The results are in, and after tallying the responses from Canada’s largest survey of small businesses, you’d be surprised by the shocking insights. The survey, commissioned by Vistaprint in conjunction with Cyberimpact, captured data from small businesses across the country.
Small businesses are the core of the Canadian economy, with approximately 1.3 million small businesses existing throughout the country, according to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As true drivers of the country’s economic infrastructure, the feedback on a variety of topics unveiled some truly surprising discoveries.
The Business Card is Still Alive and Well
Despite today’s digital-first focus, 92.9% of small businesses still see business cards as valuable marketing material. Whether used for recruiting purposes, sales or simply networking, it is clear that there is yet to be a digital alternative that can replace it.
Business cards are invaluable to these businesses, and for companies like Vistaprint, it's about providing business owners with the tools and know-how to look professional. “To empower small businesses is to empower our economy, and for Vistaprint, our business is to help promote the ideas of the millions of entrepreneurs across our country,” explained Cabral Thomas, Canada Country Manager at Vistaprint. “The passion, ambition, and spirit it takes to run a business inspire us every day”.
Displaying their brand through uniquely designed and customized business cards is clearly a tactic that is still utilized for the majority of the country’s small businesses. With built-in design solutions, small businesses that do not have the manpower to create their own design can use design services to execute their vision.
Legal Advice is Necessary
More than half of Canadian small businesses confirmed they do not have a trusted lawyer. While the value of a lawyer is obvious, the time at which a small business seeks legal council can be even more important than the advice itself.
Commercial Lawyer Scott Johnston explains: “Businesses will often come to me to solve problems that could have been avoided. Unfortunately, at this point, the problem has already occurred. I strongly advise businesses to consult with a trusted legal advisor on business decisions to ensure they are prepared for success well into the future”.
Small businesses often put everything on the line to create their businesses and yet many still seem to fail. Signing a new lease, keeping an up-to-date minute book, and choosing to incorporate, are all vital steps that require the advice of a trusted lawyer to ensure your business is set up for success into the future.
Accountants Should be Your Best Friend
Small businesses in Canada clearly understand the importance of utilizing accountants to keep their finances running smoothly with nearly 85 percent stating they regularly use an accountant.
With the introduction of so many automated accounting platforms, it is clear that personalized accounting services still remain valuable for Canadian small businesses. Mohammed Mecklai of Mecklai Tax & Accounting explains that your relationship with your accountant is crucial for the healthy growth of your business: “A key factor in the success of your business is keeping track of your money and understanding the financial state of the company and you as an individual”. These factors, along with many others are clear evidence that you should make your accountant your best friend- for life!
Office Ergonomics are Important
Office ergonomics has become an increasingly important consideration when building, renovating, or refurbishing your office space. Over 90 percent of Canadian small businesses indicated that quality, ergonomic office furniture was important.
“You cannot take your employees’ wellbeing for granted”, explains Zane Mohammed of Buy Rite Business Furnishings. He goes on to say: “We have seen a huge shift of mindset from business owners who are increasing their investment in quality ergonomic office furnishings. Reducing work-related injuries and increasing office productivity can be a huge payoff and human resources are extremely valuable to small businesses”.
As small businesses operate with very few employees, they continue to understand the value of being proactive, investing in ergonomic and quality furnishings to create spaces that allow employees to thrive.
Everyone needs an Email Campaign
Nowadays, it seems like everyone has an email campaign but for nearly 30 percent of Canadian businesses, they have yet to implement an email marketing strategy. The truth is, a well-constructed email list can become a company’s most valuable source of data.
Through e-newsletters, updates, sales, offers, and other information can be shared with this audience. Antoine Bonicalzi, an email marketing expert at CyberImpact, explains that sending CASL compliant emails can grow your businesses in a number of ways: “A well-constructed and carefully created email campaign can be used to stay engaged with your customers and build a loyal audience and customers of your business. Canadian small businesses can utilize an email campaign to amplify their social strategy and grow sales”. So, if you don't have an e-newsletter yet, companies like CyberImpact make it easier than ever to get started.
Sick Days Need to be Managed Effectively
Canadians are more health conscious and proactively seeking ways to build healthier lifestyles. For small businesses operating with so few employees, the result of a sick day can be costly. Eighty percent of small businesses reported that staff take a combined total of less than 10 sick days between November and February. But despite minimal absences, two percent of small businesses identified a shocking total of greater than 80 sick days. If these businesses are operating with 5 employees or less, the cost of more than 80 sick days is a significant cost to the company as a whole.
Dr. Gurdev Parmar, a naturopathic doctor at Integrated Health Clinic, shares how businesses can mitigate this issue: “Through a healthy balance of nutrition, physical activity, and natural remedies, I have seen the positive effects that a proactive approach to health can positively impact individuals”.
Business owners should consider this proactive mindset suggested by Dr. Parmar to create a healthier office environment. Businesses should also consider providing employees with an array of healthy snacks and vitamins like Ener-C that can be enjoyed by staff and encourage proactivity to combat the risk of illness.