In light of the research, Regus Australia and New Zealand CEO Paul Migliorini cautioned that businesses should ensure flexibility and consider all potential avenues for growth.
“While it is encouraging to see Australian businesses pursuing growth opportunities at home, past research shows that companies operating overseas show better overall growth as well as better profitability,” says Migliorini.
Growth in exports is currently low on average compared to local expansion, but where growth was occurring still did largely depend on the business size.
Small businesses with less than 50 employees reported they were mainly experiencing growth domestically, while businesses with more than 250 employees reported more balanced growth across both local and foreign markets.
44 per cent of small businesses reported the majority of their growth was coming from local channels, while 33 per cent of large businesses reported balanced growth internationally and domestically.
Companies reported barriers to international growth including concerns it would compromise staff quality and office space, and they would lack the knowledge, connections and market information to succeed.
Migliorini says small businesses in particular need to look past challenges and remain flexible.
“The research reminds us of how important it is for businesses to remain flexible so they can respond to Australian market volatility.
“Businesses need to be able to rapidly expand, but also to retract speedily should growth possibilities open up elsewhere.”
Melbourne weighed in as the best city for business growth, at 48 per cent, while Queensland’s capital reported 36 per cent growth.
The survey canvassed the opinions of more than 20,000 senior executives and business owners across 95 countries.
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