to the survey said that they were not planning to take any time off during the festive and new year period, except for public holidays.

Taking care of your best asset

In planning for the future and building multiple businesses, SME owners can forget to take care of their best asset: themselves.

Many SME owners get so caught up in the business they forget to check in with themselves.

Our previous SME Snapshot found that many SME owners were prioritising their staff’s superannuation payments over their own – and the same principle applies here.

SME owners may feel like they can take the weight of the business (more than one) on their shoulders, but this pursuit can lead to an unhealthy work/life balance.

Through a business lens, what’s the cost of an SME owner missing a day of work?

We’ve previously put together a checklist of things SME owners can do to take care of themselves better, including things like taking time out, eating healthy meals, and making time for activities that energise them.