There is no denying that small businesses are the backbone of New Zealand. They make up 97 percent of our businesses and contribute to almost a third of our GDP. Some might say it’s our entrepreneurial spirit, others, our DIY nature - if we want something, we get on and do it. Regardless of what drives it though, it’s clear that the survival and growth of small businesses in New Zealand is essential to a strong economy.  

We’ve been working with small businesses for more than a decade now. Each day we throw ourselves into better understanding the challenges and opportunities they face, with the sole purpose of having a positive impact on the world by growing small businesses.

It’s from this passion that Xero Small Business Insights was born. Built on a  trusted and robust data set which has been drawn from our 300,000 plus subscribers and created from the desire to better understand and to help champion the small business cause.

Here’s a look at how it works and the revolutionary insight we expect it to provide.

How it works

Small Business Insights provides a snapshot of the sector's health, updated monthly. It's metrics - which are based on anonymised, aggregated data from hundreds of thousands of our subscribers - provide insights into five key areas of small business health. The result is a picture of business conditions that’s more comprehensive than most private surveys, which often have a far smaller sample size, and more frequently updated than other New Zealand data on small business.

What it shows us

Xero Small Business Insights centres on five key pillars - cash flow, getting paid, hiring people, trading overseas and cloud adoption. These metrics can help decision makers better understand the opportunities and challenges small businesses face, whether that's looking at the best month to hire staff, or the average number of days it takes for them to get paid (spoiler alert, it still takes too long).

Our expectation is that month on month, we will be able to see relevant business trends in real-time, as and when they happen.

Why it's important

It's our hope that this data will serve to inform policymakers, large enterprises and even small businesses themselves, allowing them to make better decisions to support both the small business economy and the wider New Zealand economy.

Our independent economist, Cameron Bagrie also highlights the importance of this data:

“Xero Small Business Insights represents a big step forward in the availability and potential use of information to add value and provide intelligent customer insights on small business trends. It harnesses the collective financial information of a big chunk of the New Zealand economy and over time, Xero Small Business Insights has the potential to be one of the most powerful gauges of economic and financial trends across the New Zealand economy.”

To keep up to date with the latest Xero Small Business Insights, please subscribe here. Alternatively, if you're interested in taking a deeper dive into the data or looking at how further insight might benefit you, please get in touch.

This article was prepared by Xero using Xero Small Business Insights data, for the purpose of informing and developing policies to promote small business in New Zealand. It contains general information only and should not be taken as taxation, financial, investment or legal advice. Xero recommends that readers always obtain specific and detailed professional advice about any business decisions.

Download the Xero Small Business Insights summary here

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