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Australia SME Industry Reports
Australia SME Industry Reports

What’s included in Australia SME Industry Reports.

Updated over a week ago

For a video overview of this product, watch IBISWorld Australia SME Reports.

What are Australia SME Industry Reports?

Operating conditions for small-to-medium enterprises – or SMEs – can vary considerably from non-SMEs in many industries. Our Australia SME collection focuses on specific data and analysis related to industry participants that generate revenue of $10 million or less to provide you with accurate, SME-focused industry information so you can make informed decisions and better understand the SME landscape.

Chapters of Australia SME Industry Reports

Below you’ll find information about each of the chapters and sections within an Australia SME Industry Report.


Recent Developments

Keep up with geopolitical, environmental, macroeconomic and other headwinds affecting industry operations.

Industry Definition

The industry definition will tell you exactly what the report is about. Our reports generally follow the definitions used by statistical agencies (e.g., the Australian Bureau of Statistics), but these are often technical and offer a rigid concept of an industry. To provide real-world information, we approach the industry holistically rather than by the narrow official definition.  

This definition will also indicate if the report does not include something. For example, Accounting Services in Australia does not include “payroll processing, billing and record-keeping services.”

Main Activities

This section will tell you what industry SMEs do – their primary activities (official and real-world) and major products and services.

Similar Industries

Here you’ll find industries that produce competing goods or services (e.g., glass bottles versus plastic bottles), industries where some goods and services overlap (e.g., management consulting and IT consulting) or have a dependent supply chain relationship (e.g., bread manufacturing and flour milling).

This section demonstrates why it is important to remember that no industry operates in isolation.

Clicking on a report link within this section will open the report in the same tab. 

Additional Resources

This section shows what sources we used to compile the report and where you can go for more information. These resources are industry specific and do not include the general sources, such as the statistical agencies. Clicking on a link will open the selected website in a new tab.    

Industry Jargon 

The Industry Jargon section defines technical terms used by operators in an industry. 


Here you’ll find general economic terms used throughout all SME reports. 

Industry at a Glance

Key Statistics

Quickly get a sense of the SME industry's total revenue, annual growth (past and future), profit, wages and number of businesses. Beneath each figure, you’ll see the corresponding Total Industry data point for easy comparison. 

Easily compare SME revenue against the Total Industry revenue in this section. 

SWOT Analysis 

Instantly view the internal strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats that SME industries face. A SWOT analysis is a critical framework for evaluating competitive positions and developing strategic planning. 

Industry Structure 

Get a quick, visual overview of the structure of the SME industry against the National average, including:  

  • Revenue Volatility 

  • Industry Assistance 

  • Regulation Level 

  • Barriers to Entry 

  • Industry Globalization 

  • Competition Level  

Color-coded symbols indicate whether an element is negative, neutral or positive. 

Enterprise Revenue Distribution

This chart breaks down the SME industry’s enterprises by revenue. The Enterprise Distribution chart details the number of enterprises that operate in the SME industry within specific revenue segments:

  • $0 – $49.9K 

  • $50K - $199.9K 

  • $200K - $1.9m

  • $2m - $4.9m

  • $5m - $9.9m

  • $10m+

Products and Services Segmentation 

Understand which revenue streams are most important to companies within the SME industry by seeing each segment’s size, both in dollar amounts and as a percentage of total industry revenue. Additionally, you can compare the product or service’s breakdown against the industry total. These charts will always add up to 100%.

Industry Performance

Key External Drivers  

Each industry is influenced by a range of external factors that are beyond the direct control of the individual operator. These factors, known as Key External Drivers (KEDs), have a direct impact on industry performance.

KEDs can include exchange rates, commodity prices, consumer attitudes, weather conditions, demographic changes and government policies. We provide data for these KEDs as far back as 1980 when possible, so you can compare trends and patterns over time. Below the chart, you’ll find details and analysis of each data input. 

You can interact with the graph in this section.  

Industry Performance

This section tells the story of the key events and themes that have affected the SME industry over the past 5 years and highlights any expected significant changes over the next 5 years.

Business Entry/Exit Rate

Use these two charts to explore the rate of entries and exits within the SME industry. Each chart shows the rate of entry/exit in each financial year, while simultaneously splitting the industry into revenue segments. 

Products and Markets

Supply Chain 

This section identifies the major supply industries and demand industries that are important to the SME supply chains. We analyse every industry in an economy, so there are no gaps in the supply chain.

Products and Services 

The Products and Services section details the revenue breakdown of key products and services the industry provides, broken down by SME operators and total industry. Product and service shares are calculated based on current year revenue. Segments are derived from the Main Activities section of the report.  

The analysis below the charts discusses key trends and drivers for each segment and highlights specific changes that affect segment or industry performance, as well as how and why each segment’s share of revenue has changed over time.  

Demand Determinants

Here you’ll find analysis of the various factors affecting demand for the industry’s products and services. The demand determinants are factors that stimulate (or reduce) demand for a good or service. They may be related to key external drivers, buyer behaviours, outside trends, international trade, availability of substitutes and seasonality.  

Major Markets

This section includes details about the key markets that buy the industry’s products or use its services. The chart shows each market’s size (calculated using current year revenue). There is also a chart displaying the major markets of the total industry for easy comparison against the SME industry.  

Markets can be segmented into other industries, final consumers or overseas markets. You’ll find written analysis below the charts discussing the different trends within each market and the ways these affect industry performance.  

Business Locations

The Distribution map shows the current geographical spread of industry activities by local government area (LGA) based on establishments. You can zoom in on the map to view more detailed data. There’s also a table that displays the distribution of enterprises based in metropolitan areas or regional areas by state and territory.

Competitive Landscape

Key Success Factors

Key Success Factors are factors that an industry operator can control. These factors are internal to the company (as opposed to Key Drivers, which are external to the company).

These are strategies that a company must follow to maintain or grow its revenue and profit. Our analysts select four to six key success factors, listed in order of importance, for each industry. 

This section quantifies and discusses the trends in the profit and costs incurred by SME operators and their effects on SME industry performance and company profits. 

Our analysts provide percentages for factors including profit, wages, purchases, depreciation, marketing, rent, utilities and others. All costs are represented as a percentage of total SME industry revenue. Each factor comes with analysis so you can understand exactly how that factor is affecting the industry.  

Basis of Competition

This section tells you if participants in the SME industry experience high, medium or low competition and whether that trend is increasing, decreasing or steady. 

Barriers to Entry

This section tells you if participants in the SME industry experience high, medium or low barriers to entry and whether that trend is increasing, decreasing or steady.

Industry Globalisation

This section identifies the extent to which the industry operates on a global scale, ranked by low, medium or high. We analyse 3 factors when determining the level and trend of globalisation: the level and trend of imports, the level and trend of exports and the level of foreign company ownership. We also provide an indication of whether the level of globalisation is changing (increasing, decreasing, steady). 

Operating Conditions

Revenue Volatility

Understand how year-on-year revenue performance affects long-term strategic decisions as well as its implications on other investment and financial decisions. This section provides an indication of trends in revenue volatility (high, medium, low).

Regulation and Policy

This section details the industry’s regulatory environment. We discuss what regulations affect this industry, whether compliance is different from comparable industries and how that affects performance. To determine the level and trends, we compare the industry to the total economy. 

There are 3 types of regulation: 

  1. Government imposed

  2. Self-regulation (typically through industry associations and trade groups)

  3. Compliance requirements (related to entry and ongoing operation)

Deregulation, if applicable, is discussed here, as it will have a considerable effect on nearly all aspects of operations.  

We also consider the effects of regulation in upstream and downstream industries. For example, a new code of conduct for produce wholesalers would have implications for produce growers. Regulation and policy levels are defined as: 

  • Heavy 

  • Medium 

  • Light 

  • None 

Regulation and policy trends are defined as: 

  • Increasing 

  • Steady 

  • Decreasing 

Industry Assistance

This section discusses what (if any) assistance this industry receives from the government and why. Assistance refers to government and/or other measures designed to improve the performance of the industry or sections of the industry, such as grants and subsidies. It also includes support from industry bodies, such as associations and lobby groups.  

We also discuss protection, which refers to non-tariff forms of protection for the industry which can include regulations, tax concessions, quotas, quarantine restrictions, packaging, labelling and quality standards. Natural protection refers to industries that do not face a high level of imports due to the nature of their products. Generally, these are industries that sell high-weight, low-value products that would not be cost-effective to ship. 

The types of assistance considered are: 

  • Protection from imports or substitutes (e.g., tariffs) 

  • Direct government assistance (e.g., subsidies, grants) 

  • Indirect government assistance (e.g., assistance to upstream or downstream industries) 

  • Support from industry bodies, such as associations and trade groups 

Regulation and Policy Levels are defined as: 

  • Heavy 

  • Medium 

  • Light 

Regulation and Policy Trends are defined as: 

  • Increasing 

  • Steady 

  • Decreasing 

Key Statistics

Industry Data

This table includes data on the following elements, going back as far as 2001 (if available) and including a 6-year forecast. Financial figures are published in constant (inflation-adjusted) terms. 

  • Revenue 

  • Industry Value Added 

  • Establishments 

  • Enterprises 

  • Employment 

  • Exports 

  • Imports 

  • Wages 

  • Domestic Demand 

Annual Change

Yearly growth rates are calculated for each of the figures displayed in the Industry Data table. 

Key Ratios

The Key Ratios table includes the following ratios: 

  • IVA / Revenue (%) 

  • Imports / Domestic Demand (%) 

  • Exports / Revenue (%) 

  • Revenue / Employee ($000) 

  • Wages / Revenue (%) 

  • Employees / Establishments 

  • Wages / Employee 

  • Share of the Economy (%)

There is 10 years of historical data and 6 years of forecast data included in the table. 

For additional questions regarding Australia SME Industry Reports, please contact your Client Relationship Manager. If you don’t have an IBISWorld account, please contact us to learn more about our membership options.

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