The posts in this series have been drawn from Xero’s Stronger and smarter: a small business handbook. Designed to help small businesses determine which steps to take next, this practical guide uncovers the 10 trends shaping the future – so you can come back stronger and smarter than ever.

Responding to fluctuating buying patterns all comes down to understanding your customers’ mindsets.

As the government restrictions to protect our health eventually ease, people will adapt to the changes at different speeds. Those variations will, in turn, have big impacts on sales for small businesses.

For those supplying household basics, spikes of panic buying are still happening at times – and threaten to reemerge whenever lockdown restrictions return. In contrast, if you’re a small business owner helping people plan their international travel, things are likely to be quiet for some time to come.

When customers purchase can fluctuate and change

As we tentatively look ahead to the end of lockdowns in my home city of Melbourne in the not too distant future, it is encouraging to learn that small business looked a little more stable last month in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Today, we released our monthly Xero Small Business Insights (XSBI) data for August. These are monthly metrics showing analysis of the small business sector’s health, based on anonymised, aggregated data drawn from hundreds of thousands of our subscribers.

Since the start of COVID-19 and even before, we’ve been using these rich insights to brief government leaders and policy makers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Our in-depth look at the impact of the pandemic on small business was released at Xero on Air earlier this month.

We’re continuing to analyse the small business sector each month, paying particular attention to the impact of tightening

Our third and final letter in the series, ‘An open letter from small business to the Treasurer’ is from Susie Jones, CEO of Cynch Security and Xero customer, who shares her thoughts on how providing government incentives for business owners to take action on their online security will also save money in the long run.  

Small businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Data from Xero Small Business Insights tells us employment in small businesses across Australia was hit twice as hard as businesses overall.

As we turn our attention to the nation’s economic rebuild, all eyes will be on the upcoming Federal Budget on October 6. Will it recognise the integral role Australian’s small businesses will play in the road to recovery?

In this series, ‘An open letter from small business to the Treasurer’ – and its complementary Xero On Air episode – we call on