Jenna Hanson
Business and Technology Journalist

Jenna Hanson covers business news and technology for Smarter Business™

Jenna Hanson
Business and Technology Journalist

Jenna Hanson covers business news and technology for Smarter Business™

More than half of Australian small and medium businesses have admitted to making a business mistake in the past year, according to new research released by Telstra.

In a recent survey, Biggest Business Blunders, Smarter Business Research – 2015, Telstra spoke to 1000 Australian small and medium business (SMB) owners to uncover their biggest blunders in 2014.

Nearly 40 per cent cited not building the necessary partnerships/relationships as the biggest business faux pas made last year, while one in four also admitted to failing to invest in technology at the right time.

Man with hand over mouth

Fessing up

While more than half of the SMB owners interviewed admitted to making a mistake, 47 per cent believed that they hadn’t made one that they recall. New South Wales were the least likely to admit to a gaffe at only 49.5 per cent, while South Australians were the most likely to admit to a misstep, with 62 per cent saying they had made a mistake.

“As we kick off 2015, it’s an important time for small business owners to stop and reflect on their business learnings,” says Andy Giles-Knopp, Executive Director of Small Business at Telstra.

“Our latest Smarter Business research reveals that customer and supplier relationships will be the biggest priority for SMBs in 2015 and technology will be key in driving this through solutions such as video conferencing, mobile devices and business apps.”

It’s an important time for small business owners to stop and reflect on their business learnings

- Andy Giles-Knopp, Telstra

Relationships matter

The report found that the most common blunders after not building proper relationships were ‘not investing in technology at the right time’ at 20 per cent, and ‘making big decisions based on whatever our competitors are doing’ at 14 per cent.

Affordability has improved for small businesses, with 68.2 per cent of respondents believing that technology is much more affordable now than it was when they first started. However accessibility depended on what state the business was in, with 70.5 per cent of NSW respondents believing technology is more accessible, but only 56.3 per cent of Western Australian businesses agreeing.

Also, almost 40 per cent of Australians SMB owners surveyed believe that small businesses need to adopt virtual working to remain viable into the future.

Future focus

When asked what areas they would focus on to drive business growth in 2015, the top three areas identified by SMBs in the survey were:

  1. Customer and supplier relations
  2. Marketing
  3. Job satisfaction

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