Home is where the growth is for Australian businesses

New research from Regus shows that Australian companies are growing more at home than abroad, but access to talent is the main barrier to expansion

New research by global workplace provider Regus revealed that Australian businesses are mainly growing in the local market rather than abroad – with 41% of Australian companies reporting growth at home compared to 15% seeking growth in overseas markets.

The research, which canvassed the opinions of more than 20,000 senior executives and business owners across 95 countries, found that every state reported higher levels of growth within Australia. Nearly half of the respondents reported local growth in Melbourne (48%), followed by Sydney (42%) and Adelaide (39%).

Nearly half of small businesses (less than 49 employees) within Australia reported higher levels of local growth (44%), compared to only 27% of large businesses (more than 250 employees). However, large businesses experienced a more balanced growth across both local and foreign markets with 33% reporting this compared to only 18% of small businesses.

The research found growth in exports is currently low in comparison to local expansion. Only 15% of firms have experienced growth from exports – with only 14% in Sydney and only 13% in Melbourne.

According to the research, the largest barriers to international growth by Australian firms include:

  • Hiring top quality staff (75%)
  • Lack of local knowledge and connections (62%)
  • Lack of market information (51%)
  • Access to flexible office space (51%)

Nearly one third (31%) of small businesses reported a lack of government support compared to only 16% of large businesses. 

Commenting on the study, CEO of Regus Australia and New Zealand Paul Migliorini, said: “While it is encouraging to see Australian businesses pursuing growth opportunities at home, past research shows that companies operating overseas show better overall growth as well as better profitability. This reminds us of how important it is for businesses to remain flexible so they can respond to Australian market volatility.

“Businesses expanding into new markets, either locally or abroad, must rely on a series of key factors – they need access to reliable and up-to-date market information, networking, and to have easy access to a number of options when considering the best location to set up in. In addition to these needs, flexible working space, such as Regus, allows businesses to rapidly react to the markets and keep their capital free for investment in further growth. Businesses need to be able to rapidly expand, but also to retract speedily should growth possibilities open up elsewhere.”


Regus is the global workplace provider.

Its network of more than 2,000 business centres in 102 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.

The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 1.5million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.

Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: