Despite the severe impacts of the ongoing global pandemic, Australian small business owners are confident about their recovery, with almost half expecting to ‘grow rapidly’ over the coming years, according to new global research from GoDaddy.
Many cited the effectiveness of the Government’s COVID-related financial stimulus packages as a key boost during recent months.
The pandemic has had devastating impacts to small businesses both globally and in Australia, where three quarters (77%) of survey respondents reported reduced revenues and 37% endured forced closures.
Yet, according to the GoDaddy Global Entrepreneurship Survey, which takes a deep look into the pandemic’s effect on the world’s small businesses, the mood of business owners surveyed in Australia is one of not only determination, but genuine optimism.
How many are optimistic?
Looking beyond Australia’s immediate hardships, 82% were optimistic that they would recover within 12 months – compared to just 70% of their global counterparts.
Additionally, almost half (44%) expect their business to grow by 50% or more in the next three to five years, which is significantly higher than the 26% of small businesses surveyed globally.
Australia’s optimism extends to its entrepreneurs where 54% have actually started a business during the pandemic, eclipsing the global average of 16%.
Australian small businesses were also more likely to have reported growth during the pandemic, with 11% experiencing an increase in revenue, as compared to just 8% globally.
Many respondents cited the effectiveness of the Government’s COVID-related financial stimulus packages as a key boost during recent months.
Australian small business owners were more than twice as likely to find their Government’s financial assistance ‘very helpful’, as compared to the global average of those regions surveyed (30% as compared to 14%).
“Resilience, dynamism and determination are terms that define Australian small businesses more than ever before,” comments Suzanne Mitchell, Director of Marketing for GoDaddy Australia.
“In the face of a year defined by challenges that few could have predicted, we’ve seen our small business community adapt and pivot to help set themselves up for success.
Add to this the optimism shown in our latest research, and it’s an inspiring indication of the Australian entrepreneurs’ potential to bounce back and drive forward.”
The pandemic has undoubtedly caused major disruption to lives, both personally and professionally, but some small businesses see the situation as an opportunity rather than a challenge.
What are some entrepreneurs saying?
Gabby Simoni, who leads marketing at Australia’s Golden Outback, a not-for-profit tourism board in Western Australia, believes that the disruption to international travel will encourage Aussies to fall in love with what their own country has to offer; supporting local businesses with their tourism in the process.
“The tourism industry has been disrupted by this global pandemic, and we’re no different,” Simoni says. “At a time when we’d normally have begun the bulk of our activity, restrictions were enforced and travel almost entirely ground to a halt.
However, as the majority of Australia begins to return to some semblance of normality and interstate travel becomes more feasible, our optimism about the future as both a business and an industry is really growing.
It might not be quite what we’re used to, but we hope that in lieu of international travel, Australians will travel to beautiful destinations – both in West Australia and across the country – supporting local businesses and communities with tourism.
After a really challenging few months, we’re really excited and hopeful about what the upcoming months and years will hold as we recover, not only as an organisation, but a country.”