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What do Aussie small businesses really need to be competitive?

A recent article in Dynamic Business comments on the current state-of-the-nation when it comes to recognition of small business needs.

The Australian printing industry, and indeed small Aussie printing companies, fall squarely in the scope of such a discussion.

What do we need to do to advocate change? Perhaps we should follow the advice espoused in the article, and lobby the soon-to-be-appointed Small Business Minister, in federal cabinet; as well as the NSW Minister for Small Business.

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Small business in Australia finds itself in a perplexing situation. On the one hand – thanks to technological developments such as the cloud – start-up costs are low and the potential for small players to disrupt established markets has never been higher.

But on the other, thanks to labour market regulation and a high dollar, operating costs are very high, making it incredibly difficult to scale up.

Indeed, a recent KPMG study has found that, after Japan, Australia is the world’s most expensive place to do business. The highest electricity prices of any major economy (40 percent higher than Japan’s) coupled with high wages are biting, and a strong dollar is keeping costs on the up.

But to relieve short-term pain and ensure long-term success, certain things must change.

Government policies must begin to recognise the value of a sector that comprises around 2 million people and employs about 5 million others.

The fact is that under Fair Work Australia, labour costs have become divorced from economic reality. When combined with rising operating expenses, these costs are preventing many SMEs from expanding while sending others to the wall.

Just how interested the government is in supporting growth and employment through such reforms will go a long way to determining how competitive Australian small business can be in the next decade – a time when they’ll be facing increased opposition from global competitors able to operate with lower costs.

For the sake of the future economy, we must continue to advocate for change.

Read the full article at Dynamic Business.

Other reading:
Plans for first federal small business commissioner announced
Yasmin King named first NSW Small Business Commissioner