Where are Aussie SMEs overspending?

Where are Aussie SMEs overspending?

A Small Business Loans Australia Study

April 2023

Small Business Loans Australia commissioned a survey of 250 small-to- medium business directors and decision-makers to discover whether SMEs are overspending unnecessarily, during a tough economic period and if so, by how much.

Business owners and senior decision-makers were asked to specify if they were overspending across 17 common business expenses:

  1. Payroll, salaries, & employee benefits
  2. Rent or mortgage
  3. Utilities
  4. Equipment (incl. computers)
  5. Maintenance & repairs in the workplace or on equipment
  6. Motor vehicles & their expenses (incl. petrol)
  7. Internet, cloud storage, software or subscriptions
  8. Inventory & stock
  9. External contractors and outsourced professional services
  10. Workplace furniture & supplies
  11. Marketing, advertising & sponsorship
  12. Insurance
  13. Business travel
  14. IT hardware (computers, servers)
  15. Interest and fees on loans
  16. Employees
  17. Workplace amenities for employees

Respondents also revealed how much they could be saving each year if they avoided overspending or cut unnecessary spending.

Small Business Loans Australia surveyed 210 owners and senior decision- makers across the full SME spectrum: micro (1-10 employees), small (11-50 employees) and medium-sized (51-200 employees), as well as a small percentage of large businesses (more than 200 employees).

Thinking about the times that your customers have paid you later than your payment terms, have any of those late payments had negative impacts?
Small Business Loans Australia Study
State (%)
Payroll, Salaries, & Employee Benefits1917192714
Rent or Mortgage2123203310
Equipment (inc. computers)812075
Maintenance & Repairs in the workplace or on equipment11913019
Cars & Other Motor Vehicles Expenses (incl. petrol)161523719
Internet, Cloud storage, Software, or Subscriptions161752918
Inventory & Stock11823714
External contractors and professional services we outsource work to21218714
Workspace Furniture, Equipment, & Supplies191191310
Marketing, Advertising, & Sponsorship222310135
Business Travel1415101324
IT hardware (computers, servers)6910714
High interest and high fees on our business loans118131310
Employees (wages or employee headcount)131710024
Employee benefits and workplace amenities for employees8115024
My business doesn't overspend on anything315302010
State (%)
Up to 50,0003228533343
More than $500,00059370
My business could not make any more monetary cuts817281314