8167.0 - Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/08/2015   
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BUSINESS PERFORMANCE AND BARRIERS

Detailed statistics on Business performance, Barriers to general performance and Barriers to innovation can be accessed via the Downloads tab.


Changes in business performance and activities

Businesses were asked to assess whether various performance indicators and activities had decreased, stayed the same, or increased compared to the previous year.


Changes in business performance and activities(a)(b)(c), compared to previous year, 2013-14

Decreased
Stayed the same
Increased
Not applicable
%
%
%
%

Performance indicators and activities
Income from sales of goods or services
31.7
22.0
36.4
9.9
Range of products or services offered
6.5
61.0
17.2
15.3
Profitability
34.1
28.8
26.0
11.0
Productivity
16.6
44.6
22.0
16.8
Total number of jobs or positions
14.5
56.4
14.5
14.5
Export markets targeted
0.9
11.0
1.6
86.5
Contracting out work/activities or outsourcing
5.4
21.4
7.3
65.9
Structured/formal training for employees(d)
3.4
38.9
9.2
48.5
Expenditure on Information Technology (IT)
4.9
38.7
17.9
38.5
Social contributions(e)
4.4
36.4
8.0
51.2

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
(b) Businesses were asked to indicate if there had been a change in any of the items listed compared to the previous year. No attempt was made to cross check this self-assessment with other information.
(c) The sum of the component items for each measure may not equal 100% due to rounding and/or provision of multiple responses. Refer to Explanatory Note 29 and the Quality Declaration.
(d) Includes attendance at training, workshops and seminars.
(e) Includes specific community enhancement projects, charity contributions or support.


An increase in income from sales of goods or services compared to the previous year was reported by 36% of businesses, almost the same proportion of businesses that reported a decrease (32%). Over a third of businesses reported a decrease in profitability compared to the previous year (34%).

Businesses with 200 or more persons employed were most likely to report a decrease in total number of jobs or positions (28%), contracting out work/activities or outsourcing (11%), expenditure on IT (10%) and amount of structured/formal training for employees (6%).

Businesses in the Mining industry were most likely to report decreases in the total number of jobs or positions (32%), productivity (24%), expenditure on IT (19%), social contributions (16%), contracting out work/activities or outsourcing (16%), amount of structured/formal training for employees (14%) and range of products or services offered (13%).

Increase in business performance or activity from the previous year, by innovation status, 2013-14


In 2013-14, for each of the performance indicators provided, innovation-active businesses were more likely to have had an increase in an indicator or activity from the previous year than non innovation-active businesses. For example, innovation-active businesses were more than twice as likely to increase in productivity (30%) and the total number of jobs or positions (21%) than non innovation-active businesses (14% and 8% respectively).

Further statistics relating to change in business performance can be accessed via the Downloads tab.


Barriers to general business activities

Businesses were asked if any factors significantly hampered the business in its general business activities or performance during the year ended 30 June 2014.

It should be noted that businesses were not provided with a definition of what constituted a significant level of hampering and were not asked to rank barriers in order of significance.


Barriers to general business activities or performance, by employment size(a)(b), 2013-14

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Lack of access to additional funds
15.1
18.9
18.8
7.5
16.5
Cost of inputs
12.4
18.4
14.6
16.0
14.4
Outstanding accounts receivable limiting cash flow
12.1
16.5
14.4
3.0
13.5
Lack of skilled persons:
within the business
7.7
13.9
13.2
9.5
10.0
within the labour market
6.7
15.9
15.2
12.7
10.2
in any location(c)
11.9
23.4
21.6
17.1
16.2
Government regulations or compliance
12.6
13.7
17.3
15.3
13.3
Lack of customer demand for goods or services
17.3
18.1
14.0
12.0
17.3
Lower profit margins to remain competitive
22.0
32.7
32.8
26.8
26.1
Environmental factors(d)
4.8
5.2
2.3
2.7
4.7

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one barrier and were not asked to rank barriers in order of significance.
(c) Includes businesses that reported lack of skilled persons within the business and/or within the labour market.
(d) Examples of environmental factors include natural disasters and compliance with water restrictions.


The most common barrier hampering general business activities or performance was lower profit margins to remain competitive (26%).

Businesses in the Agriculture industry were the most likely to be hampered by cost of inputs (34%), and environmental factors (30%), while businesses in the Financial and insurance services industry were the most likely to be hampered by government regulations and compliance as a barrier (31%).

Further statistics relating to barriers to general business activities can be accessed via the Downloads tab.


Barriers to innovative activity

All businesses were asked if any factors significantly hampered the business in the development or introduction of any new or improved goods, services, operational or organisational/managerial processes or marketing methods during the year ended 30 June 2014.

It should be noted that businesses were not provided with a definition of what constituted a significant level of hampering and were not asked to rank barriers in order of significance.


Barriers to innovation, by employment size(a)(b)(c), 2013-14

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Lack of access to additional funds
17.1
20.7
19.5
10.4
18.4
Cost of development or introduction/implementation
12.6
17.5
12.8
14.9
14.1
Lack of skilled persons:
within the business
9.4
15.2
15.6
12.3
11.7
within the labour market
7.0
13.2
13.0
10.6
9.4
in any location(d)
12.7
22.0
23.0
18.2
16.4
Lack of access to knowledge or technology to enable development or introduction/implementation
3.3
3.4
3.4
2.2
3.3
Government regulations and compliance
11.2
12.8
14.0
11.3
11.9
Adherence to standards
3.3
4.9
3.9
4.5
3.8
Uncertain demand for new goods or services
12.3
14.8
12.2
11.2
13.1

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
(b) Barriers to innovation are those factors which significantly hampered the development or introduction of any new or significantly improved goods, services, processes or methods.
(c) Businesses could identify more than one barrier and were not asked to rank barriers in order of significance.
(d) Includes businesses that reported lack of skilled persons within the business and/or within the labour market.


Almost one in five businesses reported lack of access to additional funds (18%), making this the most frequently reported barrier, followed by cost of development of introduction/implementation (14%).

Businesses with 5-19 persons employed were most likely to have lack of access to additional funds (21%) and cost of development of introduction/implementation (18%) as barriers to innovation. Businesses with 20-199 persons employed were most likely to report lack of skilled persons within the business (16%) and government regulations and compliance (14%) as barriers to innovation.

By industry, businesses in Accommodation and food services were most likely to have at least one barrier to innovation (52%). Businesses in the Accommodation and food services and Mining industries were most likely to have lack of access to additional funds (both 28%) and cost of development of introduction/implementation (23% and 19% respectively).

Innovation-active businesses were more than twice as likely as non innovation-active businesses to report at least one barrier to innovation (58% compared with 24%).

Further statistics relating to barriers to innovative activity can be accessed via the Downloads tab.