Small business owners stay the course even as demand drops, CommBank report

Photo: Jason Goodman

It stands to reason that higher costs of living can impact the costs of doing business, as new survey research from CommBank indicates.

Of the small businesses surveyed, dropping consumer demand was chief among all concerns, noted by 36% of respondents. 

The worry is that inflation and other related financial pressures will curtail consumers' ability to spend, and recent slumping retail numbers support this notion. 

The cost of business insurance was the next major concern among businesses (31%), followed by transportation and logistics costs (28%).

Despite these worries and growing anticipation that 2023 could be a tough year for business, some are well prepared. 

According to the survey, 33% of respondents have already reduced spending on non-essentials, while another third have adjusted their personal spending.

Budgeting and expense tracking has also been top of mind, as per the results of this survey.

Business as usual: Higher costs yet to hit for some

The tone of CommBank's report suggests small businesses remain pragmatic and focused on being prepared, no matter the hurdles placed before them.

This latest feedback also suggests small business owners generally have lower levels of concern than consumers.

CommBank's group executive, business banking Mike Vacy-Lyle says business owners have adjusted to changing demands and noted that "Australian entrepreneurs continue to show considerable grit" following the pandemic period.

All up, small businesses appear to be optimistic and determined, based on the survey's results, despite some uncertainty and caution.

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