Saturday, September 14th, 2013

On Friday, Roy Morgan Research CEO, Michele Levine, launched the State of the Nation report (No. 14), which looks at the latest Australian trends within society, technology, the environment, politics and the economy. This Report includes a special focus on Small Business, revealing demographic profiles of owners and operators, their attitudes to national and personal issues, business performance and outlook factors, finances and B2B relationships and intentions.

Roy Morgan’s State of the Nation reveals long-term, up-to-date trends on social attitudes and behaviours through over 720,000 face-to-face interviews with Australians of all demographics. Supplementary to these findings, the latest report contains analysis of the results of over 30,000 separate interviews with business decision-makers nationwide.

Businesses with fewer than 20 employees constitute 95.6% of Australian businesses and employ 47% of the workforce. As the backbone the economy, the attitudes and behaviours of small business owners and operators are of integral importance to understanding Australian society as a whole.

Significant findings include:

• Small businesses are experiencing a modest recovery from a period of relatively low Business Confidence and overall performance from mid-2011 through to late 2012.

• The population of small business operators has changed over the last 10 years. The fastest growing age group of over the last 10 years has been the over 50s, who now account for 45.7% compared to 38.8% in 2002.

• Small business operators today are also much more likely to be tertiary educated than was the case a decade ago.

• Businesses and their operators have high average levels of assets relative to debt, indicating relative financial security.

• Technology and internet adoption varies widely by industry, not region. Agricultural small businesses are much less likely than others to have fixed Internet services while those in the Mining industry are the most likely.

• Small business opinion of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is clearly negative overall. Four in ten owners do not expect any benefit from the Federal Government’s $37.4 billion infrastructure project compared to 29% who do, with uncertainty levels still high.

• Opinion of the Federal Government’s performance in fostering business growth is also highly negative, with the majority rating the government “Very Poor” since mid-2011 when the Carbon Tax was passed.

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Apart from providing almost half of all paid employment, small businesses generate competition, entrepreneurialism and creativity that can offset economic imbalances created by big business, government or international economic conditions.

“Our extensive research into Australian businesses—and over 50,000 consumers annually—across all regions and industries provides unparalleled insight into how they operate, their concerns, outlook and intentions, and their opinions on government and its policies.”

Contact Profile

Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


State of the nation report



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