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4 out of 5 small businesses need support with their finances

by OnDeck Australia,   Nov 09, 2023

A recent survey we conducted has identified valuable opportunities for brokers to diversify their business into commercial lending.

As a dedicated small business lender, OnDeck regularly canvasses the views of small businesses. Our latest survey of 500 enterprises nationally, confirms that over 80% of small businesses say they need improved financial management and help understanding their venture’s finances.

This presents opportunities for brokers at a time when the number of businesses is growing. The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows there are 2.6 million actively trading businesses in the Australian economy – and in the past 12 months, an extra 20,000 businesses have opened their doors[1].


Business owners require expert help with finances

Cameron Poolman, CEO of OnDeck, says the results of OnDeck’s survey aren’t surprising.

“We know that most small business owners excel at their core activities – be it retail, hospitality, construction or providing a particular service,” explains Cameron.

“However, business owners often wear many hats, and managing business finances can be a complex matter – one that the owner of the enterprise often has no formal training or experience in. Many simply learn on the job, and this can mean businesses are not optimising their finances.”

What was unexpected from our latest survey, is the sheer volume of business owners who say they have a pressing need for help with the enterprise’s finance.

Over one in four (28%) small businesses say they have a ‘strong’ need for improved financial management and require assistance with their finances.

“This indicates valuable opportunities for brokers to help small businesses understand the finance options available, and potentially restructure their existing loan and credit facilities,” says Cameron.


Diversifying into small business lending is rewarding

As the home loan market grapples with yet another rate hike, it has become even more important for brokers to consider diversifying into commercial lending.

And engaging with small businesses seeking financial help may be as simple as sorting through a broker’s existing customer base.

Previous OnDeck research suggests that as many as one in four of a broker’s existing home loan customers may be small business owners, giving brokers a ready database of clients requiring advice and support for commercial lending.


OnDeck makes small business lending easy


As we head into the peak spending season for the year, Cameron Poolman believes the time has never been better for brokers to explore commercial lending for their own business. He adds that small business finance can be far easier than brokers often expect.

OnDeck’s Lightning Loans available for up to $175,000 require just six months of bank statements to be uploaded to the secure OnDeck portal. From there, OnDeck’s KOALA credit assessment algorithm fast-tracks lending decisions.


“Our use of specialist technology means OnDeck’s Lightning Loans can be funded in as fast as 2 hours^,” says Cameron. “That’s considerably faster than a home loan deal, and the application process is a lot easier for brokers and their clients.”


OnDeck supports brokers who make the move into small business lending with a quick and easy accreditation process, and a range of free marketing collateral that brokers can use to promote their small business lending service.


To find out more about how OnDeck can support your business goals, talk to our team on 1800 676 652 or contact your local OnDeck Broker BDM.


You can also visit our partner webpage


Important information:

1 Source:

^ The timeframe required to process and fund loan applications may vary for each individual application. Factors such as the completeness and accuracy of application materials, verification processes, and external circumstances can influence the processing & funding timelines.


This research was conducted in October 2023 on behalf of OnDeck by Octopus Group who surveyed 500 Australian SME owners online in various industries across all states and territories. Our survey was designed and executed to gather insights directly from small business owners across Australia. We reached out to a diverse pool of participants across all states and territories, covering various industries and sizes.


The information provided in this article are based on the findings of the responses of the survey participants and may not be exhaustive or reflective of all SME’s. The data is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice, therefore we recommend conducting your own research before making any business decisions based on this data. OnDeck does not accept any responsibility for any decisions made based on the information presented.

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