Chinese SME business operators in New Zealand have enjoyed more stable revenue over the last 12 months than the broader sector and are more confident about economic improvement in the short-term, according to the latest research for the September 2013 MYOB Business Monitor.
The Monitor research, a national survey of 1,000+ SMEs commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton, has run since 2009. It explores business performance, attitudes, plans, and pressures, as well as a variety of SME issues. In this latest study, the researchers also asked business operators to identify themselves by ethnic background. 4% of respondents to the survey identified themselves as Chinese.
Limited change, more confidence for Chinese business owners
Revenue stability was marked among the group of local SME business operators who identified themselves as Chinese. Over half (56%) reported the same level of revenue as a year ago, with just 16% seeing revenue down, and the same number reporting a revenue increase. This compares to 43% of SMEs overall with stable revenue, 24% with a revenue fall and 30% reporting an increase.
Over the next year, 23% of Chinese business operators expect revenue to improve – significantly lower than the 43% of SME businesses overall. However, 53% of Chinese operators are forecasting steady revenue –much higher than 41% overall. 11% expect a fall in revenue, and 13% are unsure.
Fewer Chinese business operators are reporting more work in their August to October pipeline (20%, compared to 36% for the whole SME group), while the proportion reporting the same is much higher (66%, compared to 45%).
With their organisations showing stability, Chinese business operators are more confident about the prospects for wider economic growth, with 31% expecting the economy to improve within 12 months. This compares to 28% of all SMEs.
Chinese business operators more internet focused, fewer price increases
In terms of the business elements they expect to increase over the next 12 months, the internet will be a key focus for Chinese business operators. 40% are planning to increase their online advertising spend in that time (compared to 25% for all SMEs) and 31% are expecting to increase online sales (21% overall).
Significantly fewer Chinese business operators intend to increase their prices, (4% compared to 25% for all SMEs) but more plan to diversify their product range (30% compared to 26%).
Less likely to be troubled by key pressures
Fuel prices ranked as the number one pressure for New Zealand’s SMEs, at 35% of all respondents. For Chinese business operators, fuel will be less of an issue – just 26% identify it as a pressure.
Interest rates are also less likely to be problematic, with just 18% of Chinese business operators expect to come under pressures from interest rates, compared to 22% of the whole SME group. This may be one reason why over a quarter of the whole SME group (26%) expect cashflow pressure this year, while 16% of Chinese business operators expect it to be a pressure.
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About MYOB New Zealand
Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, 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 NZ$35 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.co.nz.
About the MYOB Business Monitor
The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran late January/early February 2013. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.