81% of NSW and VIC SMEs have survived and plan to thrive after lockdowns

A new survey has revealed just how resilient Melbourne and Sydney SMEs have been during the current lockdowns. More than a quarter have not been impacted by the lockdowns at all, while 53 per cent say they will focus on bouncing back when restrictions ease.

The findings were derived from a survey of an independent panel of 161 SME business owners in NSW and Victoria, commissioned by Corporate Traveller Australia, Australia’s only dedicated SME travel management provider.

Corporate Traveller found that 28 per cent of SMEs across the two states have not been impacted at all by the current lockdowns. Unfortunately, 19 per cent of respondents said their businesses won’t come back.

Among the 53 per cent of SMEs that have been impacted but will bounce back after the lockdowns, most will focus on growing their sales, scaling their customer offering and recovering their internal resources to handle new sales.

Specifically, 42 per cent of those surveyed say they will put more of their time, budget and resources into new customer sales, marketing, or changing their sales model.

A fifth (20 per cent) will mostly focus on changing or growing their product or service offering, while 19 per cent will focus on bringing resources back into the business, such as ‘stood-down’ employees.

It appears that only a small proportion of Sydney and Melbourne SMEs will focus on downsizing to help propel recovery. Just 10 per cent said they will focus on reducing business costs, downsizing and/or improving supplier arrangements.

Employee strategies are not on the top of the priority list either, with just nine per cent admitting they will mostly focus on changing their employee-working model and/or improving company culture and morale. The findings point to the growing resilience and adaptability of Australia’s SMEs, and a promising future for their recovery.

I believe it’s promising to see that SMEs across Australia’s two major states, which have been hit hard by lockdowns and restrictions, will proactively build their businesses back up after lockdown. SMEs are the backbone of our economy and a renewed focus on thriving rather than surviving will be important in driving the country’s economic recovery.

A promising number of businesses are doing well during the current lockdowns, which suggests they have applied lessons learnt through COVID, and have found ways to strengthen the business in preparation for challenging periods. I believe we’re likely to see businesses, even those that thrived during lockdowns, focussing on several areas to flourish and grow in a world beyond lockdowns and restrictions.

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