Half of SMEs are expecting a Christmas rush, says survey

Brokers primed to help clients as research reveals extent of commercial confidence

Half of SMEs are expecting a Christmas rush, says survey


By Mike Wood

Over half of SMEs are confident that they will do well out of the festive period, with NSW leading the nation in small business optimism.

SME lender OnDeck surveyed SME clients and found that 53% said that they were expecting revenues to increase, with 46% less confident.

NSW SMEs were more optimistic, with 55% expecting good trading as opposed to 51% in Victoria. The larger the business, the more optimistic they were: 63% of those with 26-50 staff thought they would do well against 43% of sole traders or those with just two employees.

“Small business owners tend to be optimistic by nature, and it’s certainly a characteristic that helps in a competitive market,” said Oliver Wade, head of marketing and partnerships at OnDeck Australia.

“It’s a credit to Australia’s small business community that they have managed to retain that sense of optimism after everything the pandemic has dished up. It goes to show the amazing resilience of the small business owners.”

“The timing matters too. We all tend to feel a sense of renewed hope as Christmas and the flip of a calendar approaches. But for some small businesses, the festive season is especially important as it marks the peak trading season of the year.”

“One factor in favour of small businesses this Christmas, is that lockdowns have created tremendous pent up demand. Roy Morgan research is predicting Australians will spend around $58.8 billion this holiday season – an 11.3% jump on pre-pandemic spending. That’s fantastic news for the small business community.”

According to Wade, the increase in festive activity should have a ripple effect through the economy.

“When retailers see an uptick in activity, plenty of other small businesses benefit too,” he said. “We know that small business spending has a multiplier effect that benefits everyone from wholesalers and importers through to freight and logistics.”

“We’re also seeing the hospitality industry enjoy an uptick as consumers enjoy the opportunity to return to bricks and mortar stores and turn Christmas shopping into a big day out.”

With such optimism about the financial climate, Wade said that this was the ideal time for brokers to check in with the SME clients to make sure that they were ready for the rush.

“It starts with simple, relaxed conversations, just chatting to local small businesses to see how they’re faring, and remind them that cashflow can be the key to making the most of the festive season,” he said.

“A boost to cashflow can let a business hire new staff to cope with demand, expand their marketing to promote the business, or spruce up the premises to make it more enticing to shoppers over the holiday season.”

“Brokers also play a role in letting small businesses know that their funding options extend beyond the big banks.”

“Fintech lenders such as OnDeck are eliminating many of the pain points small businesses experience when they apply for commercial funding.”

“In particular, our Lightning Loans require bank statements to be uploaded to the OnDeck website, and we can have a response to the broker in as little as 30 minutes, with funds available to approved businesses as fast as 2 hours.”

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