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MGI has a new online tool that lets you see in real-time how your business is performing against others around Australasia

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Grant Field

Hundreds of thousands of businesses throughout Australia and New Zealand will now be able to benchmark themselves across many crucial business areas following the launch of a new online business tool by Australasianaccounting and business advisory network, MGI.

Named My Catalyst, the new software provides real-time feedback to business owner’s in fundamental areas such as growth, innovation, exit and succession planning, and financial performance. It has been designed to enable owners to spot potentially dangerous pitfalls, lay out a strategy for growth and help businesses perform at their peak.

Executive Chairman of MGI Australasia, Grant Field, said: “It is well documented that lower barriers to entry have made it easier than ever before to start a business. However, statistics show that survival rates of firms in the small business sector is much lower than that for larger businesses. And even big businesses can get caught out; look at the likes of Dick Smith and Masters making headlines recently.

“The issue is that most business owners are creative big thinkers – they have the ideas and the passion but the reasons they fail are threefold; either they come unstuck by not having the strategic know-how and experience to manage the performance of their business or they fail to plan for the future and implement their big ideas and the most common; not managing their finances and simply running out of capital.

“This benchmarking tool is an online portal to enable business owners to confidentially see how their business is tracking compared to others. It will be equally as beneficial for small businesses as well as larger, established businesses as it helps them identify their ‘blind spots’ and pinpoint what they need to be focusing on to implement their growth and exit plans.

“Users get real-time feedback and on-the-spot comparisons to other businesses of a similar size but they also get a downloadable “traffic light”report with suggestions on how to improve.”

How has it worked out so far?

MGI trialled the online portal in December receiving over 200 submissions in two weeks, with around 80% of respondents having a turnover of up to $10m and up to 20 employees.

“There has been so much media hype around innovation over the past year or so that we thought it would be good to understand precisely what the business community understands by the term.

“Interestingly, three out of four business owners believe that innovation doesn’t mean creating revolutionary new and disruptive products and services but rather incremental continuous changes and actively seeking opportunities for improvement to both products and processes.” Field continued.

It also appears that many businesses don’t have a good handle on monitoring the financial performance of their business with 65 per cent stating cash flow was a concern.

In addition, over one-third didn’t know how much capital they had employed in their business and of those that did around half had no idea of what rate of return they were generating on that capital.

“This means around two-thirds of businesses have no reliable measure of business performance. The results indicate that most seem to rely on a simple check of their bank balance as a key measure of how their business is travelling.” He concluded.

MGI worked closely with RMIT University to collate the data and provide insights. This benchmark is the first of its kind and will be part of an ongoing quarterly outreach which will expand to explore different areas of business.

My Catalyst only takes a few minutes to complete and your report will be emailed immediately. The benchmark is open now. To see how your business is performing visit: http://www.mgiaust.com/catalyst/

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