Small business owners are making plans to access funding for growth in 2023.

The latest SME sentiment research from YouGov, commissioned by Prospa and released in January 2023, asked 520 small business owners and primary decision makers about the health of their businesses, their growth outlook and more.*

Here’s how business owners and decision makers plan to use that funding as part of their cash flow management and capital expenditure in the coming 12 months.

Accessing funding to fuel growth

One of the major takeouts from the research was the growth mindset of many respondents – 83% of Australian business owners and decision makers anticipate growth for their business over the next 12 months.

This is an inspiring statistic, and one enabled by their willingness to access funding to achieve that growth: 28% of Australian business owners and decision makers intend to access external funds to support their business’s needs.

Certain business profiles are more likely to be anticipating growth via funding opportunities than others. Notably, 43% of millennial business owners, 42% of non-sole traders, 34% of men and 33% of owners of businesses established in the past five years say that funding is part of their plans to thrive.

The research found that male business owners and decision makers are nearly twice as likely as their female counterparts to say they plan to access external funds.

On average, business owners and decision makers who plan to access external funding expect they will borrow $23,585.46 over the next 12 months to support their business needs.

Ask yourself:

● What are your business’s current priorities? Is it equipment, staffing, technology or something else?

● How likely is your business to be in a position to access external funding in the coming 12 months to fund those priorities? If so, how much?

How others did it:

By accessing external funding – specifically a Prospa Line of CreditUrban Jungle Studios owner Dean Taylor was able to refurbish his Brisbane studio and expand to a new location in Sydney.

“I’ve been experiencing quite a sharp cash flow increase,” he told Prospa in 2022.

How business owners plan to use funding

Rather than bogging a small business down in debt, the planned and conscientious use of external funding can sustain and support growth in a business with intentions to thrive.

Many Australian business owners are feeling the impact of inflation, so rising expenses is a top consideration for businesses that intend to access funding: 69% of the business owners surveyed intend to use funding to cover rising expenses.

The top growth tactics small business owners plan to use the funds for include:

  1. Invest in digital technology (23%)
  2. Upgrade or purchase new equipment (23%)
  3. Train staff (21%)
  4. Expand into new markets (18%)
  5. Increase staff numbers (15%)

Owners and decision makers in businesses with between 6 and 19 employees are more than twice as likely as sole traders to consider investing external funds in further growth through hiring employees and almost three times as likely to invest in expansion into new markets.

Ask yourself:

● How do your business’s priorities align with potential capital expenditure? Use this to guide your decisions, whether covering the cost of rising expenses or investing in technology.

● How could external funding help your business inspire a new product offering, achieve a years-long expansion dream, or crack open a new niche in the market?

How others did it:

With a Prospa Small Business Loan, the owners of the Texas-style eatery Smokin Hot ’N Saucy Barbecue were able to expand into new premises and make plans to expand their retail offering.

“We’re going to grow our online store and just try to find consistency in the market,” co-owner Randi Thrave told Prospa in 2022.

*Prospa x YouGov SME Sentiment survey, January 2023