Economic volatility is seen as their biggest challenge by 68 per cent of South African small business owners, according to research by cloud accounting software producer Xero.
The survey of small business owners in South Africa – conducted in collaboration with World Wide Worx – revealed in addition to the country’s economic instability, 35 per cent of business founders worry about cashflow, while a further 23 per cent cite future sales as a key concern.
Nonetheless, most small business owners are confident of the future of their companies – with 40 per cent predicting growth over the next year, and 45 per cent expecting their company to remain stable at its current size.
Further positives emerged from the survey. 89 per cent of respondents said they are confident managing their companies’ finances; and 92 per cent reported never having missed a tax deadline.
The survey also showed tech applications are on the rise as key business tools. 49 per cent of those interviewed said technology is essential to the running of their business, while 74 per cent use mobile apps for business daily.
“Small business owners face turbulent times ahead, but this country’s entrepreneurs are nothing if not resilient. In fact, 40 per cent still expect to grow this year. It’s those businesses able to adapt to these challenging circumstances that will succeed regardless of economic volatility,” said Darren Upson, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) director of small business at Xero.
“The local small business community is determined to succeed and rise above the current economic climate. They have the necessary skills and ambition to do this, and as such, it’s not altogether surprising that they’re not only looking to survive, but are actively pursuing growth.”
On the government’s impact in supporting entrepreneurs, 89 per cent of small business owners said they had received no help from the Department of Small Business Development.
Asked what more they would like the government to do, 48 per cent of respondents said the government should provide more funding, and 43 per cent want the government to grant tax breaks for small businesses.