As businesses continue to recover from the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic, new research by Mastercard reveals that optimism among SMEs across Australia has doubled from from 34 per cent in 2021 to 68 per cent this year.
According to the study well over 400 Australian SME businesses, 52 percent of SMEs nationwide are optimistic concerning the next 12 months, with 70 per cent believing they will come back stronger in 2021 and beyond. Over half our SMEs, 56 percent, expect see a revenue increase with a minimum of 10 per cent during the next 12 months, with 61 per cent of them expecting that revenue increase in the future from online sales.
Innovation the key to recovery
In another positive development, 70 per cent of SMEs feel more comfortable than ever in diversifying or launching services or services in the future. Over as third, 36 per cent, of SMEs are planning to launch a brand new service this year, 24 percent plan to launch new social media channel and 34 percent are looking at launching new products for his or her customers.
“Australian SMEs continue to show incredible resilience and agility in spite of COVID-19, and the Aussie ingenuity the nation is so famous for has played an important role in getting businesses back on their feet,” Richard Wormald, Division President at Mastercard Australasia, said.
“Innovation is really the bright spot amid the pandemic,” Wormald added. “Continuing industry support of these businesses with digital solutions and resources is going to be essential for the future.”
A note of caution
There are still some lingering concerns, however. SMEs expressed wariness about a slowing economy (50 per cent), another lockdown (49 percent), a fall in customer demand (29 percent) and supply chain interruptions (22 percent).
Also of concern is the fact that the study reveals that just 48 per cent of SMEs have contingency plans in position to mitigate any impact for their business activities from further lockdowns that could result from COVID outbreaks.