Business Station’s survey of more than 200 Australian small businesses has revealed that small businesses have maintained or increased their staff numbers despite a rise in labour costs.
The survey was run at the end of December 2021. Responses were primarily from Western Australia with 112 respondents, and Queensland with 78 respondents. The remaining respondents were from the Northern Territory (8), Victoria (2) and New South Wales (1).
48.6% of small businesses reported paying more or much more to retain and hire staff compared to a year ago, whilst 35.8% reported paying around the same amount. Despite this increased cost, 52 businesses said they’d hired new staff in the last 12 months, 129 businesses had retained the same staff numbers and 82 businesses were looking to hire an employee in the next three months.
38% of businesses who responded to the survey had an annual revenue of less than $50,000, whilst 18.8% had revenues of $50,001 to $100,000, and 19.2% had revenues of $100,001 to $500,000. The following categories were $500,001 to $1m (9.1%), $1m to $5m (8.2%) and more than $5m (1.4%).
The majority, 47.4%, of businesses who responded were structured as a company, whilst 38.3% were sole traders.
58.9% of the respondents said they work from home, and 45.5% identified the flexibility of owning their own business as an important.
Other key issues impacting the businesses involved were reported as finding suitable staff, achieving work-life balance, generating revenue and managing cashflow.