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Mid-market growth is a bright spark in dark economic times

New research finds mid-sized enterprises feel confident about the year ahead, with 77% of respondents expecting their revenue to be up in 12 months’ time compared to where it is today, despite only half (51%) believing Australia’s economy will improve in 2024. This is off the back of a positive year for many, with 67% of respondents saying their revenue increased in the last 12 months. 

The research of 505 mid-sized Australian businesses (with 20-500 FTEs and over $5 million turnover), released today by business management platform MYOB, suggests good news ahead for the 6 million Australians employed by these businesses. Fifty-six per cent of the decision makers polled plan to increase employee wages in the next 12 months. 

A strong mid-market is particularly advantageous for the economy, with the sector comprising over 64,000 businesses and contributing $345 billion (22%) to the nation’s total GDP last year.1  

MYOB Head of Product for Enterprise and Practice, Valantis Vais, said this is a resilient group of businesses that are harnessing the power of new technology to fuel their growth. 

“Our findings indicate the majority of Australia’s mid-sized businesses see the potential in new technologies including artificial intelligence, with more than three quarters of those surveyed already using AI. Savvy business owners who harbour ambitions to scale and grow know that the more they invest in technology, the better off they will be.” 

The most popular uses for AI among the mid-market businesses polled include creating marketing and social media posts (37%), copywriting of technical documents, reports and training materials (37%), and financial monitoring and analysis (37%).  

“Business owners are using AI tools to help boost their business effectiveness as well as navigate challenging conditions. Seventy-one per cent believe AI will impact their industry in the next five years, so it’s vital for leaders to experiment with this technology to see how it can enhance their business operations. If they don’t, they’re at risk of being left behind,” said Valantis.   

When asked for the biggest potential opportunities AI can provide in their industry, improving overall operational productivity and efficiency was the highest response at 38%. This was followed by better data to support management decisions (37%) and improving control of automated systems (36%). 

“Eighty-eight per cent of respondents regularly measure business productivity, so it’s not surprising that mid-market leaders are already leaning on AI to help improve and measure this to ensure optimal results.”  

Looking ahead to 2024, the top three business goals of mid-market decision makers surveyed are expanding their local presence (36%), followed by increasing revenue (33%), and securing more customers (33%). Forty-three per cent say knowledge and expertise in the areas set for change will have the biggest influence over whether they can reach their business goals, followed by IT systems capability at 38%.  

“The mid-market is led by a robust and enterprising cohort of business owners, who understand the power of technology to drive productivity and to scale,” Valantis said.  

“It’s encouraging that the majority are making the most of the latest technologies to take their businesses to the next level. Their ambition, coupled with curiosity and determination to seek different ways of working, will hold them in good stead for a strong year ahead.”  

ENDS 

1ASBFEO.gov.au, Contribution to Australian Gross Domestic Product, June 2023

For further comment or other information please contact:  

Sarah Green, Character + Distinction 
E: sarah@ofcharacter.com 

About MYOB

MYOB is a leading business management platform with a core purpose of helping more businesses in Australia and New Zealand start, survive and succeed. MYOB delivers end-to-end business, financial and accounting solutions direct to businesses employing between 0 and 1000 employees, alongside a network of accountants, bookkeepers and consultants. For more information visit myob.com or follow MYOB on LinkedIn.

About the research 

Research for MYOB’s Mid-market Snapshot was conducted by Dynata. A total of 505 mid-market business leaders and decision makers (with between 20-500 FTEs and $5m+ annual revenue) in Australia took part in the survey. Respondents were sampled from the Dynata online business profile panel sources, and screened to ensure they met the qualifying criteria. The survey was conducted between 6th October – 31st October 2023.