SMEs are planning to invest in their businesses in the next 12 months, with technology as a strong driver behind its growth, according to advisory firm, RSM Bird Cameron.
Its study, thinkBIG 2012, showed 77 per cent of SMEs expect growth in the next 12 months, an increase from 69 per cent in 2010 and 76 per cent in 2011.
The company said despite SME owners having a slightly less optimistic outlook they still plan to invest in the business in the next 12 months – and 74 per cent expect to increase efficiency through technology, a jump from 57 per cent in 2011.
The study revealed half of SME owners have a website and a further 34 per cent use both their website and a social media presence.
It also showed 51 per cent of SME owners continue to rely on reinvested profits as their primary source of funding for growth, consistent with 2011.
“Seeing more SME owners relying on reinvested profits rather than their own salary to fund business growth is a very positive evolution. It shows that they are able to fund business growth through the success of their business,” RSM Bird Cameron business solutions national head, Andrew Graham, said.
The study also found:
- A shift in SME owners’ focus on business planning, with 76 per cent of SME owners undertaking formal planning, an increase from 30 per cent in 2011.
- While SME owners believe their business is successful, how they feel about running their business has dropped significantly, recording the lowest rating since the study began in 2007.
- SME owners do not expect to see an improvement in the availability of finance in the next 12 months. Business owners said they will still employ strategies that involve investing in the business.
- 39 per cent of respondents reported to have used or will use an accountant for business planning – with 26 per cent saying they have used or will use a financial planner for superannuation planning and 20 per cent saying they will use a financial planner for retirement planning.