It’s clear that the new Government needs to make small business growth a priority and make good on its election promises, given that small business owners have been feeling the pinch lately.
We recently commissioned a national study of 441 executive managers and business owners of Australian companies to see how they’ve been performing, and to understand their expectations for FY14. We found that that half (51%) of companies experienced no revenue growth in FY13, with just one in four (25%) increasing their headcount.
Despite such slow growth, businesses remain optimistic about better days ahead, with 60 per cent expecting revenue growth in the next 12 months. What is interesting is that their focus for growth sat squarely with technology.
While the office will always be a place to congregate around, a physical office is no longer a certainty. Particularly for businesses just starting out, their office may be a virtual one.
This is something we recognise at Servcorp. Starting out as a small Sydney-based property start-up in the 70s we’ve made a huge effort to transform the business into a real estate and technology business. This corresponds to our belief that, to grow, businesses can’t afford to stand still – companies willing to be more aggressive with their expansion plans and invest are most likely to emerge as winners in the growth stakes.
Investing in, and being able to use cloud services, for example, can help small businesses take advantage of multiple markets. Being able to have a local Melbourne landline number that can redirect clients to your Sydney office is a great way to make potential clients feel like they have a local contact point with your business, whether or not you have enough man power to staff separate offices.
On a similar vein, we’re seeing more and more clients take advantage of our business lounges to provide a more flexible ‘hotdesk’ option for employees. Teams can work side-by-side without the business carrying the financial burden of having to provide desks when they’re not being used.
Whether you’re a one man band or a small local team – understanding the impact technology can have on your business is essential for continued growth. Being smart in how you compliment your business with IT equipment and support could mean the difference between success and failure.