MYOB’s latest SME Snapshot survey has revealed that 27 per cent of SMEs are concerned about the prospect of encroaching overseas competitors, while another 26 per cent are feeling positive about the arrival of these competitors.
“Our SME community is extremely resilient. The proof being their strength in the face of constant changes to our market,” said Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB.
“While there is some hesitation around new players to the market, business owners will need to assess the impact once they have arrived and, as they have always done so, adapt to this change in order to remain commercially competitive.”
Almost half of SMEs anticipate that the arrival of additional overseas businesses will have a negative impact on their businesses, with 43 per cent predicting a loss of customers and 43 per cent expecting a loss of revenue.
However, in the face of challenge SMEs are prepared to change in order to remain competitive, with 57 per cent believing that having more overseas businesses in the local market will force them innovate.
“It is heartening to see they’re thinking proactively about this and, as usual, looking to rise to the occasion and meet greater competition in the market via innovation,” Mr Reed said.
“However, the findings show us that there is still a ways to go to settle concerns around customer and revenue impact, especially given the wider global environment they’re now playing in.”
It’s not just overseas players that are rustling their feathers, with 42 per cent of SMEs believing that state and federal governments give more emphasis to metropolitan SMEs over regional SMEs.
“Even in our own backyards, competition is rife in the SME sector. SMEs are the heartbeat of their local communities, whether they’re based in regional South Australia or the centre of Sydney,” Mr Reed said.
“For the continued success of Australia’s vibrant SME sector, it is important policy decisions designed that benefit the many, rather than a few.”