Small business operators are warned to take stock with the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures indicating that further rises in fuel, banking costs, and other household spending are on the horizon.
The CPI rose 0.9 per cent in the March quarter 2006 (compared with 0.5 per cent in the December quarter).
Small Business Minister Norm Marlborough says the figures should act as a warning for small business to monitor outgoings closely, particularly where transport and costs for imported goods are concerned.
Mr Marlborough is urging small business operators to monitor any changes in operating costs and seek professional advice.
“The Small Business Development Corporation and the Small Business Centre Network offers workshops on Cashflow, Marketing and Business Planning, as well as free, one-to-one business advice and guidance for small business operators,” he said.
“With the slim profit margins of many small businesses, any increase in suppliers’ costs, fuel or other operating costs, can have a serious, negative effect on profits.”
The Minister said small business owners would be wise to maintain a ‘watching brief’ while fuel, particularly, was the one common element in almost every small business.
“If the business is involved in transport, then higher fuel costs will impact directly, while for others the increased cost of delivery is added to every item,” he said.
“If the business is retail, the impact will also be felt when customers have less money for discretionary spending.”
Minister's office: 9213 6500