Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are a critical part of the Australian economy, a fact which was highlighted by the continued enthusiasm and growth of the sector despite the global financial crisis (GFC).
At RSM Bird Cameron, we have been working with SME owners since we first opened in 1922 and we have a deep understanding of the challenges involved in running your own business, as well as the critical steps to take to maintain a successful growing business. We work with business owners through all stages of the business life cycle, from the initial start up, through periods of growth, in times where the business may be struggling and finally in assisting business owners to exit the business and move onto their next personal or business challenge.
Since 2005, RSM Bird Cameron has been conducting thinkBIG, a study of SMEs across Australia to gain insights into what drives success in these businesses. The results of the 2005 study revealed that business owners face two common challenges of creating wealth to support a successful growing business, and realising wealth to fund personal wealth and retirement plans.
In 2007, the challenge of retirement planning for SME owners was highlighted, with most owners tending to postpone planning for retirement until very late in the business lifecycle and then struggling to realise their wealth from the business.
In 2009, the economic climate changed dramatically, with the world facing the GFC. Whilst many SME owners experienced greater difficulties in accessing capital to finance growth, they still expressed optimism about both their reasons for starting their own business and the growth opportunities in the long term.
This fourth thinkBIG survey looks at the SME sector in the midst of recovery. We ask SME owners what motivates them to start their own business, the key challenges they experience and the opportunities they see for the future. In addition, we have included real life stories from SME owners who have experienced the ups and downs of running their own business and share their plan for success. We trust you find this report provides you with some interesting comparisons for your own business and an informative tale on the experiences of Australian SME owners.
National Director Business Solutions
RSM Bird Cameron