85% of Australian small business owners seeking cost reductions

Photo by Pat Whelen

Zeller has unveiled new findings from the first Zeller Small Business Resilience Report. The report, collated from the responses from over 600 Australian small businesses, reveals insights into how business owners are impacted by, and are responding to, challenging economic conditions.

The report sheds light on the adverse impacts of declining consumer spending and escalating supply costs and provides insights into the state of Australian small businesses.

With a staggering 85% of business owners currently seeking cost-cutting measures, the data underscores the urgent need for innovative solutions to support the growth of small businesses.

Key data from the report include:

  • Biggest factors impacting small businesses today: 42% of small business owners cite their biggest concern as the increasing cost of supplies and materials, whilst 32% reported reduced consumer spending as their biggest concern.
  • Supply costs are increasing: 80% of small business owners estimated an increase in supply costs of more than 10% in the past year, while 1 in 5 reported increases between 20 and 50%.
  • Inflation impacts: 67% of small business owners raised concerns over inflation and rising interest rates negatively impacting consumer spending.
  • Staff shortages are reducing: Following COVID-related challenges in hiring employees, 64% of businesses say it is easier to recruit new staff today than it was twelve months ago.
  • Cost cutting is a top priority: 85% of small business owners are actively looking for ways to cut costs — with many opting for tactics such as renegotiating supplier contracts or surcharging EFTPOS fees. Over 1 in 2 transactions processed with Zeller EFTPOS Terminal in May 2023 included a surcharge, up +104% compared to the same month last year.

Joshua McNicol, Zeller Director of Growth, commented, “The Zeller Small Business Resilience Report reveals the impact a challenging economic environment is having on small business owners — but we’re encouraged to see adversity breeding opportunity.

“Australian small business owners demonstrate a rare breed of determination in adapting and identifying solutions to sustain their businesses through tough times.“

Small business owners featured within the Zeller report shared strategies they were deploying to mitigate the impact of rising costs, without compromising the quality of their products or services. Access to smarter financial tools and technology offered by Zeller are helping business owners to better understand their cash flow and financial position.