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Australian small business owners and entrepreneurs prioritise a flexible lifestyle over revenue, shows new research by GoDaddy, the dedicated small business tech provider.
The global study, conducted with Morar Consulting, including more than 500 respondents from Australia, investigated the current state of the local small business community, outlining key traits and aspirations, the impact of technology and awareness of available support.
A number of things have bubbled out of the report, says Tara Commerford, Country Manager of GoDaddy Australia and New Zealand.
Staying small and self sufficient
Staying nimble was a key outcome with many small businesses and entrepreneurs feel that ‘smaller is better’, with half saying their ideal business size is five or less; while less than 20 percent consider overseas expansion to be an essential part of business success.
Australian small business owners and entrepreneurs also value resilience and self-sufficiency in how they operate, with 44 percent of respondents indicating they would try again if their business failed.
Responding to a softer economic outlook, the study found that Aussies are less bullish on growth than their global counterparts: only 8 percent anticipate 50 percent growth in next 3-5 years.
“Most Australians view starting their own business as a responsible lifestyle choice, not solely as a means for material wealth or status,” said Tara Commerford, Country Manager, GoDaddy Australia and New Zealand.
“They are content to remain small, rather than adopting a more bullish approach to growth that we’re seeing in many other parts of the world. It is also good to see that Australian SMBs and future entrepreneurs are socially responsible. This pragmatic, well-principled approach ensures that Australia’s national economy grows in a sustainable way, without compromising the quality of life and values many Australians hold dear.”
The study also revealed the Australian SMB and entrepreneur community are not taking full advantage of available government and industry support. Only 15 percent of small businesses are utilising available government initiatives available today. Similarly, more than half of SMBs and entrepreneurs were unaware of how the newly-introduced National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) could potentially impact their business.
“While their tenacity and resourcefulness serve Australian small businesses and entrepreneurs well, they don’t have to go it alone when it comes to maximising the potential of their business – they can better leverage the government initiatives put in place to help start-ups,” says Commerford.
“Australian small business owners and entrepreneurs must also be careful not to limit their horizons as many resources exist to help them get their ideas off the ground and achieve continuous growth.”
Technology first approach
More SME owners are tapping into technology compared to years gone by, says Commerford, with a demonstrated increase in confidence and know how thanks to simplified processes and ongoing tech support.
Technology is viewed as a key enabler in the development of growth of business; close to 70 percent of Australians say technology has made it easier to become an entrepreneur, and demonstrated tech-savviness with a DIY approach to their technology management (keeping their website up and running). At the same time, nearly half of SMB owners and entrepreneurs believe stronger tech infrastructure will shift our entrepreneurship culture forward.
The research also found that websites rank more highly (31 percent) than social media (18 percent), in terms of online tools are that are valued as critical platforms to drive online awareness.
“We also found that 41 percent of Australian businesses already use their domain names and websites as their primary sales channels, helping them to operate with greater control and flexibility – this could also be due to the prevalence of technology adoption in Australia,” concluded Commerford.
For many businesses, this comes down to the flexibility to manage their own strategy and versatility to steer their own digital profile.
“Digital technology makes it easier and more cost-effective to extend any successful business idea to new markets without compromising on flexibility and maintaining the operating principles they value.”
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