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NZ SMEs to outperform Australians in 2014

AU operators optimistic while NZ business confidence soars Currency challenge as AU$ falls Internet offers new possibilities for SME export economy

 
PRLog - Jan. 29, 2014 - SYDNEY, Australia -- 2014 will be a strong year for trans-Tasman success, especially for New Zealand SMEs, who expect to back up their 2013 performance and outpace their Australian counterparts by a considerable margin.

With Kiwis riding a wave of confidence as the Australasian currencies grow closer to parity, it may be time for local businesses to include our closest country across the ditch when considering new opportunities.

According to the latest analysis by the country’s largest accounting software provider, MYOB (http://facebook.com/MYOBteam), New Zealand SMEs are expecting to outperform Australian SMEs across a number of key measures this year - including confidence, revenue expectations and sector-based growth.

The company’s first Trans-Tasman business report (http://myob.com.au/myob/backing-aussie-business/myob-business-monitor-1258090877325), released today, highlights that Australian SME operators expect to see more revenue growth over 2014 than they did in the prior corresponding period. Over the Tasman, New Zealanders are enjoying some of the highest levels of revenue confidence seen in the last decade.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed (http://linkedin.com/in/timjreed) says, “In 2014, both countries enjoy the prospect of improving economic conditions. Here, businesses are more optimistic about growth in the year to August 2014 than they were in the previous 12 months, but the opportunities are probably at least six to 12 months behind where New Zealand sits.

“Although the winding down of the mining boom remains a concern, investment in construction is on the rise, and the falling Australian dollar is helping both exporters and the tourism economy.

“In New Zealand, the effects of the Canterbury rebuild and growth in Auckland, combined with the rural sector’s performance, is underpinning what will likely be one of the most significant and sustained periods of growth in the country’s recent history.”

The comparison report, created as part of MYOB’s long-running Business Monitor research, highlights that Australia’s SME economy ran behind New Zealand’s in 2013. In the year to August 2013, 39% of Australian SME operators reported a fall in revenue while just 18% recorded a revenue increase. In contrast, 30% of New Zealand SMEs reported a revenue rise in the year to August 2013, while 24% saw their revenues decline.

Although revenue falls outweighed gains in 2013, Australian operators have greater performance expectations. One quarter expect to see revenue improve in the 12 months to August 2014, while 22% believe revenue will be down. New Zealand’s expectations are almost double that, with 43% forecasting an increase in revenue in 2014 and just 10% a decline.

“Where the differences are particularly evident is in the relative performance of key sectors,” says Mr Reed.

“New Zealand’s construction, retail, manufacturing and rural sectors are all expecting to outperform Australia’s. Here, 17% of manufacturing and wholesale businesses, and 17% of construction and trades, expect to see a revenue increase in the year to August 2014. This compared to 59% and 44% in New Zealand.

“Only in Australia’s finance and insurance industry is revenue performance expected to slightly outstrip New Zealand’s. 36% of SMEs in this sector expect revenue to improve in 2014, compared to 35% in New Zealand.”

Mr Reed notes there is plenty of good news for Australian operators in both economies, saying, “While we’re fierce rivals on the sporting field, we are great mates elsewhere. New Zealand remains one of our strongest export markets. It’s a fantastic source of tourism revenue and a strongly performing extension of our finance sector. Positivity in the New Zealand economy means inevitable opportunity for local businesses.”

For SMEs to take full advantage of the opportunities a trans-Tasman trade boom might bring, Mr Reed recommends operators take a new look at their online strategy.

“One of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to crack any market - international or closer to home - is to make the most of the internet and the opportunities it affords for increasing both customer inquiry and revenue. Our research shows SMEs with both a business website and a social media site were at least 63% more likely to see a revenue rise than those who didn’t have one of these sites,” he says.

“Technology, and in particular online technology, is an irreversible force that is continuing to pervade the business communities of both countries. As SMEs embrace the potentially transformative benefits of the cloud and other technologies, we see an increase in productivity that delivers real benefits for both economies.

“Despite the challenges and pressures both countries face, SME operators have proven themselves to be continually resourceful and resilient, regardless of the prevailing economic conditions. And the good news for Australasia is both countries are poised to end 2014 in a better place than where they started.”

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB Australia (http://myob.com.au/) website, or its The Pulse Blog (http://myob.com.au/blog), LinkedIn (http://linkedin.com/company/myob), Twitter (http://twitter.com/MYOB), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MYOBteam) and YouTube (http://youtube.com/user/MYOBAustralia).

-ends-

About MYOB Australia


Established in 1991, MYOB is Australia’s largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for over 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand, and provides support via many client service channels including a network of over 20,000 accounting firms, bookkeepers and other consultants. MYOB’s solutions simplify accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more, for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than AU$30 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit myob.com.au.

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