The 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report delves into the complex relationship between consumers and small businesses – exploring the various challenges and opportunities in how they find, communicate and transact with each other.

Telstra Executive Director, Small Business, Brendan Donohoe said the evidence showed small businesses were missing critical opportunities to meet the wants and needs of the contemporary consumer. “Digital technology is helping create big opportunities for small businesses – but only for those who embrace it,” he said.

“Our report shows small businesses are trying to meet customer expectations but are at times falling short, often acting on ‘gut feel’ or relying on traditional ways of doing business.”

“The gap between what customers want and what small businesses are delivering shows up in how customers find businesses, how they prefer to interact and what keeps them loyal and coming back.”

Mr Donohoe said while digital technology was a key opportunity for Australia’s small businesses to be more competitive and find more customers, change was required. “Where we see a real opportunity for some small businesses is being open to change, safely putting a toe in the water with digital technology and in return, delivering a great experience for customers,” he said.

The report was released at the launch of the Telstra Business Awards. Now in its 26th year, the Awards has been a program that shines a light on Australia’s most innovative small and medium businesses to gather, explore their dreams, celebrate their achievements and to become ‘that’ business.

Since 1992, the Awards have showcased some of Australia’s best business talent, with over 45,000 businesses nominated to date. Nominations for the next round close 28 March.