Australian SMEs are coming out of the pandemic stronger than ever

While the pandemic has been irrefutably challenging for both businesses and individuals, a new Corporate Traveller survey[1] shows that 62% of Australian SMEs used this time to their advantage, by pivoting and optimising operations, to place themselves in a better position for recovery and growth.

This promising news after two years of economic downturn, instability, and restrictions is much-needed good news for Australia’s SME sector, which has proven to be extremely resilient and innovative to come out of the pandemic on a strong footing.

Tom Walley, Global Managing Director at Corporate Traveller, says it is promising to see that many businesses weren’t deterred by the challenges presented over the last two years and used it to their advantage instead.

“Many SMEs could be in a better position than they were before the pandemic as a result. Just one in five (19%) businesses didn’t pivot or optimising operations during the pandemic.”

The survey results demonstrate how SMEs have been inspirational in their ability to adapt to new environments. Tom says: “There’s no doubt they will lead our economic recovery.”

Corporate Traveller also asked SMEs what strategies they tried and changes they made in the last two years to survive and thrive, and found:

  • 45% offered employees flexibility, remote working, or more choice in their work arrangements, to attract and retain staff.
  • 31% transitioned some or all the business online to retain and attract sales
  • 27% created a safer workplace for employees by implementing stringent OHS and infection measures.
  • 20% introduced new technologies to make operations more efficient.
  • 19% streamlined operations to allow them to achieve more with fewer employees.

Tom says, “It’s not too late to make changes or engage in activities for growth and recovery and build a more resilient business as a result.

“I encourage Australian businesses to reignite or introduce travel programs now that the world has reopened. International travel will allow businesses to expand into new markets, increase sales, and attract new business partners.”

Corporate Traveller’s full survey results can be found here

[1] Corporate Traveller surveyed 202 Australian SMEs. Among the businesses surveyed, 32 per cent had 1-15 employees (micro-businesses), 32 per cent had 16-50 employees (small businesses), and 36 per cent had 51-200 employees (medium-sized businesses).

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