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SME's Biggest Barriers and Risks Identified in 'Think Big'

Hard data has confirmed what SME owner-operators have intuitively known for some time.  Now that the count is in there’s nowhere to hide.  We have to change our habits.

RSM Bird Cameron is one of Australia's leading accounting, tax and consulting firms serving mid-sized companies in Australia.  Earlier this year, they sponsored a study of SME's across Australia to gain insight into the critical success factors for SME's.  The results are the subject of a report called "Think Big - A Blueprint for SME Success".  The following information has been extracted from the Think Big report.

Barriers to Growth

Lack of Resources  33%
Lack of Capital  23%
Time Stretched  10%
Market Saturation  18%
Not Relevant Now  3%
No Obstacles  13%

"SME owners are typically constrained by a lack of resources and capital.  This directly affects their ability to devote time to working on, rather than in, the business and in turn constrains their ability to achieve growth objectives.  Breaking out of this resource constraint cycle is proving difficult for many owners, and the lack of both internal and external capital to fund the growth is a major constraint to remaining competitive and moving their business to the next level.

Growth of SME's is further constrained by a very narrow view held by owners of funding options, with most SME's currently using only owner equity and bank debt.  Their limited awareness of capital raising alternatives is preventing SME owners from realising their wealth creation goals.  Few owners reported having considered private investment or venture capital, and there is clearly an opportunity to educate the sector about the range of funding alternatives they could consider."

RSM  Bird Cameron are hapyp to discuss funding alternatives with you.  Please feel free to contact Jamie O'Rourke, NSW Business Solutions Director, on 02 8226 9515 or visit for your local office.

Key Risk Factors Facing SME’s

Think Big identifies the key risks faced by SME’s as: (in rank order)

1. Inability of the owner to keep working
2. Loss of competitive edge
3. Loss of key people
4. Lack of capital
5. Financial collapse

Clearly there is a vicious cycle in which a business owner-operator can become trapped.  We lack resource and time to work on the business which is not only a barrier to growth but also one of the biggest risks for the survival of the business.  Losing your competitive edge is also usually the result of spending too much time focused on the day-to-day activities of the business rather than examining market needs in the medium and long term.


Why is it some business owner-operators can find the time and others can’t?  Many of our clients who are experiencing rapid growth have more time on their hands than those whose businesses have plateaued.  How can this be so?  The answer lies in the priorities you set and the choices you make.  Phone Eyes Wide Open on 1300 792 782 and within the space of a short phone call we will identify 3 practical actions you can take to find more time to work on your business rather than in it.

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