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4 key drivers of success for small businesses in 2023: A  message from Lars Leber, VP of Intuit QuickBooks Australia
accountants and bookkeepers

4 key drivers of success for small businesses in 2023: A message from Lars Leber, VP of Intuit QuickBooks Australia

The past three years have presented Australia’s small business owners with a perfect storm of challenges – fires, floods, lockdowns, supply chain issues, rising inflation and soaring interest rates.

Yet, 80% of Australian small business owners feel “confident”, “optimistic” and “cautiously hopeful” about their company’s prospective performance for the year ahead, according to new research conducted by Intuit QuickBooks.

“Australian small business owners have been incredibly resilient over the past three years, and our research shows that these turbulent times have not shaken their spirit. It is encouraging to see there is a sense of hope for business growth in 2023 from the experienced entrepreneurs to those just starting out,” said Lars Leber, Vice President of Intuit QuickBooks Australia.

In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows more than 305,000 businesses stopped trading in the last financial year, but more than 472,000 opened their doors for the first time. That’s a net increase of 7%. 

In terms of business growth, the commissioned research found that 25% of Australian small businesses experiencing consistent year-on-year growth across 2020-2022, while 45% saw slow but steady growth and 5% experienced soaring profits.

“Small business owners have always been the backbone of Australia’s economy. This will not change in 2023 as they look to employ more staff, ultimately helping to improve economic prosperity,” Leber said.

The remaining 25% of entrepreneurs who struggled to turn a profit during the challenging period reported a split outlook on 2023 while 23% of this group feel concerned and 21% uncertain, more than half (56%) have entered 2023 with an optimistic outlook. 

Lars Leber

Lars Leber, Vice President of Intuit QuickBooks Australia

4 key drivers of success for small businesses

According to research findings, there were 4 key drivers of success important to small business owners, namely:

  • Increased sales (52%), 
  • Enhanced marketing activities (47%), 
  • Improving or expanding their product offering (43%) and 
  • Growing the customer base (41%).

Furthermore, over one-third of local entrepreneurs saw hiring new employees as an opportunity, and 18% were excited to digitise more of their administrative tasks so they can focus more on what they love.

This showed that small businesses are increasingly seeing the value of digitisation.

“Increased digitisation is the single most important strategy, regardless of whether small business owners are seeing a glass half full or a glass half empty for the year ahead,” Leber said. 

“It will go a long way to determining which businesses build on their current strengths, and which are able to turn surviving into thriving in 2023.”

Leber adds that digitisation puts knowledge at your fingertips, meaning you can see what’s happening in your business right now rather than relying on historical reporting. 

“You’ll know how your cash flow is, what costs are coming up this month, and which new products or services are proving to be a hit with customers.”

So, automating core business processes like finance, human resources and marketing increases the accuracy of reporting, freeing up precious time for business owners to focus on their core business and doing what they love, he said.

Take the stress out of managing your firm

Challenges ahead for small businesses

While the majority of small businesses are positive about the year ahead, the following external factors were raised as potential areas of concerns: 

  • Maintaining cash flow, 
  • The likelihood of a recession, 
  • Retaining and hiring staff, 
  • Breaking even, and
  • Potential impact of rising inflation.

“As a former small business owner, I know balancing the books can be one of the most stressful parts of running your own business, but a clear understanding of your cash flow is critical, especially in times of economic uncertainty,” Leber said. 

With the right strategies and set of tools, Leber said that small businesses can address some of these challenges.

Accountant and small business owner Jimmy Nguyen shares 6 tools that help him run an efficient small business and ensure effective communication and boost productivity within his team:

  1. Slack: “Slack is a given because it's fantastic. You can have multiple conversations in multiple silos with as many people as you want, and create a system where no information is lost.”
  2. Monday.com: “Puts the power of development into the hands of the user. The level of automation allows you to connect with different APIs as well as to create interlinking systems like triggering emails, notifying staff about projects and keeping workflows in sync.”
  3. Ignition: “Ignition makes it easier to engage clients and run your business with things like online proposals, automated engagement letters and payments.”
  4. MailChimp: “An easy-to-use all-in-one marketing, automation and email marketing platform.”
  5. Canva: “A free design platform for creating professional social media posts, presentations, posters, videos and logos.
  6. QuickBooks: “QuickBooks allows you to see the true benefit or the true costs of your monetary decisions. Because of that, you get a truer outlook on your overall performance. It has a great integration system and the API is open enough that a lot of other industries can connect with it. As an accountant, I love it. The sophistication is great. At the same time, for small business owners, it’s easy, simple and user-friendly.”

Leber added that by implementing an accounting software solution and engaging an accountant, advisor or business expert, Australian small business owners can gain a clear understanding of their position and take back some of the control into 2023.

About QuickBooks

Intuit QuickBooks helps small businesses manage their books, get paid fast, manage capital, and pay employees with confidence. To find out more, visit quickbooks.intuit.com/au.


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