Story image

SMBs struggle to set up shop due to slow internet speeds

Small businesses may be the engine room of the Australian economy, but it appears support doesn’t go both ways. 

According to a nationwide survey by cloud accounting provider Reckon, one in three (33%) small businesses admit that it is tough to set up shop in Aus, citing the lack of government support and technology infrastructure as key barriers to success.

The survey of over 1,150 small business owners across Australia found that almost half (45%) of respondents have had to cease operations because their previous venture failed. 

Despite the fail-rate, the local small business landscape continues to prosper at a steady pace, demonstrating resilience in business owners.

With the rise of online businesses over bricks-and-mortar, Amazon’s arrival Down Under has emerged as a major cause for concern amongst Australian small businesses. 

More than 70% say the government isn’t doing enough to protect them from the e-commerce behemoth.

The top three solutions respondents want from the government are better tax offsets (53%), improved Internet connectivity to support them in building an omnichannel presence (32%) and more start-up incentives (26%).

In fact, over half (54%) are worried about being left behind in today’s digital economy race as a result of slow Internet speeds. 

A whopping 83% are also not confident in the government’s ability to deliver the National Broadband Network (NBN) within the next two years as promised.

Reckon MD Sam Allert says, “The Australian small business landscape has undergone massive changes in the past few years alone, the most major being the shift from traditional bricks-and-mortars to online. 

“With that, local businesses now find themselves having to compete in the global marketplace.”

“For small businesses to survive and thrive online in the presence of global players like Amazon, not only do they require a more robust and reliable technology infrastructure, they need to become more digital savvy.”

In terms of the outlook for small businesses this year, 38% of respondents said that declining customer demand is most likely to negatively impact profitability in 2018.

Allert concludes, “What we need to be doing as a nation is enhance our overall technology capabilities, to achieve this, there needs to be a concerted effort between the government, private sector and small businesses.

“In addition to better incentives and greater investments from the government to build up our infrastructure, technology providers can also play a part by educating, upskilling and providing small business owners with the digital know-how to innovate and ultimately, effectively compete against global brands."

Security flaw in Xiaomi electric scooters could have deadly consequences
An attacker could target a rider, and then cause the scooter to suddenly brake or accelerate.
Four ways the technology landscape will change in 2019
Until now, organisations have only spoken about innovative technologies somewhat theoretically. This has left people without a solid understanding of how they will ultimately manifest in our work and personal lives.
IDC: Top 10 trends for NZ’s digital transformation
The CDO title is declining, 40% of us will be working with bots, the Net Promoter Score will be key to success, and more.
Kiwi partner named in HubSpot’s global top five
Hype & Dexter is an Auckland-based agency that specialises in providing organisations with marketing automation solutions.
Moustache Republic expands Aussie presence with new exec
The Kiwi digital commerce partner has appointed a Sydney-based director to oversee the expansion of the company’s Australian footprint.
Epson’s new EcoTank range with two years printing per tank
With 11 new EcoTank printers that give an average user two years of printing and cost just $17.99/colour to refill, Epson is ready to change the game.
Te reo Māori goes global via language app called Drops
If you’re keen to learn a few words of Māori – or as much as 90% of the language, you may want to check out an Android and iOS app called Drops.
Reckon Group announces a steady profit in 2018
Reckon continued its investment in growth throughout the year with a development spend of $14.3 million.