The importance of smaller businesses to the Australian economy is without dispute. Companies employing less than 200 people (the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ definition of “small and medium”)

  • provide 68% of total employment
  • generate 55% of total wages & salaries


But those who take the plunge by setting up a new business probably know first-hand: it’s tough!

For once, getting the best people to join your business is critical if you only have a few employees to begin with. But attracting the best is much harder if you don’t have massive resources and a national brand:

  • Most small businesses employ no-one, and those with any employment, employ on average just over 8 people paying $39,500 annual wages or salaries.
  • Larger businesses employ hundreds or thousands and can afford to pay their employees an average of $69,400 p.a.

Then there is the ability to invest in new markets, which again is harder for our smaller enterprises:

  • Only 34% of small and medium sized businesses take orders over the internet…
  • …but 50% of larger businesses do.

And the personal risks involved are real:

  • Of new or newly employing small and medium businesses, only 59% survived four years (measured 2011-2015).
  • Of all small and medium businesses who existed in 2012, only 71% survived the same period.


This reflects the well-known fact that the risks are greatest in the beginning of a new business’ life.

Despite this, plenty of people have a go

  • In 2015 (the last year we have data for), 90,000 newly employing businesses were counted, that’s almost 11% of all small and medium sized employing businesses.

One way to improve your chances of success is to view the business as being part of an “eco-system”. No business can operate in isolation. You need suppliers, advisors – like accountants and lawyers, and partners – like repair & maintenance providers.

An often overlooked part of this eco-system are complementary products. These are products that make your own product more valuable if used together by your customers.

  • Complementary product providers can help each other, and often there are powerful opportunities for referrals and co-marketing activities.

We at Tyro have done so for years:

  • We partner with around 200 Point of Sale and Practice Management System providers.
  • Our partners and Tyro invest their time and efforts in integrating our software, and that makes both products more valuable, saving time and effort and ultimately improving the end-customers’ experience

But beyond functionality, it often pays for smaller businesses to use a like-business as a supplier, as well.

  • A more balanced business relationship tends to be more rewarding for both parties and the risk of abuse of market power is much smaller.

Again, at Tyro we haven’t forgotten our roots.

  • We were founded 13 years ago by three Aussie entrepreneurs.
  • And whilst we have grown to over 300 people, we still make all our software right here in Sydney.
  • We talk actively about how to preserve our values and culture and all our people are here to advance our customers’ businesses and thus improve the lives of owners, managers and employees.

We are keenly aware that our success is directly dependent on our customers’ success.

  • It is with joy, therefore that we report that 54% of our customers were able to grow their business in the past year. On average, only one third of businesses in Australia manage to grow in any one year.
  • And even more exciting, those Tyro customers who grew their business, did so by over 10%.

So, if you run a retail shop, a café or restaurant, a medical practice or allied health business, we’d love to have you join our community. (We currently run a special on 6-months free EFTPOS terminal rental… wink, wink).