Boom bust recharge survey results may indicate stability
STABILITY is what Gladstone business is craving and what the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry expects will be revealed in its 2018 Boom Bust Recharge business study.
It is a similar outcome to two years ago when the last survey was conducted.
Amarna consultancy firm director, Lyndal Hansen was engaged to conduct the survey and said she was keen to see how small businesses saw the business outlook for the next 12 months in terms of their investment.
In the last survey, 50 per cent of businesses said their investment strategy would remain the same, similar to the 2014 survey.
"It's going to be interesting this year ... if that's the projected outlook. We're looking at those trends." Mrs Hansen said.
Boom Bust Recharge is the third edition of the 'Boom, Bust or Reset' studies undertaken by the GCCI, and is the biggest business study to ever be conducted in the Gladstone Region.
Mrs Hansen said although it is important that business can adapt, 50 per cent is not a negative figure for small businesses who choose to stay with the same investment strategies .
"You can look at it from a glass half full or half empty perspective, but 50 per cent says to me that there is some stability there," she said.
"They don't see themselves losing out, and that's just in their future planning strategy."
She said for small businesses, it's not a matter of whether they should diversify, but whether they can.
"With small businesses, you just can't," she said.
"You have to have the skills, you have to have the background, you have to have the passion, you have to have all that to make it work.
"That diversification is not as easy as some people might like to think."
She said a lot of people don't understand that small businesses are owned by people who invest their own money.
"They're losing their own money, and (people) think that it's all someone else's money," she said.
"But when you own your business, it's your money and it's your superannuation.
"A lot of Baby Boomers are getting up to that age near retirement and they can't afford to keep losing money, so they need to make some hard and fast business decisions."
Some of the online survey questions cover digital economy and digital changes in small business.
"Baby Boomers have maybe have been in business for 20-30 years and they are having the most difficulty adjusting to new ways of doing business," Mrs Hansen said.
"We'd like to find out how some of those businesses are now gearing up, and this has been going on for a number of years."
The GCCI aims to conduct the next survey two years down the track with funding and support from Australia Pacific LNG.
"The Chamber is very grateful for that support and the industries are acknowledging the importance that small businesses play in the economy of this region."
The top three issues in both the 2014 and 2016 surveys were staff issues, decrease in work and higher costs.
If issues remain the same, the Chamber will be advocating for more support from all levels of government to assist small businesses.