Post 86: An update to my favorite statistics

I’ve discovered a more recent set of statistics on small businesses in Australia

You’ll find the ABS document here.

Long story short, there are now:

  • 1,156,326 businesses that do not employ anyone
  • 807,581 businesses that do employ someone

Of the businesses that do employ someone

  • 721,569 employ fewer than 20 people, the ABS definition of a small business
  • 227,373 of those small businesses employ 5-19 people
  • 80,215 employ 20-200 people, the ABS definition of medium
  • 5,797 employ more than 200, the ABS definition of large business

Another stat: 94% of businesses now turn over less than $2 million.

What does this mean for my work?

Seems to me that with 1,156,326 businesses having NO staff and 721,569 having fewer than four, the IT industry needs to realise that with 1.65  million businesses employing either none or less than four people, product pitched at anything over 100 employees that posit those companies as ‘small’ are very hard to take seriously as hitting the intended market.

I understand that different businesses have different needs and therefore different approaches to technology.

But I think the time has come to realise that in the Australian context, small businesses are much smaller than is generally assumed and that saying small is anywhere between 100 and 1500 users, as is often pitched to me, is simply a nonsense.


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