Breaking news: latest research on small biz

Fascinating data has just been revealed by NAB which gives great insight into the mindset and habits of Australia’s small business owners.

Given that small businesses play a significant role in our economy, this data reveals how business conditions and business confidence have affected the small business community.

Here are 10 facts you didn’t know about the small business community in Australia.

Young in age and business longevity

Half of all small business owners have been in business for 10 years or less and 56% of these are Millennials or part of Generation X.

Gender parity

There are more male small business owners in total than woman. In fact, 64% of general small business owners overall are male. However, among Millennial SMEs, there is a perfect gender balance.

Online-only businesses

Online-only businesses make up 12% of small businesses. This equates to a higher proportion amongst Millennials with one in four committed this area. Whereas only 7% of Baby Boomers have online-only businesses.

Traits of a small business owner

Measuring the success of a small business isn’t necessarily about profits. The traits of a business owner play an important role in the success of an enterprise. What makes a successful Australian small business owner? Those who have:

  • Good financial management (58%)
  • Customer retention (52%)
  • Productive staff (49%)
  • Strong leadership (46%)
  • Years of experience in business (38%)
  • Efficient internal systems and processes (33%)
  • The commitment to change and innovate (33%)

What is the main priority for a business owner?

There are various priorities that matter for small businesses such as having happy and loyal customers and scoring a new customer (with big wallets). But they are also about the important ‘firsts’ in their business such as hiring their first team member, having their first customer or selling their item.

Here’s what matters most for small business owners:
Customer satisfaction (34%)
Becoming a viable business (26%)
Making it through a tough period (23%)
Making money for the first time & scoring a big customer (20%)
Hiring new staff & creating an idea for the business (16%)
Realising that ‘we have now got it right’ (15%)
Getting new resources & Steady revenue (14%)

Size of Millennials SMEs

  • 76% earn up to $1 million
  • 19% earn between $1 to 5 million
  • 5% earn more than $5 million

Business growth

Every small business is focused on growing and expanding their business. However, this is more evident among Millennials. A whopping 66% of Millennials say they want to expand their business over the next three years compared to 45% of the general small business population.

Digital growth

There is a clear divide between Millennials and the rest of the small business community who intend on expanding the digital side of their business.

  • 44% intend on starting to sell online or grow online sales over the next three years.
  • This is compared to just 28% of the rest of small businesses.

‘Digital is the default for Millennial SMEs’

Being a part of the digital sphere means everything to many Millennials small businesses with 63% believing they wouldn’t exist without the Internet compared to 52% of other age groups. The Internet has significantly impacted these businesses compared to the general population. Many Millennial SMEs are continuing to focus on growing the digital side of their business such as being open to the automation process.

A bright future?

Australian small businesses feel very confident about the future of their businesses. How optimistic are they?

  • 80% feel optimistic about their business
  • 71% believe that Australia is a great place to run a business
  • 69% believe that if you have a great idea, you can be successful in Australia
  • 65% feel confident that Australia will be a great place to run a business in the future

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