While the economy and federal government have been sending out mixed messages, there are many small businesses that have had a bumper year to date, with no signs of it abating.
Ento, a workplace scheduling software company, has had a stellar year.
“We are on track to more than double our revenue, staff and customer base,” Aulay Macaulay, founder and managing director, says. “We also recently secured a $1.2 million investment from AirTree Venture Capital.”
The company, which started in 2009, has also received financial assistance from the federal government.
“Research and development grants have provided a boost with Ento receiving $50,000 in the last financial year from Australian government grants,” Macaulay says.
Macaulay says the company became of aware of the federal government grants from their accountant, and the funds have been used to further research and develop features.
“We’ve recently become aware of our eligibility for the Export Market Development Grant, so we’re looking forward to seeing how that can help us in the future,” he says.
“The market is positive and we have rostered more than 30 million shifts for Australian businesses ranging in size from 10 to 2000-plus staff. We will reinvest profits into further R&D so we can continue to expand our service and add new tools and features.”
Pete Williams, founder of Infiniti, a small business in the telecommunications space, has seen many benefits in 2015.
“For us a mixture of the NBN rollout, and recent government tax break, instant $20,00 deduction, have seen an increase in the take-up of newer telco products and services which we have been able to provide clients,” he says.
“That has been a key driver for our growth and a fantastic year. ”
Infiniti offers a 100 per cent money-back guarantee with the slogan “We fix it or it’s free”.
The company also claims its “customers save on average 50 per cent” by using its products and services.
“For us, it’s been a great year and as other small businesses grow and start, they need telecommunications, as they are the backbone of all business, so it’s been a win-win,” Williams says.
“As the NBN continues to roll out, it will force all businesses to make some form of technology change, which is great for us.
“Not many people know, but as the NBN rolls out every single business will have to make some level of change to the technology they have in their office; so it’s forcing clients our way.”
Kane Sherwell, owner of World Digital, was able to launch his own successful online business by using freelancers. He employs 25-30 freelancers and says that without Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk), he would never have got his business off the ground.
“I started the business five years ago and I have double revenues every year,” he says. “I’ve found that more and more companies are open to outsourcing. They understand that with the right management, they can complete projects at a third of the cost.”
World Digital combines website builds, SEO, business planning and strategy along with online promotion among other capabilities.
Sherwell is grateful for the tax cuts to small businesses.
“I have just invested in new servers, for better security and set-up, plus I’m about to purchase a new computer,” he says. “Naturally, the $20,000 tax offset for small business is handy for this.
“I believe 2016 will see me double my revenues again.”
Cian McLoughlin, founder and CEO of a small Sydney-based sales consulting and advisory firm, Trinity Perspectives, believes the changing nature of content is helping small businesses thrive.
“I think one key reason 2015 has been a good year for small businesses and 2016 may be even better, is the change in the way content is created and consumed in the business world,” he says.
“In the past, the biggest advertising budgets, the largest PR teams, the flashiest event launches garnered all the headlines, meaning small but exciting or innovative businesses struggled to create any traction.
“That whole paradigm has shifted with the rise of content marketing, social and social-proofed selling and networking, which has coincided with a shift in the balance of power from the big vendors to the customers they serve.”
McLoughlin says technology has become the greatest of enablers but also the greatest levellers. He believes it doesn’t matter any more whether you’re a global player or a incubated start-up, you can play on the world stage but just as importantly ,the world can play in your chosen market as well.
“Technology has driven a lot of cost out of running a small businesses, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on the critical elements of their idea and outsource or offshore the rest,” he says.
“Many big businesses are struggling to keep up with the more innovative and flexible minnows nipping at their heels, disrupting their markets and creating doubt and uncertainty in their customers.”
By Louis White via The Sydney Morning Herald