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SMEs need support in volatile economic times, says Canstar
Mon, 10th Sep 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

With the World Bank predicting a global economy slowdown, SMEs could be susceptible to market volatility and downturn, despite making up a huge chunk of the country's gross domestic product.

At least that's according to Canstar, which says that SMEs account for $80.6 billion and are an essential ingredient to a functioning economy, but at the end of the day there are still businesses that need support.

Canstar general manager Jose George says every SME needs to be both flexible and responsive.

“The business owner needs to know what's coming in and what's going out, what interest rates they're paying, what trends the business goes through, what trends the market is experiencing, what's the outlook, and more,” Hose says.

“All of this knowledge can help keep a business financially fit and put it in a much stronger position if the economy does slow down.

However SMEs may need agile support services, because in many cases a business owner can't strengthen their business alone.

BNZ says businesses can do a number of things to ease the pressure of economic downturn. These include debt level assessment, weekly/daily finance tracking, looking for opportunities to improve productivity and reduce the volume of slow moving stock, enable's an owner to analyse what's happening in their business and make necessary adjustments.

BNZ adds that service quality can't slip, and businesses should strive to provide great customer service – after all, customer loyalty counts.

Banks have also realised that SMEs need more than just funding. They also need business advice, support, insights, technology, networking, and workspace opportunities.

According to Canstar, banks have realised that they are a regular touch point for small business owners, and they are also a gateway for support.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy,” comments BNZ general manager for small business, Harry Ferreira.

“We want to help them run their businesses better, give them the advice and resource they need to grow and scale, and even help them take on the world and access new markets overseas.

“We've also been long supporters of the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco, which helps New Zealand high-growth companies expand into the US market,” Ferreira continues.

“Over the last seven years, we've helped 3000 New Zealand companies access this amazing resource for free, and supported their Sales and Marketing Jam which brings lessons and experiences back to New Zealand to help those thinking about making the leap.