Measuring local business success: A first-time longitudinal tracking tool for government

Friday, November 06, 2015

Australia has always been an entrepreneurial nation, with business the backbone of the economy and the labour force. Now, a new tracking index created by McCrindle enables Australia’s 565 local councils to measure the business conditions, performance, and sentiment of our nation’s 2.1 million actively trading businesses, 99.5% of which are small-medium enterprises.

Businesses facing external stress but internal success

The first Business Performance Sentiment Index (PSI) results, featuring 179 business owners from the Hills Shire Council, indicate that businesses face stress in terms of the external factors – the general economic conditions and local infrastructure, with strong concerns about the regulatory burden placed on them:

  • 48% of businesses say Australia’s economy is performing worse than 6 months ago
  • 40% indicate that the time and cost spent on compliance, legislation and regulations has increased in the last 6 months
  • Performance is strong but rising business costs are rising, especially felt by small business

    Internally, performance has yielded good revenue and profitability growth over the last 6 months, and 47% of business owners say their sales revenue is better than 6 months ago. This is coupled, however, with rising costs of doing business:

  • 38% say business costs are worse now than 6 months ago, and
  • 76% of small business owners (5-19 staff) report an increase in staffing costs in the last 6 months
  • Business owners are optimistic about performance but uncertain about Australia’s economic outlook

    While 42% of business owners expect Australia’s economy to be performing worse in 6 months’ time, 52% expect their own revenue to be better, with expectations for profitability growth and increased employment. 3 in 5 (58%) also expect costs to increase.

    Mark McCrindle, Principal of McCrindle says, “The Business PSI is designed to be deployed longitudinally in local and regional geographies, as it measures economic conditions, regulatory settings, and infrastructure in a local context. Business performance can be measured by region over time to get real-time analysis of local economic conditions, and to see the impact of local policies, investment, and infrastructure development, as well as to measure the impact of state and national issues and economic conditions.”

    Chairman of the Sydney Hills Business Chamber, Anthony Moss, in partnership with the Hills Shire Council, commissioned the Business PSI to measure the pulse of the Hills Shire. “These first results provide a strong indicative benchmark, and we expect that every 6 months the results of the Hills Shire Business PSI will be much anticipated in the region.” The next edition of the Hills Shire Business PSI will be conducted in March 2016.

    Hills Shire Council Mayor Dr Michelle Burns endorses the PSI tool. “The success of small businesses is crucial to our local economy and anything that can help us to better understand the challenges that small businesses face on a daily basis is welcomed. Business PSI is a great tool, and it will help us as we partner with small businesses to help build a more vibrant and prosperous Sydney Hills.”

    The results of the PSI were presented on 5 November 2015 at the Hills Shire Council and are available for download via the Sydney Hills Business Chamber website.

    The Hills Business PSI in the Media


    The Business PSI can be conducted by any organisation, local government, or business chamber through partnership with McCrindle. The instrument is designed to be deployed every 6 months through a survey to business owners and managers for longitudinal tracking.

    As the developers and deployment partners of the Business PSI, McCrindle can not only efficiently deploy, analyse, and visualise this survey for organisations, but act as a clearinghouse of the longitudinal data and so can provide benchmarking of industry or local results against other areas or sectors, as well as provide longitudinal comparison.

    For information on conducting your own PSI, contact McCrindle at or call 02 8824 3422.

    Welcome to our blog...

    We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

    Our Social Media Sites

    Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

    Last 150 Articles


    purpose IT Specialists baby name predictions coffee Western Australia infographic wall qualitative research toys the hills shire kate middleton daily commute event Education Future Forum state royal career brand fears shifts experience social issues marriage survey design family Wellington SA christmas house price rise ultimo society trends workforce communicate narcissism cars budget social trends environmental scanning financial independence rising house prices australians staying home more internships meals environment wealth and income distribution Geoff Brailey tv earn overcast networking global generations global financial crisis ABS urban taskforce monarchy brand experience living selfie 2012 weekly earnings focus group leadership trends of 2016 study social shifts Financial Planning Association Generation Y click social enquiry meetings program sydneysiders Gen X darwin ashley fell trend NSW Australian Trends economy conferences learn jobs of the future publication wealth and income royal baby HSC CBD EFF house future proofing teacher children internet 10 years learner statistics communities cultural diversity generation alpha education sector forecast cancelling event home school new office conference speaker unaffordable story parents Melbourne future of work February 16 list priorities emerging technologies happiness population milestone deloitte religion census online tertiary education rule keeper socialites bus community middle class Assistant Store Manager digital greatness report owning a home Territory social commentator urban living index ferry vegemite population growth Crime Rates christian Christmas presents research services census fail culture brands business index breakfast in depth interviews public speaking bureau global 2013 entrepreneur research data focus groups sunny days thrive 23 million Caregiver tea households debt cartodb high density apartments 24,000,000 research visualisation royal family Macquarie University 1968 socialising affordability cloudy days young people mccrindle demographic learning styles work-life innovation public speaker aged care puzzle Generation X know the times year 12 research report futurist eliane innovative Hornsby Shire Council customer GPO winter challenge poor huffington post winter blues organisational culture not for profit capital city hornsby Christmas lunch stats baby name trends 2016 census pharmacy technology news teaching volunteers schools students offenders goals 2020 norwest Australian Home conference presentation Australian Communities Trends new york times christianity SMART 1994 acf15 shopper's pick australian social research Australia Day baby names events professional optus TDE stay home authenticity NEETs hobart local communities marrickville keynote speaker housing market blaxland SRE commute sydney metro easter VET future of shopping average Australian house price housing affordability sydney event lifestyle suburb megatrends growth emerging generations intern not-for-profit child care manly generation equip seasons village investment demographics workplace culture hills shire housing growth analysis emerging trends earning education future report rent mateship pharmacies census results define keynote Christchurch social researcher Australian Bureau of Statistics car father's day FOMO Aussies low density twentyseventeen average sydneysider mythbusting Aussie collaborative Australian demographics summer hello fresh Financial Planning Association of Australia social media work Kiwi charity social lives long weekend etiquette australian communities trends report ACF 2016 waverton crime market research eliane miles Valentine’s Day rain families brisbane renting The ABC of XYZ moreton bay google for education food government communication ACF World Water Day community engagement Wagga Wagga Queensland Real Estate safe entertainment generational trends vegetarian population map baby name WA trends analyst young australians social life mccrindle in the media Love aussie culture snapshot marketing world business financial fears 1975 gen z weather average aussie the australian dream contiki woolworths urban living visual ashley mckenzie travelling geomapping in the media high density living professional development newspaper youth wage James Ward grave decision builders shbc litter insights rental stress micro apartments identity Tasmania future Res Vis trend tuesday repayments national wealth 2016 presentations demography student faux-cilise easy rider Northern Beaches professional services princess charlotte residents ageing population System's Architect group session Charlotte google university medicine follow change sector prince george New South Wales Adelaide NBRS future-proof professional speaker small business community event Australian schools 2017 shopping centre NBRS Architecture slideshare neutral bay university degree office space ageing research pack investor mccrindle tea group parenting ethnography case study future of education Andrew Duffin millennials mentor rich REIV Conference Tuesday Trends relational suburbs Australian Families sustainable business performance CPI Do It Yourself cold social analysis high school trades personalities The Daily Edition non profit mortgage townhouses gold coast award participants society faux-cilising New Zealand politics logan curiosity data suburban living responsive Wodonga sports social commentary insight salary balance couple faith results jobs sector wide study wages VET sector affordable optimistic facts supply and demand crows nest Australian Census collaboration Channel 7 social research sector wide work mates office anzac retirement NT teachers optus my business awards Financial Planning Week typical australian omnibus church Mark McCrindle life domestic social researchers dream increasing densification property office opening household consumer friendship growing population 2015 faux-ciliser energy property price spirituality Sydney keynote speaker Myth careers Northern beaches Event bondi nfp post rationalism Northern Territory world youth day outsourcing consumerism FPA Skilling Sydney Hills Business Chamber tips tuesday education future national private wealth engagement TAS Population Clock Real Estate Institute of Victoria resource cost rise of local education research sydney speaker daily telegraph teach land of the middle class learning forecasting recap youth unemployment cost of living entrepreneurial victoria ipswich product alpha staff skills goal national crime rates mining boom Tuesday Trend financial dreams Australian communities poker master social impact millionth states January 26th census 2016 financial public holiday australia perth research sydney hills belief graphs workshop social change education fresh sydneycity sentiments cancelling plans demographic transformations dessert data visualisation renter of the future annual income clothing pyrmont divorce rate the average aussie travel demographic trends Bathburst micro menai Gen Y leader transport Sydney dreaming australian communities forum 40 million thought leadership forum quote social presentation award winner media release gender Research Executive Word Up trends trends of 2017 wealth distribution criminal resilience infographic teleworking wealth South Australia Social Trend conference educhat motivate Scouts baby boomers organisations commuters baby interactive language income apartment students speakers tattoos schools Births economic Queensland: QLD Deaths paying to work population 24 million media generations ACT home ownership employment wolloomooloo potts point mover and shaker Channel Seven researcher the hills Northern Beaches Christian School survey 2016 census results JOMO Kirsten Brewer workplace media commentary local culturally diverse city celebration entrepreneurs of today cash cooking personal growth buildings demographer school students mother's day wellbeing relevant women ease of travel divorce communications high density mobile PSI storytelling educated cica apartments property market capital cities Duchess of Cambridge financial future panel millenials English names royal influence Australian Dream housing trends Australia Day 2017 holidays house prices Australians Hills Shire Council holiday impact school satisfaction sun area #censusfail sunburnt country grandparents sydneysider debate DIY dare to dream New Zeland spend Australian Population mccrindle research year 7 aged care training online shopping lalor park data analyst internship changing face of sydney real local community "know the times" McCrindle Speakers hopes Merry Christmas baby names australia report water Christmas season baby boom Work place mythbusters men Netflix Royals tableau generation Z 2014 staying in future proof going out Engineering Manager employers housing plans wedding leadership workshop Canberra shopping finance healthy future unemployment video train marriages the changing face of REIV National Conference media activity home owner Vocational education moderators guide baby names report gen alpha VIC earnings engage proactive DESTEL friends SMSF 1980 ideas visualisation cancel plans investing urban