Overall businesses in Western Sydney expect that over the next 12 months they will exceed budgeted revenue by 10.52%, budgeted profits by 9.74% and budgeted capital expenditures by 3.87%.
92% of businesses identify growth as an objective for the next 12 months, up from 86% last year, with expectations to achieve an average growth rate of 12.89%. Last year businesses achieved an average growth rate of 11.48%, which is lower than the 15% forecast in the last survey, although this result is still a strong outcome.
Business sentiment has continued to strengthen at 52.99, achieving the highest result over the six periods that have been measured.
Business Sentiment is strongest in Large Businesses at 53.37, which is consistent with the previous survey result (53.74). The outlook of SME Businesses has improved, increasing from 26.05 in the last survey to 53.10, a result that is comparable with the Large Business position.
Business Sentiment was consistent across the region, but it is significant that the Southwest subregion showed an increase in Business Sentiment to 53.21 from 16.33 in the last survey. Potentially the infrastructure projects in this part of Sydney will be a contributing factor to the improved business outlook.
With the Australian and NSW Governments investing $3.6 billion over 10 years in the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan (WSIP), it’s expected that business sentiment, and actual financial outcomes for businesses, will continue to be strong over the coming years.
Despite the positive outlook for businesses, there are reported challenges inhibiting growth. The greatest challenge currently faced by Western Sydney businesses is the attraction and retention of their workforce. With strong competition in the region, it’s also becoming difficult for businesses to increase prices and retain clients and customers.
Employment related challenges continue to be the leading issue impeding growth. The number one challenge is being able to recruit and retain employees with the right skills. Businesses also reported that increased levels of competition in the region adds pressure on price and sales.
In terms of critical factors to success of business over the next 12 months, apart from challenges with recruiting and retaining employees, businesses see three success factors:
- Differentiating their product / service in the market
- Customer retention strategies
- Having a workforce with the right skillsets
2018 Report Highlights
The bold vision to make Western Sydney a 30-minute city will be a game-changer for liveability. Businesses are gearing up to leverage the opportunities from improved connectivity.