Australian small businesses are facing increasing uncertainty; with potentially volatile stock and property markets causing extra worries, small business owners will have to balance issues these may cause with the regular worries of relevance and sustainability in an increasingly competitive market.
Small businesses hold an important place in the economy of Australia, accounting for one third of local production and half of employment in the private sector. Despite this, small businesses find themselves losing out due to regulations that treat SMEs as the same as big businesses, making it difficult to succeed in the long term.
According to a survey conducted in November last year, 33% of Small Business owners are primarily worried about the effect the Australian Economy will have on business performance. Small business owners are more concerned about the economy than cash flow problems or taxation or regulation, despite making up a huge part of the economy. This negative perception of the economy may be partly dictated by scare tactics from the media, with small businesses feeling as though the economy could take a turn that sees the end of their business overnight.
A negative sentiment towards the economy also comes with less willingness to grow a business. A small business is less willing to employ new workers if they are worried about how the economy may effect productivity. Employers may not feel like they will be able to sustain extra labour costs if they do wake up one day to an economic downturn.
Other barriers that small businesses face are much easier for individual businesses to fight against.
One of these barriers that can be broken down is loyalty. Loyalty plays a huge part in growing and maintaining growth in small business.
Customers, also effected by economic downturn and employment concerns, are more likely to keep their spending to a minimum, so it can be difficult to grow a customer base when starting out. Creating a great customer experience has just as much influence as a great product or service. Small businesses are reliant on their customers, not the other way around, so giving them a great experience is a great way to retain customers.
Loyalty is also incredible important with employees. Employees want to feel valued for their contribution, not just through a raise or promotion, although those surely wouldn’t hurt, but through appreciation as well. Feeling motivated to come to work and do a great job is incredibly important to workplace morale. Many Australian workers feel dissatisfied with their work and may feel ambivalent towards your business as a result. Creating a culture where they feel valued and have a pathway for growth is great start to getting employee satisfaction and loyalty along with it.