Westpac vs. Sensis vs. MYOB vs. Regus

Suppliers to small businesses love nothing more than creating their very own opinion poll so they can tell us all what we're thinking. We compare the insights on offer from four such surveys from MYOB, Regus, Westpac and Sensis.

My Business receives an awful lot of surveys from industry and in the last couple of weeks have received a few that consider just how confident – or worried – business is at present.

We don’t usually report on surveys, because their issuers create them so they have something to do PR about ... and it’s more than coincidence that their findings nearly always play to their strengths. We’ve also found, over the years, that the methodologies used are opaque, samples are small and it doesn’t take very probing questions to find pretty big holes in the way results are interpreted.

But today we’re going to suspend our usual survey-free-zone to compare the surveys we’ve received lately and see if they stack up.

It’s hard for us to compare apples with apples, because each of the four surveys asks different questions. But there are some similarities we’ve popped into the table below that serve as a starting point for comparisons:


Sample size

Are businesses confident?

Hotspots and coldspots

Special data



No. Only 41 per cent are confident

Confidence is falling in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia

52 per cent of businesses think it will take a year for the economy to improve



Yes! 80 per cent expect increased profitability in the next year.


Business spending will increase but 80 per cent of companies won’t spend on property



Yes! 57 per cent are “predicting a stronger performance in the next six months”

Businesses in Victoria, Western Australia and the ACT are happier than those in other states.

36 per cent of small businesses have no budget or cashflow management process

Sensis – February 2011


No. Just 44 per cent are confident, down compared to 2010 study

Queensland and Tasmania are the least-confident states

41 per cent of SMEs reported facing no problems in their business, up nine percentage points in the past quarter.

Our conclusions? Natural disasters in Queensland come through pretty consistently in data about grumpy business in the sunshine state, but there’s a spotty picture of just how confident business feels about the future in the rest of the data.

How do you feel? Are you confident? What’s worrying you?

Let us know in the comments field below.

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