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Processes restricting small business growth

14 April 2011: Small businesses are potentially missing out on growth opportunities and being tied down in everyday business processes, according to new research from the Commonwealth Bank.

The overwhelming majority of small businesses surveyed (73%) indicated that they would like to spend more time looking for business growth opportunities, however almost half indicated that day-to-day functions such as inventory management (49%) and business banking (43%) were taking up the majority of their time.

The Commonwealth Bank Better Business Survey was commissioned in March 2011 and questioned 469 financial decision makers in small businesses across the country, with an annual turnover of less than $10 million.

Two in five respondents (41%) revealed they want to spend more time on bringing in new sales and over one-third (35%) are interested in allocating more time to marketing. This compares to over one-third of respondents who want to spend less time on activities such as supplier management (39%) and cash flow management (35%).

According to Matt Comyn, Executive General Manager, Local Business Banking at the Commonwealth Bank, whilst these activities were important functions of running a business, it was also necessary to understand how this could impact broader plans.

“For many small business owners, there is little question over the importance of processes like cash flow management, which is considered the lifeblood of a business,” said Mr Comyn.

“It’s therefore no surprise that businesses are spending more of their time in these areas, however the survey has highlighted that day-to-day activities are taking up a large proportion of their overall resource. This means that there is little remaining time to focus on growth plans.”

This sentiment was shared by respondents, with close to half (44%) of the small businesses surveyed stating that they would like to streamline their business processes. A large proportion (44%) also said that they were looking for ways to make their business banking more efficient.

The findings of the survey coincide with the release of the Better Business Package from the Commonwealth Bank, which is designed to simplify business banking for small business.

“Running a small business is incredibly time consuming, so that’s why it is important that things like business banking are made easier to manage,” said Mr Comyn.

““It’s clear that small businesses want to simplify processes, freeing up more time to focus on things like growth. When it comes to banking, it should be simple. Having your finances spread across multiple financial institutions can also be time consuming and cost you more than you think.”

The Better Business Package is comprised of four essential products that are designed to work seamlessly together, allowing businesses to:

Achieve greater control of business transactions

  • Receive payments faster
  • Earn interest on any extra cash and;
  • Access credit when it’s needed

The package allows business owners to focus on ensuring they have more time to successfully manage and grow their business.

“Not only does it simplify banking, it gives you complete 24/7 visibility over your finances, helps you manage your business more efficiently and can make your money work harder,” said Mr Comyn.

The Commonwealth Bank has launched a dedicated Better Business Package website featuring an educational video, case studies and interactive poll. For more information and to join in the debate online, please visit

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Media Inquiries:
Tim Mullen
Phone: 02 9118 1667
Mobile: 0424 141 483

About the Better Business Survey

This survey was conducted by ACA Research* on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank via an online methodology, over the period of 1 week in March 2011. The survey was completed by financial decision makers in businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million – for the purposes of this study these businesses are referred to as “small business”. The survey participants run businesses in a wide range of industries across all states, and have banking relationships with a variety of financial institutions.  All figures quoted are based on 469 responses – the maximum sampling error associated with a sample size of 469 surveys is +/- 4.5% at the 95% confidence interval, which is within industry standards.

*ACA Research is an independent market research consultancy that specialises in conducting among business to business audiences and niche consumer markets, across all industries.  ACA Research has access to a panel of survey respondents. Businesses from this panel were sourced as participants for this research.

About the Better Business Package

The Better Business Package is designed to simplify your business banking with four essential products that work together and bring your banking to one place. This includes a Business Transaction Account to help manage cash from day-to-day, a Business Online Saver to make the most of excess cash, a Merchant Facility to receive payments faster and a Business Credit Card to access credit when you need it. Our specialists can build a Better Business Package to suit your specific business needs.