Like the rest of the world this year has been rather interesting for small business in Australia. By all accounts our economy has weathered the economic crisis quite well with the economy forecast to grow in 2010.
The latest MYOB Business Monitor revealed that business confidence is growing; especially amongst younger business owners with 65% expecting improvements in the next year.
Whilst there will still be challenges to overcome by small businesses, a key to their success in Australia as in most countries will be to meet the challenges head on and act on opportunities to grow their business.
Here are is a list of small business opportunities for 2010:
Australian consumers represent a large portion of online shoppers in the Asia Pacific region with 79% of internet users reporting they had made an online purchase in the last 12 months. Larger retailers are taking advantage of this; however a leading retailing expert Debra Templar says “small business retailers are still reluctant to have an online presence.” This is an easy opportunity to capitalise on now to grow their business.
2. Technology Services
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 72% of Australian households have internet access and more small businesses rely on their computers and internet to run their business. Whilst there are businesses that offer at home or business service there is an opportunity to bring this online as a subscription based service with do it yourself videos or instructions for common problems, fixes, maintenance etc.
Offline networking events are commonplace in cities. An opportunity exists for networking events that focus on local and regional areas in different industries such as health care. One company The Brew provides live local events to promote and connect small businesses with their local community as well as now expanding into webinars.
4. Partnering with Larger Businesses
Partnering via blogs with larger companies presents an opportunity for small businesses, especially with companies that target the small business market, such as banks and Telcos. One example is Paul Hassing from The Feisty Empire who features in the Small Business Owner blog on the myBRC website.
5. Pets Services
Australians love their pets and this is a growing industry to cater for their and their owners’ needs. Most of these businesses operate on their own. Again by partnering with retail outlets such as Planet K9 does with Mega Pet Warehouse, opens up opportunities cost effectively.
6. The Environment
Being environmentally friendly and going green will increase in importance; however it is still an area that confuses people and businesses. There are already a couple of web directories and opportunities will continue to increase for consultants to assist all size businesses to have greener businesses.
This year saw a small business SourceBottle utilizing email and Twitter to connect journalists, bloggers, businesses and PRs. Facilitating these connections is likely to grow and opportunities exist especially using platforms such as Twitter in industries where there is need to quickly connect two or more parties such as temp or contract recruitment.
With our dollar being healthy and our economy growing, travel will come back on the agenda. Opportunities will exist for experienced consultants and those that specialize in certain travel needs. This also opens up opportunities for consultants to set up home businesses instead of leasing retail space.
9. Work Place Relations
With more changes in workplace laws coming into effect, many small businesses are under prepared in this area. This is especially important as small businesses are a large employer group within Australia. This is likely to be a growth area for consultants who can assist small businesses through the new laws.
Thank you so much for giving all of us here in the USA a glimpse of the business happenings in Australia.
I especially like that SourceBottle idea.
The Franchise King
Dear Susan, thank you for this interesting article and your kind mention in dispatches.
Seeing all these Australian innovators gathered together made me feel quite patriotic. We’ve long had a reputation for making exciting things out of tin, fencing wire and bits of four-by-two.
It’s great to see the same spirit flourishing in this brave new online world. Best regards, P. 🙂
Thanks Joel. It was intersting to research the opportunities and I will be watching to see how many are taken up.
Hi Paul, the web has opened up opportunities, especially where we can take ideas and successes from around the world and adapt for our own businesses and in our local communities.
Susan: Do you know the percentage of households in North America that have internet access?
As a supporter of the Third Place idea, I like The Brew concept. Have you seen any similar organization in North America?
I have to check out SourceBottle…
I found a Nielsen report, conducted in 3rd quarter 2008 that said 80% of American households had a computer in the home and of those almost 92% have internet access. A press release issued by the US Census Bureau in June 2009 show 62% of households reported using internet access in the home in 2007.
Regarding the Brew, I don’t have any data, but I am sure there are similar businesses in North America.
Bob, thanks for your comment.
I enjoyed your post and the Pet Services is growing here in USA also. Feel free to check out my blog on home business opportunities at the url. Thanks!
I liked working in advertising, but don’t believe my taste in art, such as it is, was entirely formed by TV commercials. And I don’t feel especially conflicted enjoying a Mantegna one day, a Carl Andre the next day and a brash student work the next.
There has never been a better time to buy a business. If a business is thriving / surviving in 2010 then when the upturn happens then it is going to boom. Typically the price you will pay now will be a discount, as lending is scarce and will not take into account the potential boom. Start looking for opportunities to get into a business or buy a business to expand.
Thank you Susan for letting us know the small business opportunities in Australia. It is really a big help to small businesses.
It is like a give and take relationship. Small businesses help big companies to get some benefits from them while big companies give opportunities to small ones to shine and be known.
This is a nice blog message, I will keep this idea in my mind. If you add more video and pictures because it helps understanding 🙂 ml Emilkowalski.
Hi Susan, great article. Now over half way through 2010 and I can tell you we are seeing a signficant growth in requests for discounts on I.T. hardware and services from small businesses. Seems the I.T. services market is in much higher demand this year, as you predicted.
Partnering with larger companies that focus on smaller businesses is definitely an opportunity trend that is hot. You can focus on helping a lot of smaller businesses succeed and make yourself a fortune as well.