A quarter of all Australian small and medium businesses believe the economy is growing versus 16% who say it is slowing, resulting in the best net balance score (+9) since December 2013, according to the latest Sensis Business Index survey.

Sensis CEO, John Allan said: “Small and medium businesses see strength in the economy and this is revealed in their assessment of each of the key indicators, all of which – prices, sales, profitability, employment and wages – saw a rise in the net balance score both for last quarter and in expectations for the quarter ahead.”  

“For the majority of businesses, growth is driving further employment and the employment net balance has improved to its best result in more than five years.”  

The Index, which reflects the views of 1,000 small and medium businesses from across Australia, also revealed the business confidence score jumped seven points to sit at the equal highest level since March 2010. The net balance of +46 is calculated by comparing the number of confident SMBs (61%) to those who are worried (15%).    

Watch the video and get the full story here.

Australian small and medium business (SMB) confidence has fallen five points to +39 on a net basis, driven by negative sales, employment and profitability results, according to the latest Sensis Business Index (SBI) survey. 

The net balance of +39 is calculated by comparing the number of confident SMBs (57%) to the number who are worried (18%).

Sensis Executive General Manager, James Ciuffetelli said: “After confidence hit the highest level in more than six years in December, we’ve seen confidence drop. We saw declines in all of the key indicators this quarter, with business owners particularly feeling the pinch on sales and employment.”

Watch the video and get the full story here.

Almost eight in 10 people (79%) are now using social media, with 18-29 year olds displaying a range of obsessive tendencies that raise questions around the long-term psychological impact of the growth of social media, as revealed in the latest Sensis Social Media Report.

The 2017 study, surveying 800 Australian consumers and 1,100 businesses, found that while Facebook remains dominant (95% usage), the other visual platforms continue to grow in popularity, with Instagram on the rise (up from 31% to 46%) and Snapchat usage almost doubling this year (up from 22% to 40%).

Watch the video and get the full story here.

Confidence among the 1,010 small and medium businesses we spoke to fell slightly this quarter, but remains at the second highest level we’ve seen in seven years.

The Index, which reflects the views of 1,000 small and medium businesses (SMBs) from across Australia, registered a net balance of +44. This result is two points down on the balance from December 2016. 

In addition to a marginal fall in business confidence, the overall assessment of the economy remains positive, with 19% of SMBs expressing faith in economic growth. SMBs continue to show growing confidence about the economy in 12 months’ time, with the net balance increasing for the fourth survey in succession to reach +10, which is two points higher than in the December 2016 survey. 

Watch the video and get the full story here.

Cooking, restaurants, recipes, reviews and social media posts – you name it, Australia continues to have an obsession with food. It’s one of our favourite things to talk about and share.

This year, the Yellow Pages and White Pages have partnered with the Country Women’s Association (CWA), to not only find our nation’s best bakers but also celebrate the phenomenal achievements of the CWA and the work it does for women and children in regional Australia.

Check out the video and media release for the full story.

Confidence among small and medium businesses has reached its highest level in six years registering a net balance score of +46 according to the latest Sensis Business Index (SBI) survey.

The Index, which reflects the views of 1,000 small and medium businesses (SMBs) from across Australia, registered a net balance of +46. This result is seven points up on Decenber 2015. 

In addition to improved business confidence, the overall assement of the economy moved into positive territory, with 24% of SMBs indicating faith in current economic growth. Optimism around overall economic growth rose by 3% in December 2016.  

Watch the video and get the full story here.

Confidence among small and medium businesses dropped this quarter, rebalancing from a five year high last quarter to register a net balance score of +38 according to the latest Sensis Business Index (SBI) survey.

The Index, which reflects the views of 1,000 small and medium businesses from across Australia, revealed three times as many SMBs were confident as those who were worried. Despite the dip, the net balance score of +38 is 11 points higher than this time last year. 

While business confidence went down, current perceptions of the economy stayed the same and the 12 month outlook jumped, registering a positive score of +5, eight points higher than last quarter and only the second positive reading since December 2014.

Watch the video and get the full story here.

Skip’s online coffee ordering service is now available to customers travelling through the Qantas Clubs and Business Lounges at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth domestic airports.

The Skip app offers Qantas customers a quick and easy way to pre-order their complimentary coffee before or during their time in Qantas Clubs and Business Lounges at Qantas’ domestic airports.

Qantas customers are able to order their favourite coffee using Skip and their barista-made coffee will be waiting for them to enjoy, all with the convenience of never having to queue. As an added bonus, customers can also select the time they want to collect their coffee via the app.

Watch the video and get the full story here.

Business confidence rose by nine points this quarter, to now sit at the highest level in more than five years among Australia’s small and medium businesses (SMBs), according to the latest Sensis Business Index (SBI) survey.

Sensis Chief Executive Officer, John Allan said: “While sales and employment improved and prices remain positive, wages and profitability went backwards this quarter. These are not the results you would expect to see when confidence has lifted to a five year high.

“Rather than being driven by these indicators, confidence is instead being driven by perceptions that the overall economic environment is improving. On top of this, the non-cyclical influences remain strong, with businesses continuing to feel particularly positive about their own specific business strengths.”

Watch the video and get the full story here.

Facebook users are now spending more than 12.5 hours a week on the platform, according to the latest Sensis Social Media Report.

Sensis General Manager Digital, Alice Mentiplay said: “Facebook continues to dominate with 95% of social media users on the platform and the average time spent on the site rising by more than four hours this year alone.

“It’s not surprising, therefore, to see a rise in the number of people concerned they are spending too long on social media, with more than one in three women (35%) and a quarter of men (26%) now worried.”

Get the full story here and then access the full report here.

Steve Wozniak has some great advice for small businesses trying to forge their way in the digital marketplace.

  • Maintain a strong business focus
  • Keep profit front of mind to be able to invest your earnings in better products
  • You need a marketing person that understands your core product
  • Engineers can help deliver elegant solutions to problems. Supply these people with resources and they can help grow your business
  • Don't sacrifice revenue for something that will be disruptive. Try to introduce the disruptive thing whilst keeping revenue steady.

How should businesses deal with disruptions? Steve Wozniak shares his thoughts...

  • The way you do business today may not be economically viable and competitive in the future
  • Expect things to change
  • Be adaptive to change
  • Look at the consumer experience - what are they getting out of the change?


Steve Wozniak discusses the future of tech and what we can expect

  • Advancements in virtual reality to deliver a greater real world experience
  • Driverless cars
  • Artificial intelligence vs human intuition

In the final instalment of our Q&A sessions with Steve Wozniak, the Apple co-founder discusses the future of digital

  • Everything is enhanced by our digital connections to it
  • The people who are writing/building programs, will lead the way forward
  • To forge a path in digital, future generations should learn the mechanics - microprocessors, power that controls motors/electricity, software


87 percent of businesses think economy is slowing or standing still.

This was the sentiment of 1,000 small and medium businesses from across Australia that were surveyed for the March Sensis Business Index.

The economy was perceived to be weakening which made the latest quarter more challenging than had been anticipated.

There are also more negative views about the economy for the coming year. However, this has not stopped SMBs expecting better performances this quarter on all key performance indicators, especially among well-established firms and those claiming to have particular business strengths.

Watch the video and then read the full story here.

Australians can look forward to a home delivery of cuteness as the latest Yellow Pages and White Pages books hit doorsteps nationwide in the coming months.

For the first time in the iconic directories’ history, the Yellow Pages and White Pages are supporting national animal welfare charity, PetRescue, in a move which will see the covers being used to help rehome some of the countries favourite four-legged friends.

The 2016 program will feature a number of rescue animals and their carers on the covers in a bid to raise awareness for those pets in need of rehoming across the country.

Watch the video and read the full story here.

Business confidence jumps to highest level in almost five years

According to the latest Sensis Business Index survey, SMB confidence has lifted strongly to reach levels last seen two years ago and the highest score since March 2011.

More than three times as many businesses are now confident (57%) as those who are worried (18%), representing a 12 point rise in confidence among SMBs in the December quarter (+27 to +39).

Watch Sensis CEO, John Allan talk us through some of the key findings that emerged in this quarter and then read the full story here.

Sensis Stepping Up Grants Tassie recipients announced

A sourdough bakery, a waste management business and a hobby game store are three of the eight worthy recipients of the Sensis Stepping Up Grant Program announced today in Hobart by Adam Brooks MP, Tasmanian Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Trade and Libby Hay, Director Corporate Affairs, Sensis.

Watch the presentation as captured by Southern Cross Tasmania and then read the full story here.

87% of businesses think Australian economy is slowing or standing still

More than two times as many businesses now think the Australian economy is slowing (32%) as those who think it is growing (13%), while 55 percent think it is standing still, according to the latest Sensis Business Index (SBI) survey.

Sensis Chief Executive Officer, John Allan said: “Given recent events on global stock markets and with Australian unemployment on the rise, it is not surprising to see that only 13 percent of businesses think the economy is growing."

Watch the video and read the full story here.

Support for the Federal Government has spiked among small and medium businesses following the release of the May Budget.

According to the Sensis Business Index survey of 1,000 small and medium businesses, the sentiment that Federal Government policies are supportive of SMEs almost doubled (16% to 30%), while those saying policies work against small business halved (24% to 12%), leading to the 26 point turn around on a net basis.

Sensis Chief Executive Officer, John Allan said: “Six times as many businesses thought the Budget will benefit their business as those who thought it will have a negative influence. There was a dramatic shift in opinions toward the Federal Government with those surveyed saying tax incentives, depreciation benefits and tax cuts will help their business.”

Read the full story here.

2015 Digital Marketing Forum - Part 1

On August 7, 2015, The Australian in association with Sensis hosted a forum where some of the digital industry's biggest players got together to discuss digital marketing in business.

Alan Kohler, Editor in Chief of Business Spectator + ABC News finance report, moderated the discussion amongst a panel of industry leaders:

  • Martin Hosking, Founder of Redbubble
  • Stephen Scheeler, Head of eCommerce, Retail, Automotive & QSR, Facebook, Aust & NZ
  • Maile Carnegie, Managing Director, Google, Aust & NZ

In this video the panel share their insights and experiences, discuss global trends, and provide advice on how SMB’s can best navigate the online environment to get the most out of their marketing spend.

2015 Digital Marketing Forum - Part 2

The second part of the Digital Marketing Forum comprised a Masterclass session where three leading SMB experts shared their insights on how they market their business online and how they ‘get found’.

Masterclass participants included:

  • Dan Ferguson, Chief Marketing Officer of DesignCrowd
  • David Hancock, Managing Director of Geeks2U
  • Ruth Trewhella, Group Manager of TrueLocal

In this video the group explore the various approaches businesses can take to digital marketing and delve into the nitty gritty of determining your digital strategy, ratings and reviews and other tips and insights.

Did you know...

  • Online sales are on the rise again with clothing, accessories, shoes and plane tickets topping the list of most popular items
  • 46% of SMEs say being on page 1 of search results is important
  • 31% of SMEs use social media to promote their business
  • 68% of Aussies are on social media...
  • ...and 35% are using social media more than 5 times a day

Watch our video to hear more fast facts about what consumers and businesses around Australia are doing in the online space.

See what our CEO, John Allan has to say about the digital marketing landscape.

Men are spending more than twice as much as women online, preferring to buy electronics and video games, whereas women prefer purchasing cosmetics, groceries and books, according to the 2015 Sensis e-Business Report.

Men spent $6,500 online, which was 2.7 times as much as women who spent $2,400 on average last year.

Sensis Commercial Director, Rob Tolliday said: “You might not expect to see men spending more than women online, but when you look at what they are purchasing it starts to makes sense. Twice as many men as women purchased computer hardware last year for example.”

The survey, which measures the online experiences of 1,000 Australian small and medium businesses (SMBs) and 800 Australian consumers, found 61 percent of males and 62 percent of females made online purchases, with the average Australian spending $4,400 for the year.

Read the full story here.

Despite a soft last quarter, SME confidence is holding up. Overall SMEs expect to perform considerably better than last quarter in what is seen as a tough economic climate.

"Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of the Australian economy," Sensis CEO, John Allan said. "Changes in confidence among these businesses signal what lies on the horizon for the economy as a whole."

"The Sensis Business Index found that despite business confidence remaining steady perceptions of the economy are now more negative than at any time over the past year. Only 12 percent of businesses believe the economy is currently growing."

Get the full story here.

Recent analysis of True Local's online ratings and reviews has uncovered the suburbs where businesses received the most five-star ratings from customers.

General Manager of True Local, Ruth Trewhella believes that ratings and reviews can be a powerful tool for businesses to attract customers.

"Word of mouth continues to lead the way in marketing," she said. "In fact, research shows that 82% of Australians read reviews or comments online to support their decision making."

Is your local business strip a '5 Star Suburb'? Watch the video to find out.

The latest findings from the Sensis Social Media Report show that Facebook users are spending 8.5 hours a week on the site - the equivalent of a full working day.

The number of Australians accessing social media at the beginning of the day (up from 43% to 45%) and at work (up from 21% to 32%) has also risen this year.

Sensis General Manager, Digital Evan Ravensdale said: “Social media is a great way for people to stay connected,  but you also have to wonder if there is an impact on personal relationships and sleeping patterns when people are spending eight and a half hours on Facebook each week.”

Read the full story here.

Each year Sensis chooses a theme for the phone books and asks the community to nominate people to appear on the cover.

This year's theme, Australian Stars Rising Above, celebrates up and coming Australians who are achieving beyond their years and making positive changes in their community.

Camberwell local Adam Robinson has been selected to appear on the cover of the Melbourne Business and Government White Pages.

Adam is a passionate advocate for human rights and social justice, determined to help deliver greater support to disadvantaged Australians.

Read more of Adam's story here.

Tradies come out on top for customer service

When it comes to five star service, tradies consistently lead the charge with six trade business categories included in the top ten list of companies that earn five star ratings from consumers. 

The analysis conducted by True Local - Australia’s trusted business listing and review website – explored the top 50 business categories on its site by listing volume, to unveil the small business industries with the most five-star ratings.

Read the full story to find out who made the list.

The Yellow Pages has selected to support R U OK?, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging Australians to regularly and meaningfully ask anyone struggling with life, “are you okay?”.

Sensis Chief Executive Officer, John Allan said communities continue to be of utmost importance to the Yellow Pages.

“For more than 80 years, the Yellow Pages book has played a part in the lives and homes of Australians, and this year we want to go that one step further to support locals in helping each other check in on family and friends every day of the year.

"We encourage you to open up your trusted directory when it arrives to find out just how easy it is to have a life-changing conversation,” John said.

SMEs uncertain as stuttering economy set to continue in 2015

Confidence among small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) is patchy with a mixed picture across the states and between metropolitan and regional areas, according to the latest Sensis Business Index (SBI).

The Index, which reflects the views of 1,000 small and medium businesses, revealed 51 percent of small and medium business owners are feeling positive about the year ahead, with 24 percent reporting being worried.

Overall confidence levels are slightly down on last quarter at a net balance of 27, being the difference between the positive and worried businesses.

Read the full media release here.

Sensis Social Media Report 2014

As a small business do you know where to begin when it comes to social media?

Here's some advice from Sensis Chief Digital Officer, Kelly Brough.