Business challenged by staff shortages and rising rates
Continuing staff shortages and escalating interest rates and inflationary pressures are causing major concern for Australian small business, according to the latest national survey of franchised businesses.
The June Quarter 2022 Franchise Business “Pulse Check” survey included responses from 119 brands covering 20,928 individual business outlets (19,291 franchised and 1,637 company operated) employing 231,123 Australians.
The greatest concern or challenge reported by the survey is availability of suitable employees for Franchisees at 80% – sharply higher than the 64% reported in the March quarter survey.
Availability of suitable staff for support offices (61%) was also sharply higher (up from 40% in the previous quarter).
For the first time since the surveys began in March 2020, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures were identified as a significant challenge by 54% of Australian franchised businesses (31% high and 23% very high).
Supply chain issues at 54% and Franchisee recruitment at 40% were also in the top key concerns and challenges.
QLD at 46% of respondents remained the strongest performing state or territory for franchises over the past 12 months – up slightly from 38% in the March survey. This was followed by WA (23%), NSW (17%) VIC (10%), and SA, ACT (both 4%).
The percentage of respondents feeling optimistic about business conditions in the next six months fell to 57%, down from 72% in the last quarterly survey.
The businesses expect to open 805 new franchised outlets in the next twelve months across their respective networks. They said they were most likely to expand business in NSW (39%) followed by VIC (38%), QLD (15%) and WA (8%).
This latest survey shows that although pandemic trading restrictions are gone, significant new challenges are hindering Australian business recovery”, said Franchise Council of Australia CEO Mary Aldred.
“Urgent action is needed at the national level to ensure opening up of new streams of potential workers, both local and from overseas, with the skills and capacity needed to fill the diverse workforce gaps appearing across the Australian economy”, said Ms Aldred.
Mary Aldred is the CEO of the Franchise Council of Australia, the peak body for the nation’s $184 billion franchise sector. Mary commenced in the role in April 2018, bringing with her extensive experience across government, industry and the corporate sectors. As CEO, Mary has led the FCA in developing and delivering strategic priorities to strengthen the FCA’s role as an effective peak business organisation and advocate for a complaint, sustainable and profitable franchise sector. Franchise Council of Australia Phone: 03 9508 0888 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.franchise.org.au