There’s no question the Covid19 pandemic has forever altered the small business landscape in Australia. Lockdowns nationally have accelerated the rise of pre-existing trends towards digitisation, cementing them as fully-formed patterns across different industries and sectors.
While the pandemic hasn’t been easy on the economy, there are many opportunities Australian businesses can leverage in this new terrain of 2021. Businesses need to understand how Covid19 has impacted the economy if they want to make the most of these opportunities.
2020 in hindsight
Before we look ahead, it’s important to understand exactly how Covid19 has impacted the Australian small business landscape. Federal government research has shown the pandemic has affected most businesses to some degree – Victoria the hardest hit due to the second lockdown, which began in August and didn’t begin to ease until late October.
In the early months of the pandemic, many businesses reported a stark downturn in demand for their goods and services. They also reported having to let staff go or decrease staff hours to remain financially viable. In contrast, recruitment numbers across the country looked more promising in later months. A peak unemployment rate of 7.5 per cent in July had only lowered to 6.9 per cent by October, despite most of the country opening up again to varying degrees.
While it’s true the pandemic in Australia certainly hasn’t blown out to the catastrophic proportions seen in some other countries, the economy will need time to recover. Businesses need to be aware of how Covid has reshaped the trajectory of 2021 to take advantage of all the new economic small business landscape has to offer.
What will the Australian economy look like in 2021?
Recovery will be the theme of the year for the Australian economy. While many businesses in states other than Victoria enjoyed the initial ‘bounce-back earlier last year following the end of lockdowns, Melbourne isn’t too far behind.
That said, businesses can’t afford to depend on an initial ‘bounce back’ to move them forward. Deloitte predicted recession-like conditions in Australia throughout 2021; however, it suggested the bounce back in household spending would occur faster than the recovery in business investment. The Reserve Bank believes the country may have escaped recession as early as September 2020 – with growth in other states outweighing the drag in Victoria – addressing the economy will be at the top of the federal government’s plan, either way. Previously-announced measures such as personal tax cuts and business investment incentives may go some way to reversing the pandemic’s economic effects.
Top emerging trends in 2021 your business needs to know about
Australian businesses can boost their recovery by staying on top of emerging industry trends. With the increasing migration of everyday business operations to the digital space thanks to the pandemic. There is a raft of ways businesses can stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of all the ‘new normal’ has to offer.
From hybrid working-from-home arrangements to the necessity of integrating AI into business operations, the future of business in Australia is exciting. However, businesses need to successfully implement these trends ahead of their rivals if they want a competitive advantage in the market.
Aussie broadband has put together a free ebook covering emerging business trends for 2021.
Small Business Answers have a number of guides to help you improve your digital presence.