My top 50 business stats (January 2020)

To get the juices flowing again in 2020, here's my Top 50 Stats for Business: Does anything jump out at you in particular and if so, why?

  1. There are 582 million entrepreneurs on planet Earth.

  2. In the Chinese Zodiac, 2020 is the Year of the Rat, the first of the 12 signs, signalling a period of new beginnings and renewals. Carefully planned long term projects augur well this year on the Zodiac.

  3. 80% of Australians are employed by SMEs.

  4. Family businesses in Australia are collectively worth about $6 Trillion.  

  5. The average super balance for the Baby Boomer cohort was about $330K for men and about $245K for women in 2018.

  6. The superannuation sector contains about $2.9 Trillion in assets. About $180 Billion is in cash. 

  7. In September 2019, Australia’s R&D spending dropped below the OECD average as a proportion of GDP. 

  8. Australia has one of the lowest per capita angel investment rates in the developed world at $3.60, versus $5.14 for NZ, $12 in the UK and $25 in the US. 

  9. The RBA lowered the cash rate twice in 2019. The cash rate started at 1.5% and ended at 0.75%.

  10. 100% of business owners will eventually exit their businesses.

  11. 80% believe successful exit is a combination of planning and action.

  12. 79% plan to exit in the next decade.

  13. 60% of business owners planning to close the business are still reinvesting profits into it.

  14. 75% of business owners profoundly regret selling afterward. 

  15. Less than 30% of businesses placed on the market will successfully sell.

  16. About 85% of businesses have favourable experiences with Joint Ventures. They are becoming more popular as alternatives to M&A.

  17. 62% of small and medium businesses are likely to be underinsured.

  18. 37% of SMEs say most of their customers now find them through the internet.

  19. Gallup says that organisations that invest strategically in employee development are 11% more profitable and are twice as likely to retain employees.

  20. The most common sized employing business in Australia contain 1 - 4 employees. There about half a million of these businesses out of a total of 2.1 million. 

  21. The majority of businesses do not employ staff: about 1.3 million in all.

  22. Just 20% of Australian Gen Zs believe economic conditions will improve in Australia. 

  23. NSW posted a budget surplus of over $1B in 2018-19. 

  24. On 30 July 2019, the ASX reached its previous high, recorded immediately before the GFC, 2,974 days earlier

  25. This places the ASX market cap at about $2.1 Trillion.

  26. There are over 230,000 Chinese nationals studying in Australia. India takes second place at about 88,000. Education is our 3rd largest export. 

  27. The fastest growing employment sector out to 2022 in Australia is healthcare and social assistance, followed by construction and then education and training.

  28. From 2008 to 2019, bank lending to business declined steeply from 62% of GDP to 48%. 

  29. Crowdlending is tipped to increase worldwide 9.8% per annum out to 2023. 

  30. The quality of labour was the single most important problem for US small businesses in 2019.

  31. Accountants remain the most trusted adviser to SMEs, with just 12% feeling neutral or dissatisfied with service. About 40% believe accountants can be more proactive than reactive, this forming the top reason why a client would switch to another accountant.

  32. The Australian government has announced intent to establish a “Business Growth Fund” which is to mimic a private equity fund financially backed by Australian banks and super funds. The UK counterpart was established in 2011 and contains $2.7B in assets. The Canadian counterpart focuses squarely on lower mid market businesses (turning over $5M a year plus). 

  33. The number of iPhone apps released each day has steadily declined from 4,000 a day in the last quarter of 2016, to less than 1,500 in the first quarter of 2018. 

  34. 3 out 5 of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa, with India (Australia’s 4th largest trading partner) coming in at #5. 

  35. Australia posted a $48 Billion trade surplus in 2019.

  36. In May 2019 Sydney’s Northwest Metro went into operation: Australia’s first fully automated rail system.

  37. A US Bank study suggests that about 4 in 5 business failures are due to poor or negative cash flow management. 

  38. According to Xero 65% of businesses that fail, believe it was due to financial mismanagement. 

  39. The Australian space industry is tipped to outpace the broader economy, growing at over 7% annually to 2024.

  40. Nearly half of all millennials are prepared to promote products or services through social media in exchange for rewards. 

  41. There are about 5.2 million Baby Boomers, 4.1 million Gen Xs and 5.2 million Gen Ys in Australia.

  42. The United States surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s leading oil producer in 2018.

  43. The residential construction sector is tipped to have a rough couple of years in Australia. 

  44. This report by Pinebridge points out that China’s economy is transitioning to one driven by domestic consumption and that the average American consumes 99kg of beef a year, double that of the average Chinese person. If each Chinese person increases consumption by just 1kg a year, this amounts another billion kilograms of beef the global supply chain must meet. 

  45. One in every 4 millennial owned businesses are completely online. 

  46. Hackers have stolen 4 billion records in the last decade. This is tipped to increase.

  47. The global digital advertising market is expected to explode out to 2025.

  48. MYOB lists wholesaling, manufacturing, printing and agriculture as sectors at risk of decline and cites constant innovation as the best line of defence. 

  49. Australia still lags behind the US and UK in terms of employee ownership of private businesses. 

  50. Online retailing continues to expand its share of total retain spending, now tallying 10%.

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