Small business remains optimistic

By Staff | October 3, 2011 | Last updated on October 3, 2011
2 min read

Canada’s small business owners are an optimistic group. Half of business owners in Canada think next year will be a good year for their business while a further 13% believe it might be their best year yet, this according to the 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey.

These optimistic findings from the annual survey, which examined the attitudes and behaviours of small business owners in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, are supported by owners’ grading of their own company’s performance over the current or most recent fiscal year. Two-in-ten small business owners gave their company’s performance an A+ (5%) or A (16%), 44% graded their business a B, 22% gave their businesses a C, and 11% gave their company a D.

“It’s very encouraging to see the majority of small business owners are so optimistic about their business prospects in 2012,” says Alec Morley, senior vice president, small business banking, TD Canada Trust. “Sixty-five percent of Canadian small business owners gave their company’s recent performance a B or above, so it’s evident that many entrepreneurs are experiencing success despite the barriers in their way and this is due, in part, to good business planning, hiring talented teams and innovating.”

According to the survey, those business owners who gave their companies’ performance A or A+ grades say they succeeded because they made smart business decisions that allowed them to exceed projections (95%), hired great talent and retained the right people (87%), forecasted well (86%) and innovated with the right products and services at the right time (84%). Operating a small business comes with its own challenges.

In 2011, recruiting and engaging quality staff moved up on the agenda for small businesses. Those who participated identified attracting staff (76% versus 66% in 2010) and retaining staff (72% versus 64% in 2010) as two of the top barriers to success facing small business owners today. The study found that those who say they work more than 60 hours a week are more likely to cite retaining staff as one of their most significant barriers to success (77%).

Although human resource issues were identified as greater challenges in 2011 than 2010, cash flow management continues to top the list as the most significant barrier to small business success. Seventy-eight percent of small business owners identified cash flow management as a significant barrier to the success of their business, with 41% saying it is very significant.

“Whether you need funding for innovation or are simply managing the time gap between payroll and getting paid by customers, access to sufficient cash and credit is integral to running a successful small business,” said Morley. “A small business advisor at your bank can help you with financial solutions to ensure you have the right cash flow management system in place to suit your business’ unique needs.” staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.