Australia’s 2 million small businesses could have serious means for increasing their margins and bolstering productivity, according to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report. However, it also signals a greater urgency to consider a complete business insurance policy.

The Small Business: Digital Growth study, created in partnership with Google and published this month, showed that Australia’s smaller enterprises have the ability to unlock a huge $49.2 billion over the next 10 years by adopting better uses of technology.

In particular, rural Australia is a key area for advancement, after PwC found that 53 per cent of the benefits could be seen away from the country’s traditional metropolitan business hubs.

A new avenue for agribusiness

The agricultural, forestry and fishing industry has been tipped as one of the most considerable sectors to benefit from this change. The industry could receive a $1.6 billion (17 per cent) value boost by tapping into existing technologies to a more substantial level. This also comes shortly after the government announced a $4 billion investment in agriculture.

PwC economics partner Jeremy Thorpe did not want the multibillion-dollar amount to be understated, and encouraged small businesses to take the potential for growth seriously.

“That’s how much the Federal government has committed to current and future infrastructure projects in this year’s budget,” he explained. “Despite Australia’s recognition as a nation of early adopters, our small businesses are not fully embracing the transformational benefits that mobile and internet technology has to offer.”

“We’re advocating small business to take advantage of the tools that are already available, such as mobile-friendly websites and cloud-based services.”

Thinking about business insurance

The substantial benefits predicted by PwC will also diversify the risks small businesses can expect to be exposed to. Technology, although no doubt becoming an even more integral part of business, should be secured from both physical and digital threats.

Expensive technology upgrades will need to be covered from damage or theft, or large overheads for repair and replacement could dramatically reduce any financial benefits these innovations bring. Focusing again on the agriculture sector, farmer’s insurance will need to be complete to cover everything from crops to data analytics tools.

Cyberthreats are also an issue, particularly when it comes to cloud-based services, where more information is processed and stored online.

However, Richard Flanagan, Head of Small Business Marketing at Google Australia, said the potential is there to be realised.

“For Australia to unlock a new wave of economic growth, government and business leaders need to better understand and capitalise on the vast diversity that exists at the local levels of our economy,” he explained.

To make sure your business’s technology improvements are covered, contact an MGA expert today for a whole range of services.