How Are You Seizing Today’s Opportunities to Create Tomorrow’s Value?

PwC Private Business Barometer, Winter 2012

Manoj Santiago, PwC Private Clients Partner

The tenth edition of PwC’s Private Business Barometer was undertaken in February and March, a tumultuous time in the global market that saw daily headlines on European economies and the potential impact on Australia. The Barometer results indicate a cautious optimism amongst Australia’s private businesses: while short term growth expectations are still buoyant, longer term expectations are more robust.

A significant percentage of businesses are relying on organic growth over the short to medium term, but in our experience, businesses who want to thrive in uncertain times – and prepare themselves for an upturn in market conditions – need to do more.

In tough times an obvious survival strategy is to focus on price, and as a result of low margins the Barometer results show a significant increase in sales; but in a market where price competition is favoured, continuing to drop margins can soon make running a business uneconomical. Smart businesses are maintaining a focus on cost containment while investing in new product development and new technologies to maintain the top line.

To celebrate our tenth edition of the Private Business Barometer we spoke with Emanuel Perdis, Managing Director of cosmetics brand Napoleon Perdis – who we profiled in our first edition back in 2007. Napoleon Perdis reported steady and stable growth throughout the GFC, and Emanuel told us new product development was one of the reasons why.

This issue also features ‘insight from the frontline’, a more personal look at the findings offered by several contributors:

• Kelly Baker-Jamieson, Managing Director, Edible Blooms

• Noel Bonnick, Managing Director, K2 Technology

• Suzie Wright, Managing Director and CEO, Digga Australia

We couldn’t look to the coming year without considering the impact of the carbon pricing mechanism, and it was surprising to hear that over a third of private businesses either don’t believe or don’t know how it will affect them.

Given the largest 500 emitters will be looking to reduce their carbon footprint, they’ll no doubt be looking for suppliers to do the same. One private business that has already taken the leap is coffee brand República®. Owner Jacqueline Arias says, “becoming certified carbon neutral is about taking leadership, and differentiating ourselves in the market.”

The Private Business Barometer provides the market with a detailed insight into the private business community and is a source of reference for private business owners, senior executives, analysts, media and government policy makers.

To bring this edition of the Private Business Barometer to the market, we collaborated with leading specialist market research and analysis firm instinct and reason. More than 1,000 Australian private business owners with an annual turnover of A$10m – A$100m took part in the survey.

Barometer features highlights from the research results across Growth, People, Funding and Operations. The full complement of graphs plus detailed state and industry analysis can be found on the website and app; visit www.privatebusinessbarometer.com.au or download the app from the Apple App store. Search PwC Australia – Private Clients.