Our partners in Brisbane, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Queensland (CCIQ) has over 400,000 small business members. Every year they survey these members and ask them what are the inhibitors to their business. This is a real treasure trove of data on what opportunities exist for startups wanting to work with small businesses! So this year, we’re asking the startups of Australia to demonstrate how they could collaborate with these 400,000 small businesses, under our program Collaborate. In this post I take a look at some of the data and suggest a few areas which startups could leverage the actual customer needs that exist.

The most recent survey of 2015 asked a range of questions to identify areas of greatest need. The respondents were largely represented by the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (17.4%) Manufacturing (11.2%), Retail Trade (10.7%) and Construction (10.1%) sectors. Health Care and Social Assistance (5.6%) Education and Training (9%), Information Media and Telecommunications (9%) sectors also had significant representation.

First up, alarmingly, 39% of small businesses don’t have a website. 52.5% don’t have a mobile friendly website and 91.5% don’t have a mobile app to engage with their customers. Many companies are not currently using their website to sell online, and only a 5th (22%) of companies are presently using their website to advertise and sell their products and services online. This presents a whole range of opportunities to develop mobile enabled startups to help these businesses establish a digital and mobile presence.

  • Loyalty applications
  • Customer engagement and reminder services (e.g. in Health care)
  • Workplace efficiency
  • Mobile based sales
  • Logistics and delivery applications (e.g. Swift Logistics)

Back in the office, 78.5% don’t use electronic billing and 64% don’t use tools to maintain a relationship with customers electronically (CRM). This presents a range of efficiency related startups aimed at streamlining a business workflow.

Importantly, the trend for the use of SAAS solutions is increasing, which means that startups targeting the aforementioned ideas and areas have a real chance at making revenues through a subscription based model.

So – do you have an idea that could leverage 400,000 customers from the get-go? Pitch us your idea at Collaborate and be in the running to receive up to $100k of seed funding to take that concept to market.

Filed under:   cciq   collaborate   distrupt@scale   innovation   problems   solving   startups