Small businesses confident for the Christmas period: Commonwealth Bank

Small and medium-sized businesses are feeling optimistic about Christmas trading, with 73% expecting customer demand to be equal to or higher than last year.

According to the Commonwealth Bank’s SME Confidence Report, 43% of small and medium-sized businesses expect their revenue and profit to be up on those recorded over Christmas 2013, while 38% said that Christmas will be their busiest trading period for 2014.

The report also found 87% of small and medium-sized businesses think business conditions will improve or stay the same over the next six months, a relatively similar result to the April 2014 survey, when 89% gave the same response.

The findings are in line with ANZ CEO Phil Chronican’s prediction that business banking will increase in 2015.

Despite their confidence, small and medium-sized business owners do have macroeconomic concerns, with 47% stating Australia’s economic outlook was having a negative impact on their overall business confidence. The global economic outlook affected the confidence of 39% of respondents.

Commonwealth Bank’s local business general manager Adam Bennett, said the important message for SMEs is to be prepared.

“Given the significance of the Christmas trading period, it’s important that businesses ensure they are well prepared to capitalise on increased customer demand,” said Bennett.

The report revealed that small and medium-sized businesses are employing a range of strategies to capitalise on the increase in customer demand, including improving customer service (46%), refining their product offering (44%), and investing in marketing and promotions (40%).

The SME Confidence Report measures confidence among Australian businesses with an annual turnover between $500,000 and $10 million.