How brokers can keep the SME dream alive in Australia

by Mike Wood03 Jun 2021

Australia’s economic recovery is going well – GDP just reached pre-pandemic levels – and the SME sector has been at the heart of the rebound.

Brokers assisting small businesses know all too well how difficult it has been to keep that part of the economy going in the last year, but according to a recent survey from SME lender Prospa and YouGov, the dream has not died among those who own their own businesses.

The study found that 96% of SME owners enjoy their jobs, with the biggest benefits being flexibility (68% of respondents), being their own boss (65%) and pursuing their passion (48%).

77% said that Australia was a great place to own a small business, with a further 50% saying that they pandemic has made them feel more like they are part of their communities.

For Beau Bertoli, co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer at Prospa, brokers are vital to helping SMEs getting the funding that they need at this crucial time.

“It’s very important for brokers to understand the specific needs that SMEs have,” he said. “The way that I would describe the small business world is that the needs of most small businesses are quite common, but the details can be quite specific.”

“Understanding their needs, what they’re going through and what their growth plans are is an important part of figuring out what the right product is to help their business.”

“A small business customer might be coming into a cash flow issue or a working capital issue because they have to pay for stock in 30 day increments, but sell that stock in 90 day increments, so there’s a two month gap with a working capital requirement.”

“That’s a very different situation to a business owner who sees an inventory deal from a wholesaler where the stock is 50% off and they need to pay cash on delivery today, where if they move quickly they get a good deal. That’s a different use case again.”

“Or if a SME wants to expand, they might have one retail shop and want to open a second, or if they’re a professional services company like an architectural firm, they might have one in Sydney and want to buy on in Melbourne. That again is a different use case.”

“It all comes back to a common set of requirements and for most small business owners, where working capital providers like Prospa come to the fore is that they help the small business owners to grow and run their businesses.”

“That’s where a broker can do a phenomenal job of understanding: what are they working on, what are their aspirations and what are their challenges? Through those simple questions they’ll find lots of opportunities to support them with capital products.”