ANZ Bank Focus Group – 2010 Business Barometer

July 27th, 2010

I was fortunate enough to attend a focus group run by the ANZ Bank and BDO Accountants in Napier recently looking at some key findings that came out of the ANZ Privately Owned Business Barometer 2010.

ANZ are very good at looking to add value to clients in a number of different ways and this was an example of that. Other participants included people from the insurance, investment, banking, retirement, construction, accountancy and valuation sector and it was an opportunity for ANZ to discuss the findings from their Business Barometer.

I took a number of key points from the session.    They were:

  • Businesses have cautious optimism
  • Focus on costs, cashflow and customer relationships
  • Planning is vital to a business
  • Consider how you will fund growth – debt or equity
  • The way you operate today is probably the ‘new normal’
  • Outside advisors add value
  • Succession planning, change of ownership should be considered well in advance

If you look at all the points above you can see how they are all interrelated and one leads into the other.

For example if you want to focus on cost, cashflow and customer relationships there needs to be planning around that (it won’t just happen by chance) – both at a strategic and operational level. That level of planning needs to acknowledge how you operate today is most likely how you will operate in the next few years (the ‘new normal’) and lead in times need to be considered for any changes that you may be looking at.

Some interesting figures came out of the Business Barometer:

72% expected a general growth in sales over the next three to five years
52% expected increased level of earning growth for the next three years
54% were actively reducing costs/expenses

40% were more actively engaging with clients
92% found external advisors beneficial
55% of companies have independent directors

72% have a strategic or long term plan
52% review their plans at least every six months
76% will fund growth from cashflow

Finally some key results came out in respect of change and these had to do with age and they surprised me:

61% of business owners are over 50 years of age
23% are 60 years or older
41% aspire to retire in the next five years
87% do not have any formal plans in place for succession

Over my next series of articles I will look at some of these facts in some more detail.

The question to ask yourself today is where do you sit in relation to the information above. What do you need to do right now that will make the biggest difference to your business, both in the short and long term? When are you going to do it and how will you measure and audit what is required?

For a detailed copy of the report go to

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