Small and medium businesses embracing sharing economy

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According to the MYOB Business Monitor, many small to medium business owners believe the sharing economy is having a positive impact on their business. A national survey of over 1000 small business owners found that the franchise sector was the most positive about the sharing economy, with 71% of franchisors and 41% of franchisees reporting a positive impact to their businesses. Nearly 18% of general small and medium business owners believed that the sharing economy positively affected their business with only 7% reporting a negative impact.

Chief Technical Advisor, Simon Raik-Allen said, “This is an area of genuine growth and innovation in Australia – these new approaches are clearly creating their own markets. Small to medium businesses are starting to embrace the sharing economy with almost 31% saying they had used the services of an Uber driver, rented an AirBNB property or similar.

We’re starting to see a real buzz among our customers around outsourcing as well, so I’d be expecting growth in the virtual assistant and social and website management areas as operators increase their online operations”.

In addition, the report found that two thirds of businesses are using online banking, with finance and insurance (76%), construction, trades, manufacturing and wholesale (70%), retail and hospitality (69%) taking up at least one of the host options available.

Small and medium business owners are satisfied with the technological change rate, with three in five businesses saying the rate of technology innovation was ‘about right’.

“We are seeing something of a generational divide here with traditionalists aged over 70 (51%) and Baby Boomers (23%) more likely to state the pace of technology was too fast compared with 13% of Gen Y and 14% of Gen X”, said Mr Raik-Allen.

It turns out that retail and hospitality businesses are in front when it comes to online and digital operations, the report stated. Retailers and hospitality owners are most likely to accept instant payments such as EFTPOS, ApplePay, PayPal or mobile apps with 44% taking payments this way.

“We know that late payments and cash flow are an ongoing concern for SMEs so it’s great to see businesses discovering the immediate benefits of digital payments, which deliver funds quickly and securely. Offering these options allows customers to increase their spend at the point of sale and, when shopping online or with a mobile device, turn browsing into an immediate sale,” said Mr Raik-Allen.

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