THE vast majority of small and mid-sized companies in Australia expect to grow at a much faster rate than the economy as a whole next year, a new survey has found.
The Deloitte Growth Trends Brief found that nearly one third of companies expect to achieve growth rates between 6 per cent and 10 per cent.
More than a quarter predict growth between 11 and 20 per cent while many others expect growth of more than 20 per cent.
Given the positive predictions, it is not surprising that more than two thirds of survey respondents expect to increase employment in the coming year.
Deloitte held the survey with approximately 400 private, public and family businesses with revenue less than $100 million.
Deloitte Growth Solutions partner Luke Martino said the survey findings indicated that Australia’s emerging market was becoming more sophisticated and appeared to be committed to long-term growth.
The most popular growth strategies are based on new product development and new distribution channels.
Many of the survey respondents are also targeting their competition and seeking alliances or pursuing mergers.
Only a handful named e-commerce as a growth strategy.
The main barrier to growth is seen to be the limited scope within the domestic economy.
Despite this, most firms in the survey have a clear domestic focus, with less than 7 per cent naming globalisation as a growth strategy.
A shortage of expertise is also seen as a barrier to growth.
“These responses highlight the need for management to continually motivate and up skill talented people in order to not lose them,” Mr Martino told WA Business News.
He added that family business faced particular challenges.
“They need to streamline their business and get good management in.
“The smart ones are recognising it, they are taking professional advice.”
The survey respondents said marketing and strategic planing were the two areas where they need most help in the coming year.
Other areas where they need help included people management and advice on ownership transition.
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