Newport Consulting’s “Current State of Play” is an ongoing, annual study tracking business confidence, business trends and management behaviour of both large companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Australia and New Zealand. “The Current State of Play” survey was conceived in 2008 during the height of the global financial crisis. The report was designed to assess the ‘state of play’ of companies as they emerged from the economic downturn.
With talk of a double-dip recession in the United States, ongoing political uncertainty in Australia with a minority Labor Government and unforeseen natural events in New Zealand, companies continue to operate in uncertain times.
Managing in Uncertain Times (2010–11) is the second report prepared by Newport Consulting and follows the first report, Managing in a Downturn (2009–10), which was released in 2009. The 2009-10 report found that business confidence among Australian SMEs was increasing, whereas large companies were very cautious in their business outlook.
The 2010-11 report examines how resilient companies are in uncertain times; is the outlook for companies as ‘buoyant’ as last year? What are the key business strategies companies are adopting to remain competitive? Are there differences between SMEs and large companies in their approach to managing uncertainty and if so, what are they? Is productivity considered a business issue in the present climate? What are the major strategic differences between Australian and New Zealand companies?
The report’s key findings include:
- While Australian and New Zealand companies are confident of growth; there is a downward trend in the amount by which companies expect to grow, compared to 2009–10.
- More companies expect business growth of only 5-10% compared to companies surveyed last year.
- Organic growth is the way forward for companies to meet their growth expectations.
- Profitability and revenue score highly in Australia and New Zealand as key concerns and focus areas for companies. This is followed by customer satisfaction.
- Australian companies had lost faith in the government in the lead up to the Federal Election.
- There was a 12% increase in the number of companies who thought the government was working against business compared to 2009–10.
- 62% of New Zealand companies don’t know how to define productivity – almost double the number of Australian companies.
“Current State of Play” is an ongoing initiative of Newport Consulting. It is a platform from which to share business trends and management behaviour with Australian and New Zealand companies.