Businesses feeling the strain of intense competition aren’t making it up – there is now undeniable proof that competition really is increasing.
It comes in the form of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that revealed a 3.1 per cent uptick in the number of actively trading businesses in the 2017 financial year.
That makes four straight years the ABS count of businesses has increased. The number of operating businesses is now 2.24 million.
“Counts of businesses increased across all states and territories from June 2016 to June 2017, with the ACT seeing the largest percentage growth in business counts at 4.5 per cent,” said Luisa Ryan, director of the ABS’ business register unit.
Ms Ryan noted that the growth was largely driven by non-employing businesses.
Overall, though, the growth is coming from a simultaneous rise in the number of start-ups and a fall in the number of business closures.
In the year to June 2017, the entry rate of businesses into the Australian economy surged by 15.1 per cent – outpacing the previous year’s rise of a still impressive 14.6 per cent.
Accordingly, the rate of business exits slipped to 12 per cent, down from 12.3 per cent a year earlier.
An explosion in the number of taxi and transport operators (up by a third) helped the transport, postal and warehousing industry achieve the largest increase in business numbers, rising 12.1 per cent.
By contrast, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector once again saw the largest fall in the number of trading businesses.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.