Some business owners supplement income by providing shareconomy services, MYOB finds

Digital | Small Business | Tech | Wealth Management

By James Harkness

The number of SME operators who believe the sharing economy is having a positive impact on their business far outnumber those who believe it is detrimental, according to cloud accounting provider MYOB

Over 1000 SME operators from across Australia were survey for the bi-annual MYOB Business Monitor, which found that the franchise sector was the most positive about the sharing economy, with 71% of franchisors and 41% of franchisees reporting a positive impact on their business.

Across SME operators generally, nearly a fifth (18%) said the sharing economy was having a positive impact on their business, with only 7% reporting a negative impact. Meanwhile, close to three quarters (73%) had neither seen business disrupted or boosted by the sharing economy.

According to Simon Raik-Allen, Chief Technical Advisor with MYOB, the sharing economy is an area of genuine growth and innovation in Australia.

He told Dynamic Business that nearly one in three operators (31%) have participated in the sharing economy via Uber, Airbnb or a similar platform.

“We found that 14% owners have supplemented their income by being a provider of services such as renting their home via Airbnb or working as an Uber driver,” he said.

“Gen Y operators were much more likely than boomers or traditionalists to have used (51%) or provided services (31%) as part of the sharing economy, particularly compared to baby boomers and traditionalists.”

Based on the finding of the business monitor, Raik-Allen speculated that traditionalists and baby boomers were more likely than other generations of SME operators to perceive the sharing economy as being detrimental to their operation.

“Amongst the business owners surveyed, 51 of traditionalists and 23% of baby boomers revealed they found the pace of technology too fast,” he said.

“As the sharing economy is associated with technology, this can affect how traditionalist and baby boomers perceive the impacts of the sharing economy. In addition, the sharing economy is constantly changing and evolving the way we do business. This creates new and unfamiliar territories for operators who have been running their business before the digital revolution.”

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