SMBs are finally starting to get more confident in the economy and are raising their overall business outlook, according to the first 2013 MYOB Business Monitor for the year.
It found 26 per cent of SMBs are expecting the domestic economy to improve within 12 months.
This is an increase of seven points from 19 per cent in the July 2012 report. The positive result for MYOB CEO, Tim Reed, was that more than one-fifth of respondents voiced an intention to increase their investment in selling products and services online.
"This not only helps combat rising fuel prices for some but will enable all to take advantage of the time and resource efficiencies of being found, showcasing their wares and being paid on the web," he said.
For the longer term, 37 per cent of SMBs expect an economic improvement to take one to two years, and 22 per cent foresee it taking more than two years.
This is a drop from 42 and 24 per cent, respectively. When it came to revenues for the year, 30 per cent of respondents anticipate a rise, 42 per cent see them being stable, and 19 per cent are bracing for a fall. Reed said he is "pleased to see SMBs are feeling more assured" in relation to an upturn.
"We highlighted our expectation of a rise in economic confidence amongst SMBs around the time of the December cash rate cut, when we conducted a retrospective analysis of the last five Business Monitors," he said. While only 58 per cent of respondents saw increased or stable revenue last year, it has nevertheless gone up to 72 per cent of SMBs expecting it.
For Reed, this said this is a sign that "hope is springing back for Australia's business coalface." At the same time, he said that 19 per cent of SMBs are expecting revenue to fall.
For those cases, Reed recommends look at how other businesses and the tactics they used to overcome pressures.
"Our advice to them is to seek assistance from a business mentor, coach or advisor such as an accountant," he said.
"Draw on their expert knowledge accumulated through years of experience working with other businesses."
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.