While many developed countries are currently facing serious skills shortages, Australia has remained relatively well off in terms of its labour market. While some industries, such as renewable energy, IT, and services have been feeling a pinch, most businesses are experiencing no serious difficulties in finding the labour they need to operate. Unfortunately this is likely about to change.
For a manufacturer, getting and maintaining control over working capital is a particularly critical issue. Ensuring that revenues come in on time, so that timely payments can be issued to suppliers, is critical. After all, a manufacturer can’t operate efficiently, or meet deadlines, if its supply chain is interrupted in any way. Where other businesses would be seriously inconvenienced, a cash flow interruption can completely halt production for a manufacturing business.
Financing is a critical issue for the construction industry. Because construction is inherently a complex and time consuming process, builders are forced to manage long cash conversion cycles. This leaves a great deal of time during which cash flow issues can develop, when businesses are working, but before they can collect revenues on their investments. Without proper financing support, this can result in operational delays, delayed payment to subcontractors, and even project cancellations.
The Australian economy has enjoyed 3 decades of steady growth, but many Australians aren’t reaping the benefits. Wages have not kept up with growth, and what growth there has been only served to widen the gap between minimum and median wages. Today, Australian minimum wage earners receive just 55 per cent of the median wage, as opposed to 70 per cent in 1983.
Martin Roscheisen has been a key figure in Silicon Valley’s tech startup scene since the 1990s. Since that time, he’s founded, co-founded, or been otherwise involved in the launch of numerous successful startups, most notably including FindLaw, eGroups, and Nanosolar. In 2015, Roscheisen took on his biggest challenge yet: breaking into the diamond industry.
While politicians might still be issuing opinions about the pros and cons of globalisation, businesses have long come to terms with the reality of competing in global markets. In order to sustain steady growth in the long term, businesses need access to international suppliers and markets.
It’s natural for businesses to prioritise their near-term bottom line above all else. Driving growth, managing cash flow interruptions, and investing in innovation for the future is expensive. Businesses who don’t control their costs, or misallocate funds, can quickly find themselves in financial difficulties. Cutting costs in the wrong places, however, can have similarly disastrous consequences, especially in the long term.
The increasingly conservative behaviour of traditional lenders, as well as an historic real estate slump, are making financing more difficult for businesses all over Australia. This has only exacerbated a far longer-running issue, however. Businesses have long needed alternative financing solutions to what’s available at their primary banking institution.
Every aspect of business costs money, and the success of an enterprise of any size is uniquely dependent on its ability to access the capital it needs. Loans and other types of financing traditionally play an important role in this, supplying businesses with the capital they need to initially launch their operations, and to fund growth and expansion.
Due to a number of factors, including rising global economic uncertainty, and the royal commission into banking practices, Australian lenders have become significantly more conservative with regard to the issuing of loans. This has hit SMEs particularly hard. Falling real estate prices, depressed by the lending slowdown, make it more difficult for business owners to use their private real estate to fund their business activities.