Why Aussie small businesses are counting on their instincts to make big decisions

- March 4, 2022 3 MIN READ

When it comes to making business decisions, Australian business owners are top of the class for using their intuition to their advantage, writes Tamara Oppen, managing director at GoDaddy Australia.

The human body has an incredible way of picking up cues and sensing opportunities when things cannot be explained rationally. From getting a good feeling about a new contact you’ve only just met, feeling like a different direction is needed when your data says otherwise, or even pondering a new business idea and seeing the potential.

When harnessed, these feelings or ‘instincts’ can be a powerful tool – particularly for agile entrepreneurs and those running a small business.

Let’s take a look at why.

Backing instincts to turn dreams into reality

New research released by GoDaddy on the impact of instincts in business found 85 per cent of surveyed Aussie entrepreneurs and small business owners believed instincts were ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when making the decision to start their business.

Three quarters (78 per cent) of survey respondents said they believe that trusting their instincts has resulted in positive outcomes, while only one per cent believe it has had a negative impact.

Making intuitive and bold decisions to grow

So how exactly are Aussie business owners using their instincts to their advantage?

According to the research, the most common decisions backed by instincts are pricing changes (reported by 30 per cent), business strategy (30 per cent), investments (28 per cent), and hiring (24 per cent).

That means it’s not just starting a business where instincts play an important role, but growing one too.

When asked about their hiring and upskilling plans, twice as many respondents (41 per cent vs 20 per cent) prioritise soft skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving (which are two characteristics that can help to develop stronger instincts) compared to hard skills like a degree or digital skills.

Not surprisingly, experienced entrepreneurs rely on their instincts more often than younger entrepreneurs. Three in four 18-24-year-olds (76 per cent) reported starting their business based on instinct, compared with 93 per cent of those aged 65 and over.

Furthermore, a little over half (54 per cent) of 18-24-year-olds said they relied on their instincts ‘most days’, compared to 75 per cent of those aged 45-64.

Everyday Aussies giving it a go and winning

Roxane Coutts and Corrin Elliot, co-owners of Victorian-based Barkery Deluxe Dog Treats, turned their friendship and love of dogs into a thriving business by trusting their instincts, building a website using a website builder, and going for it.

The desire to start the business was fuelled by their aspiration to enjoy more freedom and flexibility to balance family life, whilst pursing their passions. They haven’t looked back since, and today that inspiration and instinct is a thriving, rewarding and empowering small business.

Diligence and planning were of course essential for them, but they reached the point where it would amount to little if they hadn’t taken the leap. Their ability to back themselves and put their skills to the test, coupled with hard work and passion were the driving forces.

Running a business doesn’t always go as planned, especially in a pandemic. Sometimes it’s a winning day, and sometimes there are setbacks – but that’s part and parcel of the journey.

In the face of adversity, strong instincts and diligence, planning and preparation can be important ingredients to find solutions.

Whether you’re an existing or prospective business owner, and whatever decision you’re faced with – big or small – don’t underestimate the importance of your instincts.

After all, our attitudes and mindset are what sets us apart from competitors in the moments that matter. Go on, back yourself and go for it!

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