WMC Accounting, Geelong, Colac, Bellarine Peninsula

Is now a good time to expand a business in Geelong?

SME confidence in Geelong is strong for 2017, research shows.

Australia has seen healthy SME confidence levels in 2017. This may have encouraged you to consider whether or not now is a good time to expand your Geelong business.

Regional areas don't necessarily reflect national trends, so we decided to take a closer look at current SME confidence in Geelong, as well as other factors that could affect you when starting or growing your small business.

Geelong business confidence is stable

The National Australia Bank SME Business Survey for the March quarter showed confidence surged among these organisations to +11, up 5 points from the preceding quarter.

SME confidence in Geelong appears to be similarly positive, with the latest Geelong Business Trends Survey from Deakin Business School indicating that 77 per cent of organisations across the city expect better profitability in 2017.

Moreover, 41 per cent of Geelong enterprises reported high optimism this year, compared with 37 per cent for 2016 and just 31 per cent in 2015.

Positive business sales in Geelong

If your business development plan relies on a strategy to improve sales, recent Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) figures may have given you pause for thought.

The organisation revealed weak sales, profits and capital expenditure across the economy in its latest quarterly Australian Business Expectations Survey.

However, Geelong organisations may be bucking the trend, with 79 per cent of enterprises expecting their sales figures to increase this year. A further 12 per cent predicted no change, while just 9 per cent believe their volumes will slip.

Admittedly, 79 per cent is lower than 2016's result (84 per cent), but notably higher than the 71 per cent that said sales would improve in 2015.

Implementing your business development strategies for 2017 and beyond requires skilled and experienced employees.

Employment expectations significantly higher

Hiring the best staff is a great tip for growing your SME in Geelong. Implementing your business development strategies for 2017 and beyond requires skilled and experienced employees.

The good news is that the labour market looks strong both nationally and locally. D&B's report found employment expectations at a two-year high, while 46 per cent of organisations in Geelong had high hopes for the workforce in 2017.

This was a significant increase on the figures from last year and 2015 (35 and 39 per cent respectively). Some Geelong SMEs will also benefit from recent payroll tax cuts that the Victorian government announced earlier this year.

If you think now is a good time to expand a Geelong business, please get in touch with an experienced accounting firm such as WMC Accounting to help you start or grow your SME.

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