The State of Small Business 

It’s that time of the year again, when we dust off the blue and maroon jerseys and battle it out on the footy field for the prestigious title of State of Origin champions. 

While the banter and battle may be playing out on the oval, we decided to go off the field and take a look at some of the issues our New South Wales and Queenslander small businesses are currently facing. 

Find out who’s kicking goals when it comes to levels of confidence, the constraints our small business owners are tackling, and much more. 

How do small businesses feel they will perform during 2019? 

As part of the Small Business Bravery Index (SBBI), we asked our small business owners to reflect on their business performance in 2019 compared to the previous 12 months. They were given the options of much better, better, about the same, worse and much worse to select from. 

The results?

New South Wales:

NSW were loud and proud.

Over 55% of small businesses are barracking for their business, suggesting that their business will perform much better or better this yearFollowed closely by 34%, who felt it would stay about the same, with just over 10%feeling their business would perform worse or much worse than the previous 12 months.1 


QLD came out on top – but only just!   

Almost 60% of QLD respondents felt their business would perform much better or better, outperforming their interstate rivals when it came to levels of confidence. Just over 32% felt they would perform about the same, while just over 8 % felt they would perform much worse or worse than the previous 12months. 

What constraints are slowing down small business growth?  

Across the nation, it was clear that our SSBI respondents shared a whole host of constraints that were threatening the growth of their business 

While there may not be a whole lot of agreeing when the boots are on, when it came to identifying the hurdles that were holding them back, the two states did see eye to eye 

There were two common worries between states about their business, including demand from customers and rising overhead & utility costs.  QLD was more focused on price pressures than NSW, while NSW had customer demand at the top of their list.  

NSW’s top three constraints:  

  • Demand from customers (30%)
  • Taxes and Government charges (17%)
  • Rising overhead &utility costs (15%)

QLD’s top three constraints: 

  • Price pressure from competitors (25%)
  • Demand from customers (22%)
  • Rising overhead & utility costs (19%)

What are the biggest concerns off the field? 

Other then who will maintain bragging rights for the next 12 months off the field, our small business owners shared some of the biggest concerns they were facing in 2019. 

There’s no argument between these two states when it comes to their top three concerns, both sharing the same pain points, including: 

  • Building the business and getting new customers-
  • Problems with cashflow
  • The impact of Government legislation on their bottom line

Who has the most tradies? 

The SBBI showed that 41% of our respondents worked in trades and services. Clearly, the trades and services industry is a popular choice for many small businesses ( operating with more than one person). To get under the hood of interstate tradie rivalry, we compared the number of trades and services small businesses operating within NSW and QLD and the results are staggering. 

NSW takes the lead with 120,558 registered businesses within the trades and services industry, easily lapping the sunshine state’s 69,433.2 

 The trades and services category includes the following occupation categories: 

  • Administrative and Support Services
  • Construction
  • Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
  • Other Services
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing

Head to head, these two have a lot more in common then they would like probably like to admit, sharing many of the same attitudes and concerns. 

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