Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Replication of the Small Business Saturday campaign in Australia

Just received the regular e-newsletter from the US Government agency Small Business Administration (SBA) regarding their immiment Small Business Saturday coming up on Saturday (obviously) 24 November.

It is an annual event held between Thanksgiving and Christmas with the purpose of encouraging Americans to shop local, in particular small retailers in high streets rather than shopping centres (or shopping malls as commonly called in north America). Over there and to a large extent here in Australia, small businesses with shop fronts are increasingly under threats from shopping centres and online retailers. This kind of campaign is necessary to re-educate new generations of shoppers that survival of small retailers can bring vitality to the community. And more importantly, creation of a lot local entry level jobs (both full time, part time and casuals).

I do think Australia should learn from it and see if that can be replicated here. By the way, its relevant Facebook page have over 3 million "likes".

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How reliable are those lists of Australian exporters commercially available?

I have been given a task in my day job lately to locate or more precisely compile a list of top Victorian exporters. In fact, not just one list, if possible lists of Victorian exporters by destination, by industry sector and by size of business, in partcular SME exporters.

So far I have managed to locate two sites which can provide a list on demand. One is operated by JPM Media. Fairly expensive. The other is less so - operated by

But one issue I don't have an aswer is how reliable are those data? It seems that exporters can just fill in a form and then after a few steps, it will be listed there.

Can someone who have used these services can share their experiences?

Monday, 10 September 2012

Many small business operators are franchisees nowadays

Many small business operators are franchisees nowadays. Buying a franchise is one of the popular means to start a small business in Australia.

The overwhelming majority of people who are attracted to franchising are first-timers in business who are drawn by the branding, support and infrastructure provided by a franchise chain. Interestingly enough, I have seen so many newly arrived migrants attending the Franchising Expo at the Jeff's Shed (Melbourne Exhibition Centre).

PricewaterhouseCoopers once again provided a snapshot on the franchising sector here in Australia. Apparently, franchisees are enjoying a good time with revenue grown by 6% in the last 12 months and will continue to grow.

Access the 2012 full report Franchise Sector Indicator here.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Where are the small exporters in Australia?

I am working on some statistics related with small exporters in Victoria. Just want to share the initial outcomes with you.

Approximately 17,774 small businesses in Australia exported goods in 2010-11 (up by 1.4% from the previous year). This represents 41.6% of all businesses exporting goods (up from 41.1% in 2009-10).

Of the 13,643 small exporters with an ABN (which allows identification by main state of location of exporter), 3,777 of them are based in Victoria (27.7% of the national total) - compared with 4,853 in NSW (35.6%), 2,558 in Queensland (18.8%).

Interestingly, there are 4,132 small exporters which export without an ABN which makes identification of their belonging industry and state of business location not possible by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Around 34.8% of small business exporters in Victoria were from the Wholesale Trade subsector - followed by Others 24.4% (ICT+financial and insurance services, education and training etc), Manufacturing 21.4%, Retail trade 10.7%, Transport, postal and warehousing 3% and construction 2.9%.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

3rd NatStats Conference to be held in Brisbane - 12-14 March 2013

Just received an invitation to attend the 3rd NatStats 2013 Conference hosted by the Australian Bureau of Statistis (ABS).

When: Tuesday 12 - Thursday 14 March 2013

Where: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

A wonderful opportunity to meet all the "number crunchers" around Australia!

I attended the past two conferences: Melbourne 2008 and Sydney 2010. A trend of seeking better sunshine.

Friday, 24 August 2012

ABS cat 8165.0 Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits

ABS Cat 8165.0 is the essential Australian Bureau of Statistics release in which you can find number of businesses in Australia, by States and Territories, by industry, by employment size etc. For example, you can even find out the number of retailers in your suburb. By the way, the latest data set is for June 2011.

Half a million of small businesses in Victoria, Australia

As a policy adviser with the Victorian Department of Business and Innovation, I am also responsible to look after statistics and data on small business. Just wish to establish a blog to share my experiences. And if anyone would like some directions and assistance on finding statistics, surveys and articles on small businesses, you have found the right blog.

To start with:
- there are over half a million of small businesses in Victoria, Australia; and
- 96% of all businesses in Victoria are regarded as small business (with 19 employees or below).