Business Changing recently carried out a State of the Nation survey, asking 200 SME business owners their thoughts on the economy, Covid, their biggest issues in business and what they think the coming 12 months will bring. Read the full report and all insights HERE.
The NZ Herald published an article based on the key findings on July 27, 2022 — read that below or HERE.
The issues keeping business owners awake at night — and why Covid-19 has fallen to bottom of the list
By Aimee Shaw
A new report reveals Covid-19 is no longer the main concern for Kiwi business, falling bottom to the list of issues keeping them up at night.
Small and medium-sized businesses are feeling the pinch of a tight labour market and immigration policy, with getting adequate staffing the biggest issue they are facing right now, according to business consultancy firm Business Changing’s State of the Nation survey.
The survey of 200 business owners conducted in the first half of July found for every 12 employees they have right now, they have one job vacancy.
Almost 70 per cent of business owners surveyed said they had no confidence in the current Government and its ability to steer the country through the economic downturn.
Fifty-nine per cent of businesses said they were “somewhat worried” about their own personal wellbeing and mental health and 49 per said they were worried about the wellbeing of their team.
Perhaps surprisingly, despite the potential for disruption and staff sickness, Covid-19 was found to be the least of business owners’ worries – with 70 per cent stating that they were not concerned about the ongoing impact of Covid on their business.
An expected pullback in consumer spending as shoppers move to be more cautious around spending as the biggest issue business owners expect to face in the next 12 months, followed by rising costs driven by staff and suppliers, government decisions and policies, alongside recruiting and retaining staff.
Other findings show that service-based companies are performing better than product companies compared to a year ago, and that product-based businesses had needed to borrow more money to survive the past two years.
Fifty-five per cent of product businesses said they felt their culture was now better than before Covid compared to only 38 per cent of service businesses. Overall, 57 per cent of business owners said they had become better leaders and managers as a result of Covid.
Two-thirds of businesses surveyed said they were nervous for the New Zealand economy over the next 12 months.
Advice on how to get ahead
Business Changing chief executive Zac de Silva says despite the economy facing challenging times and the outlook for the next wee while looking bleak, businesses should look at their business and practical ways they can improve their operations and workplace.
“Imagine you are 18 months in the future and your business is in some hard times. With hindsight, what would you regret not having done over the ‘past 18 months’ that would have had your business performing better in the future? This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself today; and keep asking it regularly,” says de Silva.
While economic factors may not be in your favour, de Silva says to look at ways of practical change you can implement within the business. This could be working on your culture and perks or what you can offer to attract new talent, building better relationships with your suppliers, improve communication with your employees or revise your business plan.
“A business owner is only as good as their own wellbeing. The stress of running a business is immense. Of course, you need to be proactive to ensure your business is doing as well as possible but be mindful of the growth you are aiming for to keep growth and your personal wellbeing in equilibrium. Business is a marathon. The success of your business depends on the success of your own self,” he says.
“Leadership of a business is the most crucial determinant of success. How active are you trying to improve your leadership and management ability? How can you become a better manager and leader? And apply this to other managers in your business.”
Lastly, he recommends that business owners should remember that even though your market may shrink it is still possible for your business to grow.