Xero data to highlight small business trends
Photo: Anna Curzon.
 
For the first time, small business in New Zealand will have access to an unprecedented level of data unveiled by Xero (@Xero). Named Xero Signals, the data, housed at xero.com/signals, is claimed to represent a true signal of the state of New Zealand’s small business economy.
Based on aggregated data from almost 10,000 businesses across New Zealand and surveys of approximately 500 nationally representative small businesses and 1300 Xero customers. Xero Managing Director, Anna Curzon, says this data can help small business owners understand how they’re faring, compared to a larger segment of the market. 
“For too long big-data has been the domain of big businesses and today’s release democratises data for small businesses in New Zealand. By drawing insights from aggregated data, small business owners can use Xero Signals to make clearer business decisions and plan for the future.
“It’s our responsibility to provide the technology tools to small businesses to help them thrive. These insights will enable New Zealand’s small businesses to assess their own business using comparative insight from thousands of other similar sized businesses. It’s also valuable for advisors, helping them see how their clients are navigating business challenges and opportunities. The data shows how much opportunity there is for small business owners to tighten their operations, become more efficient and grow,” she says.
While there is a dearth of data available, there are some interesting insights and advice that have been highlighted in the first release:
Seven out of ten small business owners do not want to grow their business. However, the majority (83 percent) want to improve efficiency.
Less than one in ten small businesses have an accountant and only one in three small businesses have a business plan.
Small business revenue declined compared to last year but profits are steady.
Businesses should consider lower stock holding levels, so they don’t tie up money on products they can’t move.
New Zealand’s small businesses should consider growing their online presence – 78% of New Zealanders aged 18 years make online purchases, but only 15% of small businesses have an online shop. 
 
Xero Signals will be updated regularly online. Insights will be presented in tabular and graphical format with advice on how to use it, implications and learnings for small businesses.