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


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