Small Business Forums

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Last updated on July 17, 2017

During July 2017, the Department of State Growth held a series of forums around Tasmania for small businesses.

What the forums were about

The forums were an opportunity for small businesses to discover:

  • how to access a range of Tasmanian Government programs and services
  • how to access free business advisors and mentors
  • the preliminary results of the recent state wide small business research.

What we shared

We presented information about the programs and services for businesses to access right now:

Digital Ready Program – Find out how to take your business to the next level online.

Employer of Choice – Attract and retain a skilled workforce by being a great place to work.

Enterprise Centres Tasmania – Talk to a small business advisor for free.

Mentoring for Businesses in Growth Program – Access our free mentoring service for you and your business.

Red Tape Reduction – How to get help with a red tape issue impacting your business growth.

Tasmanian Small Business Council – How to connect with your industry association.

The preliminary research results

As part of Small Business Week 2017, the Department of State Growth surveyed small businesses across the state to help inform the department’s small business programs and services.

Preliminary findings

  • Ten per cent of small businesses are start-ups (up to around one year old).
  • Sixty seven per cent of small businesses have paid employees. Forty three per cent have plans to change their employee numbers over the next two years, and of that, 92 per cent are planning to increase.
  • The majority (80 per cent) of small businesses sell their products and/or services within Tasmania with 28 per cent indicating they have plans to increase sales to interstate and/or overseas in the next two years.
  • Sixty seven per cent of small businesses feel there are key opportunities for small businesses to operate successfully in Tasmania such as in the tourism sector or finding new niche markets.
  • Eighty one per cent of small businesses feel there are barriers, challenges or constraints to operating their business successfully in Tasmania. Regulatory compliance was reported by 28 per cent of businesses as a constraint followed by 12 per cent indicating the cost of freight is restrictive. A further 10 per cent reported challenges with distribution and transport logistics.
  • Small businesses are looking to increase their knowledge and business skills in areas of financial management (11 per cent), computer skills/technology/online business (11 per cent) and, marketing and promotion (10 per cent).
  • The majority of small businesses (67 per cent) find their business information needs online followed by 21 per cent through an industry association.

The presentation of the preliminary results is available here (PDF).