Unlocking $49.2bn for SMEs

Australian small businesses can unlock an additional $49.2 billion in output over the next ten years by making better use of existing technology. PwC has released a report to help small to medium businesses unlock billions of dollars in economic growth by using mobile and internet technologies.

Powered by PwC’s Geospatial Economic Model (GEM), the report also revealed 53 per cent of the potential economic benefits can be made by Australia’s rural and regional areas. GEM allows businesses to explore where potential economic gains are located, down to every state/ territory and federal electorate.

In each state/ territory, small businesses have the potential to help grow the economy. The economy of each state and territory is underpinned by different economic drivers and as a result, each has opportunities to contribute differently.

The potential digital benefits are spread across the nation, with Northern Territory (NT) businesses standing to gain the most. On average, each NT small business stands to create over $90,000 of additional economic value. Small businesses in Western Australia follow, with over $85,000, then Queensland with over $70,000.

Small and medium businesses across a wide range of industries stand to benefit. For example, small businesses in the agricultural, forestry and fishing sector could create 17 per cent more value by making better use of existing technology.

The model provides four key areas where small businesses can act to achieve gains.

  1. Business strategy and management. Internet and mobile technologies can help to better understand customers and competitors, and lower the cost and risks of trying new things. For example, businesses like Pozzible, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and RocketHub make innovation easier by connecting individuals who pool money, technical expertise, and other resources to support projects and launch business ventures.
  2. Supply chains. Internet and mobile technologies enable small businesses to significantly improve their supply chains, particularly by allowing faster access to a range of suppliers and employees, using search management tools.
  3. Marketing, sales and distribution channels. Internet and mobile technologies enable small businesses to significantly increase their customer reach and boost sales by maintaining an online presence.
  4. Customer experience. Internet and mobile technologies allow businesses to re-evaluate how products are produced and/or delivered. For example, the use of project tools such as Google Docs, Asana and SmartSheets help to coordinate work more effectively. Google Hangouts, Yammer, Skype and Slack provide inexpensive, instant communication between employees, or with customers.

For more information, see PWC’s Summary Report of Small Business: Digital Growth.