Revenues have jumped for mid-sized, Canadian companies, says an American Express annual business survey.

It adds the vast majority of business owners surveyed (99%) are planning to grow their companies over the next year. Of that group, 42% say growth is their top priority, with 57% reporting they’ve already seen a rise in revenues.

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Further, the survey finds 37% of mid-sized companies are looking to acquire new customers to achieve growth; when asked how this will occur, 30% of business owners said they plan to introduce new products and services.

“Mid-sized companies [are] confident, likely a result of their steady increase in revenues since 2014,” says Paul Parisi, vice president of Global Corporate Payments at American Express Canada.

Cash flow concerns

Despite business owners’ confidence levels, nearly quarter of companies (23%) say their biggest challenge will be managing the rising costs of doing business. With the Canadian dollar’s persistent drop (and considering it’s been below parity with the U.S. dollar since February 2013), business owners are dealing with higher expenses.

As a result, 24% are worried about having enough cash flow available to win new business.

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Still, business owners aren’t limiting themselves geographically when it comes to generating growth. More than three quarters (78%) are tapping international markets, and almost half (48%) are doing so as a way to gain customers. They also want to:

  • obtain new suppliers for products/services (34%);
  • save on costs (31%); and
  • manufacture products/services (26%).

The top three markets business owners are looking to enter are China (20%), the U.S. (18%) and Mexico (11%).

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Finally, the majority of mid-sized businesses (85%) have plans to hire this year, more than one third (38%) saying they’re hiring full time. A smaller fraction (13%) are hiring for part-time positions.


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