Small businesses (SMBs) are confident about their future with 81% expecting their business to grow in the next 12 months, according to new research from small business lender, Prospa. This is despite 87% of business owners anticipating challenges within the same timeframe.

Seven out of 10 business owners say they have either made, or are in the process of making changes to their business, led by reducing operating hours (23%), expanding through ecommerce platforms (19%) and diversifying payment acceptance methods (10%).

The large majority have also made changes to their pricing models with more than one-third having increased the prices of their products and services over the past 12 months.

The research also found that 28% of small business owners intend to access capital for their next phase of growth, and 71% of those intend to do so in the short term to manage the current environment.

“Australian small business owners have not had an easy ride navigating through the pandemic, supply chain issues, staff shortages, and now increasing operating costs. Despite ongoing challenges, the majority of small business owners have been working hard to make smart decisions to drive new revenue and become more efficient to propel growth,” Prospa co-founder and chief revenue officer, Beau Bertoli said.

“The entrepreneurial mindset of small business owners has been inspirational, as they find ways to pivot and make difficult decisions to change according to the current market conditions to ensure they can keep their business moving.”