What's keeping business awake at night?

What's keeping business awake at night?
What’s keeping Kiwi entrepreneurs awake at night? Two recent surveys point to businesses being worried about the spectre of higher financing cost, a volatile exchange rate and its impact on business, and a change in the status of capital gains tax.

The good news is the economy is in a relatively good shape and Kiwi entrepreneurs are doing well compared to their peers across the globe. Some 81 per cent of Kiwi businesses expect improved profits over the next six month compared to their global peers 75 per cent, according to a survey released by the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO).

The New Zealand chapter of EO is part of a US-based global network linking 10,000 business owners in 48 countries.  There are two chapters in New Zealand – one in Auckland and one in Wellington – who together employ over 2000 staff.

In the Business Monitor survey sponsored by accounting service company MYOB, the results are consistent. This survey, carried out by Colmar Brunton across 1000 business owners, cite business owners’ key concerns as:  the high value of the New Zealand dollar, cashflow, margins and fuel prices.

A total of 62 per cent of EO NZ members saw increased net profits, 87 per cent increased full time employees and all maintained or increased their access to capital.

MYOB’s survey shows the national average for SME revenue growth in the September Monitor was 39% – the highest in 5 years. Only 17% of SME exporters saw revenue fall in the last 12 months, compared to 19% overall.

Less upbeat

As a whole Kiwi businesses are also less upbeat about the economy.

In the March survey period, 94 per cent of those surveyed by EO believed NZ’s economic environment would improve in the coming six months; that’s now dropped to 62 per cent.

“It’s fantastic to see such strong financial growth in our members. However when it comes to the confidence in our country’s economic environment, we’re lagging on the positivity we had six months ago,” according to David Serville, President of the Auckland EO.

This sentiment is also reflected by MYOB’s general manager (Accounting division), Adam Ferguson.

“There is some rising uncertainty about how the next 12 months will pan out, though. Some 13% of SME exporters are unsure how their revenues will look in 2015 – somewhat higher than the 8% average for all SMEs,” Ferguson says.

Results of the Global Entrepreneur Indicator survey just released cover a six month period to August 31, 2014. The MYOB survey is for the July/Aug period.