What are the economic prospects for ‘businesses in the middle’?

Apr 24, 2018
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There’s lots of small businesses and there’s a few big businesses – at least, that’s the common perception. And while it’s true that New Zealand is thought of as a country that boasts a large number of small businesses, there’s also a misconception about what characterises a small business, and differentiates from the group that sits in between – medium or mid-market businesses.

A medium enterprise is a business that, while not at the large, corporate end of the scale, is described as a business with more than 20 staff, and a yearly revenue of more than $5 million. And while they don’t make up the majority of Kiwi businesses, they still have a significant impact on the economy.

The MYOB Enterprise Insights Report, Transforming the Mid Market, measures the performance of that New Zealand mid-market, highlighting the challenges they face and identifying the barriers to their growth.

For the MYOB Enterprise Insights Report, MYOB interviewed 185 bigger businesses from across the country in the latter half of 2017. The businesses range in size from mid-sized operations of under 20 employees to large scale enterprises.

The report is detailed and comprehensive, covering:

• The economy
• The pressures the sector faces
• Employment
• Export trends
• Business management capability
• Growth
• Innovation
• Technology
• Government support

There’s a series of case studies around mid-market enterprises, including Flight Plastics and Millbrook Resort.

The report also outlines how business conditions are expected to improve as confidence in the economy grows. Over the last 12 months, New Zealand’s bigger businesses demonstrated the strength of their contribution to the economy, with strong growth underpinned by solid confidence, in both their own performance and that of the wider economy. 40% of business owners expect things to continue to improve over 2018.

Geographically, South Island businesses are particularly positive, with 49% of business owners expecting the economy to continue to improve, especially in the agricultural sector. The construction and trade industry had a very positive 2017, with 55% reporting a growth in revenue. However, of concern is a skills shortage in that industry, with 40% of businesses citing it as one of their major pressures.

On the global scale, expansion into offshore markets is growing in the manufacturing and mining industries, with 36% of them exporting overseas. Over 50% export to Australia, with Asia, China and North America also strong target markets.

There’s been significant revenue growth in the mid-market, with New Zealand’s bigger businesses expecting considerable growth in 2018. The report goes into detail with supporting statistics to illustrate the growth most of New Zealand’s bigger businesses achieved in 2017.

Download the report for some good input into your next strategic planning session.