Small businesses in Australia are struggling…. REALLY!!!
I can’t speak for everyone…. just us and the way we look at things and make decisions. We try to be informed and spend a lot of time researching everything we do. These are just some of my thoughts…..
The media tells us times are tough, the Government says things are OK….. and you know what, compared to the rest of the world, Australia is doing well. BUT it’s hard to think globally, when you have a small business and rely on a customer base that at this moment in our economy, is being very careful about how they spend money!
So why go into a small retail business? The Golden Question!!! Personally after 25 years of teaching, which I loved, I tired of the bureaucracy. There is more to that story, but another time…. Andrew & I wanted to be our own bosses. Andrew has been a web designer for the last 15 years or so, so has always worked for himself, so we were familiar with the financial stresses of an irregular income. Leaving my regular income was a big step into the unknown.
We have now owned and operated Nest & Burrow for 2 years! For the first 18 months our attention was split between our cafe (now sold) and the gift shop… for the last 6 months the gift shop has had our undivided attention and has experienced growth. Sadly many small businesses fail in the first year and then before their third year. This is due to many reasons, however, chiefly it is due to cash flow. In general customers are spending less, the internet is getting bigger as a place people spend money and big stores regularly have huge sales. It’s hard to compete. Rents can be unsustainable when you pay CPI each year as rents increase but your turnover is actually lower…
A new trend that is emerging is that small businesses aren’t being sold… when their lease is up, they are closing their doors. This is a genuine tragedy. There have been lots of campaigns to shop locally particularly in NSW…. We ask that you support small businesses and try to shop locally. We personally, genuinely try to keep our prices low and competitive, some of our prices are cheaper than online stores! We want to be in a small business and stay in it for as long as we can. We spend untold hours looking for new and exciting things to have in our shop, so that it remains fresh and interesting.
This is not a complaint…. we decided to do this, so if we have to work a 60 – 70 hour week, that’s OK with us …. we made this choice, we take the good with the bad and most small businesses are the same. We just ask for your support to keep us going too… we have had plenty of days where we have taken (yes taken… not profited less than $100 in a 7 hour day) and this can be quite disheartening. There are quite a few people who (incorrectly) assume because you have a shop you must make lots of money…. (customers actually tell me this) … have a look around your town and your area at the shops that have gone, not sold but gone, especially ones that were there for a long time (10 years or more)… it’s going to happen more unless we support our small shops. If you can, focus on small family businesses that do all the work themselves or employ only a few people. They need you most!!!
Nest & Burrow is based in Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands of NSW, with a population of approx 3 000.