Every 5 years the Australian Bureau of Statistics collects information about the population by way of the census. The census is vital for planning and improving services and infrastructure to Australia’s rapidly growing population. But information revealed by demographers can also be very useful for businesses of all sizes.
We recently attended the Ignite 2016 Conference hosted by the REIV. What became apparent through many of the conference presentations was that business needs to deal with a changing environment, more than ever before. In fact, it seems that we are in a rare historical moment, in which massive demographic changes are combining with huge social shifts, generational transitions and unprecedented technological innovation, so that in the space of just one decade, society has fundamentally altered.
So, what does business need to do to adapt? Ideas from the conference included: ensuring that business leaders future proof their organisation, by understanding the times, understanding megatrends, influencing trends, and shaping their industry’s future. Businesses need to reflect changes through its approaches to people, process and culture.
What exactly is expected in this census? Social researcher and demographer Mark McCrindle (who presented to the Conference) says that the census can probably be summed up in 5 words: bigger, older, urban, diverse, and mobile.
Bigger – the census is expected to show a population of over 24 million, and that Sydney’s population has just hit 5 million (and Melbourne rapidly catching up);
older – there are now more Australians over 55 than under 20, and there are almost half a million Aussies over 85;
urban – more than two thirds of our population live in one of the capital cities; diverse – in the past 50 years the proportion of Australians born overseas has grown from 17% to over 30%;
and mobile – 2 in 3 Aussies get to work by private vehicle, and over half of our households have 2 cars.
We think these statistics bode well for Australian businesses.
Think about what your business can do to profit from a growing population! Are you near a transport hub? Are you located in a growing urban area? What can you do to upsize or upscale? Are you catering to the burgeoning numbers of older Australians? Does your product cater to their needs? Could you tailor your offerings to appeal to this market? Can you tap into this sector of the market’s health or leisure needs? Should you be advertising in places that the aged group are likely to visit? Older Australians hold a high proportion of the nation’s wealth, and their needs should not be ignored. In terms of urbanisation, what can your business do to make customers’ lives easier? For people commuting long distances, they need convenient solutions to their busy lives. They need businesses to offer convenient opening hours, and quick, accessible, on-the-go assistance with meals, childcare and communication. They want options to ease life in their local area. We will also see a more diverse Australia, with migrants from non-traditional migration countries. Does your business cater to a diverse market? Is it easily accessible by people from different backgrounds and languages? And finally, in terms of a more mobile population, does your business cater to people on the move? Can you cater better to people who travel by car? Do you have adequate parking, or proximity to major arterial roads? What are some other ways that your business can cater to these megatrends?
Here at First Choice Business Brokers, we’re on top of local, national, and international change that could affect your market. Speak to us for ideas in business succession planning, how to future proof your business, and how to move on when you’re ready to sell. In the meantime, protect your profits by ensuring you’re ready for major demographic shifts!
Use a business broker to help you find a business that harnesses megatrends. If you’re looking at buying a business, we’d love to help you on your journey. Telephone First Choice Business Brokers on 9899-1888 for a confidential discussion.