Survival of the fittest: 48% of small business owners to head online within three years

Ceyda Erem

13 Nov 2019

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From ordering food to upgrading their wardrobes, Aussies love to do everything online. But for many small business owners having to adapt, that means giving their business a digital upgrade. 

According to recent research from American Express, 48% of bricks and mortar small business owners predict that their business will operate entirely online in the future.

But while some might say it’s all about keeping up with the times, others believe it’s a means of survival. 

“It’s promising to see Australian small businesses are considering new and agile approaches to business, but this is becoming a necessity when two-third (65%) of consumers believe small businesses need to go online if they are going to survive,” said CEO and Founder of Retail Doctor Group, Brian Walker. 

Although it may be a non-negotiable for many Aussie small businesses to head online, those that are have concerns of their own. 

The research found that 37% of online small businesses had a fear of insolvency within the next three to five years, compared to 32% of bricks and mortar small businesses. 

A considerable 41% of bricks and mortar small businesses said they felt less optimistic about the future of the small business sector, while 33% of online small businesses said they felt the same way. 

“The research shows there is a disconnect when it comes to the performance of online businesses. This could be in part due to increasing competition online, as well as a need for more early state support for new operators,” said Walker. 

“With the right backing and strategies in place, small businesses can succeed both on and offline. Ultimately it comes down to providing an excellent experience that customers will come back for time and time again.” 

How far small business owners are willing to go

Almost half (40%) of small business owners have already made the move to invest in technology like building a website, adopting customer service technologies, data analytics and automation. 

But taking your small business to the next level often doesn’t come cheap and can mean more than just relying on your business savings account.

Taking out a business loan on the other hand could give your business the financial support it needs to grow from purchasing new equipment to upgrading your technology. 

In fact, according to the 2019 Australian Banking Association Economic Report, 34% of small businesses with 200 or more employees took out business finance in the 2017-18 financial year. 

So if you think a business loan is your next step on the way to future-proofing your business, head on over to our business loan comparison tool, which currently compares over 40 business loans from both bank and non-bank lenders.

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