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Surviving in Small Business: What are the Statistics?

Article written by Veechi Curtis

Australians and Kiwis are a pretty entrepreneurial bunch. With a combined population of 25 million (give or take a few), there are almost 2.5 million businesses. Impressive, don’t you reckon? That’s a whopping ten per cent of the population who run their own business.

But what about business survival? Are all these businesses fly-by-nighters, that start up one year, and are gone the next? Only last week, a business coaching franchise advised a client of mine that 80% of businesses go bust in the first year, and only 8% of businesses survive five years or more.

Pish tosh. Business is tough, but it’s not a suicidal mission. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that of 317,000 new businesses started in 2007:

  • 72 per cent survived the first year
  • 57 per cent survived the second
  • 49 per cent survived the third

Interestingly enough, studies in both Australia and New Zealand found that businesses with no employees were much more likely to suffer a premature death than businesses with employees, and that the older a business was, the more likely it is to survive (see Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, June 2007 to June 2011, Australian Bureau of Statistics, and NZ Business Demographic Statistics Report, Statistics New Zealand, for more details).

Small Business For Dummies For lots more about running a business from home, including ways to build your business plan to that you have the best possible chance of survival, you can purchase your own copy of Small Business For Dummies from our online bookstore. Click here to order.


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