Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Myth-Busters of Startups

Some interesting myth-busting from the results of a bank survey released today:

One-third (32%) of Canadians who don’t own a business like the idea of being their own boss and one-fifth (20%) are thinking about starting up their own business within five years, according to the most recent RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook.

“Considering 12 per cent of Canadians are currently self-employed, seeing another 20 per cent interested in being their own boss is indeed significant,” said Mike Michell, national director, Small Business, RBC.
When it comes to starting a business, the top two challenges identified by those who don’t own a business are getting enough money to start or expand (28%) and finding clients (14%).

However, existing business owners say different. According to the latest RBC Small Business Survey, 66% of business owners said finding enough clients was a key challenge. Only 15% felt that getting enough money to start or expand their business was a key challenge.

The experience of existing business owners also contradicts the perception of 40% of Canadians who think it takes up to three years for a new business to start making money. In fact, 41% of business owners surveyed said it took less than a year for their business to break even.

Here is RBC's list of top business-building tips, as expressed by its survey of Canadian business owners:

Focus more time on networking – develop alliances, join industry associations, attend as many events and seminars as possible.

Aggressively solicit clients – spend more time marketing your business. Understand the clients’ needs and how your business will meet those needs.

Seek as much help or advice as possible – find a mentor or look to other business owners to draw on their experience.

Develop a comprehensive business plan and review it regularly, especially in growth phases.

Obtain financial advice early in your planning to secure financing in advance.

Know your competition well and research the market.


Unknown said...

I agree with the comment about capital - it's the place where I grew most. Not getting capital on the first few tries was a bit of a test - if I really wanted it, I'd have to get real creative. Business is a tough game and challenges early allowed me to hone some skills I needed later on. Being an entrepreneur is challenging but so rewarding. I'm enjoying the blog by the way. Cheer

Andrew said...

Interesting research but I don't agree that new small businesses break-even in less than 1 year especially if their operating expenses include a salary for themselves.

best online trading said...

I strongly agree with this statement that "Develop a comprehensive business plan and review it regularly, especially in growth phases" because it is important that one of our main focus is the development stage. It is where you can see the if your business will likely to progress or fall.

Ben said...

Great article, Rick!

Drake International is celebrating its 60th anniversary today - a Canadian startup from Winnipeg has come a long way! Check out Drake's success story here:

It's a fantastic read for anyone interested in Canadian entrepreneurship and start ups.