More than three in four Australians (76%) have had at least one business idea, however, only 35% have started one, new research from leading business management platform, MYOB, has revealed.

The 2023 MYOB Belief Barometer, which provides a snapshot on the current state of the entrepreneurial spirit and self-belief in business, found that fear of failure was a barrier, with almost half (42%) of those surveyed having had a business idea that they never brought to life.

MYOB general manager for SME, Emma Fawcett said the survey highlighted that finance is still the biggest challenge when it comes to starting a business, but that self-belief was a vital component to getting a business idea off the ground. 

“It is exhilarating to think of the untapped potential sitting among Australians right now, many of whom are actively thinking about new business ideas and how they might turn this into reality. We want to provide the support for every business owner starting out on their business journey or looking for new ways to evolve for the future,” she said.

MYOB general manager for SME, Emma Fawcett.

Encouragingly, seven in 10 Australians believe they can start a business and more than eight in 10 (83%) believe they could learn with the right help, but only 21% agree starting a business is easy. Of those that did start a business, almost half (48%) said their number one believer in their first business was themselves followed by their partner at 37%.

“There’s no denying that starting a business is a big commitment and it takes an incredible amount of self-belief, particularly as we navigate current economic headwinds,” Fawcett added.

“For many, a business idea is an opportunity to pursue a passion project or the creation of something to help others, but it comes with many other responsibilities such as keeping the books, managing inventory, or tracking sales leads, which is where doubt can creep in.”

In recent years MYOB has transformed from accounting software to a business management platform, with a focus on bringing together key workflows through one, flexible platform. 

“We have built our new business management platform around the critical workflows that support businesses owners as they start up a new enterprise, and anticipate the capabilities they’ll need in the future as they look to grow,” Fawcett said.