Business pressures high, investment strategies prioritised
Despite facing challenges in the last 12 months, 2014 is shaping up to be a year of growth for Maori SME operators according to the latest MYOB Business Monitor survey.
The Monitor revealed that Maori business operators were more likely to report their business revenue had declined over the previous 12 months. Over a third (34%) of Maori-owned SMEs stated their revenue was down in the year to February 2014, compared to 21% of SMEs overall. 30% stated revenue was up and 32% reported steady revenue (35% and 42% respectively for SMEs overall).
However, the survey results also show expectations are high for a turnaround in revenue performance. 45% of Maori business operators reported they expect their business revenue to increase over the 12 months to February 2015 and only 17% think it may decline. 36% expect steady revenue.
That expectation is underscored by a strong start to the year, with over half (55%) of Maori-owned SMEs reporting more work or sales in the pipeline for the three months February to April 2014.
MYOB National Sales Manager, Business Division, Scott Gardiner says it is positive to see Maori business owners start the year strongly and have positive expectations for 2014 – especially for those business owners who faced falling revenue in the last 12 months.
"2013 was a tough year for some Maori SME operators with revenue figures trending down. However 2014 is looking a lot brighter with expectations high for a turnaround. By investing in the right areas over the next few months, this important sector and the business community as a whole could see positive returns," says Mr Gardiner.
Pressures high, employee wages could increase
Business finance and cash flow ranked the second equal highest pressures for over a third of Maori business operators in the latest MYOB Business Monitor. While fuel prices remained the top pressure for all ethnic groups, Maori business owners appeared to feel the strain more acutely with 44% stating that it would likely put pressure on their business in the 12 months to February 2015. This compared with only a quarter (25%) of SMEs overall.
When it came to investment priorities for business operators in 2014, customer acquisition and retention were high on the list for all ethnic groups. However Maori business operators also highly ranked increasing the amount they pay their employees, with almost one third (30%) planning to provide pay rises this year (23% SMEs overall).
Top three pressures for Maori business operators in 2014:
- Fuel prices – 44% (25% SMEs overall)
- Business finance / funding / overdraft – 37% (15% SMEs overall)
- Cash flow – 37% (21% SMEs overall)
Top three areas of increased investment for Maori business operators in 2014:
- Customer retention strategies – 45% (28% SMEs overall)
- Customer acquisition strategies – 40% (27% SMEs overall)
- Amount paid to employees – 30% (23% SMEs overall)
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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.