How Australians Feel about the Future of Business: Part One

In our four-part series, we summarise the findings of the Bankwest Future of Business 2017 Outlook Report.

Leaders of Australian small and medium businesses are faced with the constant challenge of how to achieve profitable growth in a fluid macro-economic environment. In our four-part series, we summarise the findings of the Bankwest Future of Business 2017 Outlook Report.

The Bankwest Future of Business 2017 Outlook Report seeks to gauge Australian small and medium businesses’ short-term expectations for their overall prospects, health, performance and the economy to establish a benchmark of Australian business sentiment on a quarterly basis.

Read on to find out about how Australian businesses feel about the future. A variety of issues are addressed, from the impact of national economic performance on outlook to the differences between small and medium businesses.

Bankwest Future of Business 2017 Outlook Report - Small business top three challenges

Who was involved in the report?

CoreData conducted the report on behalf of Bankwest. In December, 2016, CoreData ran a quantitative survey online, during which 500 business owners, leaders and managers were interviewed.

All participants represented small or medium businesses. Small businesses were defined as having a turnover of $2 million or less per year. Medium businesses were those with an annual turnover above $2 million, but under $250 million.

What were the report’s aims?

The main aim was to capture the pulse of small and medium businesses in Australia. The report sought to gain insights into their sentiments, with emphases on:

  • Business confidence
  • Business health
  • Performance expectations
  • Economic outlook

Another goal was to reveal challenges and opportunities coming up during the next 12 months.

Bankwest Future of Business 2017 Outlook Report - Medium business top three opportunities

Business sentiment in Australia

The report found that, overall, business sentiment in Australia was neutral. Average sentiment came in at 11.3, on a scale of -100 (representing strong negative sentiment) to 100 (representing strong positive sentiment). Small businesses scored lower, their average being 8.4, while medium businesses scored an average of 14.0. The highest average in the industry, 21.8, was scored by wholesale trade.

In general, participants were optimistic about:

  • Business prospects
  • Industry outlook
  • Expectations concerning revenue, cash flow and profit
  • Debt repayment capacity

However, participants expressed negative sentiments about:

  • The Australian economy
  • The global economy

Find out more

Did you learn from the insights in this post? Would you like to know more? The good news is that this is the first in a four-part series. Keep an eye out for part two. Or download the full Bankwest Future of Business 2017 Outlook Report.

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BankWest Future of Business 2017 Outlook Report

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