SME Predictions For 2016

Categories: Small Business
26 January 2016

For many SMEs, trying to forecast things a month or a year in advance is challenging, as there are so many things that can influence outcomes.

But at Scott Partners, we keep a close eye on developments that might affect SMEs just like you. While we might not get it right all of the time, having a prediction based on fact will often mean that business owners and managers have a chance to plan for change.

So here are some of our bold predictions for things that may affect your business in 2016.

GST Change

It seems like a near-certainty that the Federal Government will take some form of GST package to the election in September or October this year. While the details are still yet to be made clear, is appears as though there are two broad options for change emerging.

The first is a change that would see the GST rise to 15%, but leave all of the current exemptions as they are. When the GST was introduced the tax specifically excluded health, education and fresh food. So under option A, these things would remain on the “no GST” list.

Option two is the option that would see the GST raised to a lower rate, perhaps 12.5%, but applied uniformly across all goods and services. That would see things like health and education subject to the GST for the first time.

As an SME, these changes could affect you. For example, personal trainers who rely on high levels of disposable income from their clients might see spending drop off if 5% was added to their clients household bills each month.

More Casual Workers

The nature of work in Australia is changing, with more part-time, contract, and casual work. Sites like Spotjobs, Airtasker, and of course, Seek, make it reasonably simple to find short term employees.

The advantages for SME’s include being able to access a flexible workforce with less hassle and red tape than taking on several full time employees, especially when work is seasonal.

Opportunities to Expand

The baby boomer generation is one of the largest population cohorts in the country, also owns a large proportion of small and medium sized businesses nation wide.

As this generation nears retirement, more businesses will come up for sale, which means existing SME’s may be presented with attractive opportunities to expand and grow.

Google Yourself

Most SME’s now have a website or Facebook presence, but not all of your online presence is controlled by you. Third party review sites, forums, and blogs can all have an opinion on you or your business, and are increasingly influential as consumers adopt a “Google first, then contact” policy.

Take regular time to Google your company name and check for negative and positive feedback. Where comments are negative, seek to engage with the person who made them and explain, and where they are defamatory or unfair, apply to the website owner to have them removed.

Get Local

For all of the fancy digital strategies and marketing buzzwords, old fashioned community engagement is the one thing that small businesses and medium sized enterprises have an advantage in. Research shows that in 2016, customers are increasingly favouring local engagement, and would prefer to transact with businesses they know and trust.

Whether its sponsoring the local under-11 footy team, donating goods to local not-for-profits or holding a sausage sizzle outside the local Bunnings to raise money for a charity, community engagement is the best way to build your profile and recognition in the community, with the added benefit that you do some good for your local area. Win-win!

If you have any financial or budgeting issues for 2016 that you would like to get on top of early, simply give us a call and schedule an appointment with one of our friendly, professional planners!