MYOB released the results from its bi-annual Business Monitor survey of over 1,000 SMEs today, revealing that many SME owners believe the sharing economy is having a positive impact on their business.
Across all SME owners, 18 per cent said the sharing economy was having a positive impact on their business, with only 7 per cent reporting a negative impact.
The franchise sector is the most positive about the sharing economy, with 71 per cent of franchisors and 41 per cent of franchisees reporting a positive impact to their business.
“This is an area of genuine growth and innovation in Australia. These new approaches are clearly creating their own markets,” said MYOB chief technical advisor Simon Raik-Allen.
Mr Raik-Allen said SMEs are beginning to utilise sharing economy services to benefit their own business.
“SMEs are starting to embrace the sharing economy with almost one in three (31 per cent) saying they had used the services of an Uber driver, rented an Airbnb property or similar.”
“We’re starting to see a real buzz around outsourcing as well, so I’d be expecting growth in the virtual assistant and social and website management areas as operators increase their online operations.”
The survey also found that three in five SME business owners feel the pace of technology innovation is ‘about right’.
Mr Raik-Allen said that while the majority of SME business owners are comfortable with the rate of technology change, there is an evident generational gap.
“We are seeing something of a generational divide here with traditionalists aged over 70 (51 per cent) and Baby Boomers (23 per cent) more likely to state the pace of technology was too fast, compared with 13 per cent of Gen Y and 14 per cent of Gen X respondents,” said Mr Raik-Allen.