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Top 5 Challenges in running a small business in Canada

Canada is a great place for small businesses to thrive. Small businesses in Canada are a significant contributor to the economy of this country. And this is why the federal government has brought in various programs, and start-up facilities, to nurture the growth of these businesses. Despite this, owners of small businesses in Canada face several challenges to keep the business afloat. To overcome these obstacles, it is important to keep calm, have strong determination, and work as hard and smart, as possible. Below mentioned are top 5 challenges that entrepreneurs could face while running a small business in Canada.

Finding clients and developing your market

More than 50% of the small business owners deem this to be the biggest challenge for running the business in Canada. The main factor that drives a business is money and for stable income, the business needs to build up a steady flow of profitable clients. If you are not getting the desirable number of customers or clients then your business will go down the drain, despite having a good start.

Therefore, in order to avoid this, you need to work on your business plan first. You might already have a business plan before starting the business, but now you will need a new one. This plan should be made by analyzing the competition, testing innovative business models, reviewing the strength of the services or products, and finally by evaluating the market for better growth strategies. Secondly, you need to ensure that your previous clients will come back to use your services again. This way you will be able to foster referrals for new clients. Lastly, always keep your mind focused and don’t waver due to small losses which might happen in the beginning.

Finding the funds for growth

No matter, how good you are doing, one should never be satisfied with their present status. Instead they should dream big for their steady growth. However, for many small businesses in Canada, finding enough funds, for growth has always been a big challenge. Sometimes the revenues from the client are not sufficient to sustain the business and grow at the same time. Situations like this can call for desperate measures like taking loans from banks or other lenders. In some cases, companies might not find enough assets for security purpose to get the desired amount of loan from banks or other lenders, which might result in even worse conditions.

To overcome this challenge, you must contemplate on your own cash needs and when they actually arise, by properly evaluating the market demands. Initially, you should avoid all the less important expenses. This way, you will be able to formulate a plan to focus on the cash management techniques and run your business. In cases of serious capital problems, getting loans from banks and reliable lenders might help. Apart from this, crowd funding or going public have also become increasingly popular among start-ups and small businesses. This allows you to get funds from people, group of people, or any investor company, willing to invest their money on your business.

Keeping up with the competition

Small businesses and start-ups are growing vigorously, resulting in more people taking interest and getting involved in entrepreneurship. However, in this competitive market, staying long and doing well is not everyone’s cup of tea. These businesses find it difficult keeping up with the competition due to several reasons. The established business might not be generating enough revenue from the clients or they could be facing difficulties in promoting their brand or there might even be a problem with the capital.

Firstly, you need to make proper utilization of the capital you have. Secondly, stand out from the crowd by developing new ideas and market them to a wider audience. Find new marketing strategies and advertisements to attract new customers. Try to reach the targeted audience groups on social media networks and find the best online platforms to promote your business.

Finding qualified employees

Money might be significant in each step of your business, but you shouldn’t forget that without a balanced team of employees, money alone can’t do much for the business growth. This is why, having a balanced team of qualified employees is necessary. While running a small business, it might be difficult to achieve this. Small companies find it difficult to hire highly qualified professionals in the beginning. Or even if you find some, retaining them for desired period is even more difficult. Because, there are no limited opportunities to employees, be it in terms of benefits or salary.

So, what can you do in this situation as an owner? Well, first of all, you need to respect the accomplishments of your employee and reward their work input with proper benefits. Secondly, create a working culture that attracts and retains your best employees. Be open-minded and welcome innovative ideas. Similarly, establish a good business network of clients, other entrepreneurs and professionals who later can work as great referrals for finest employees.

Keeping focus and losing tension

We all know, “Health Is Wealth”, and this is equally true for businessmen. Some entrepreneurs work long hours and stress themselves with work overload which is not beneficial anyway. So, it is always necessary for business owners to keep a steady workload and stay fresh and focused all the time. If you are one of the work-junky types, then you need to slow down a bit and focus on things at present, by following your business plan. If you are not well enough to watch your business, then your business won’t do well.

Do not think always about taking care of everything by yourself. Hiring a confidant or an advisor to help you with work-related things or delegating other employees to take care of some administrative responsibilities can also be a good idea.

SubhashSharma

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Mr. Sharma is a management accountant with over 33 years of experience in small business. He has been engaged in independent accounting practice since 2003. With MBA degree in IT Management and CPA, CMA designation he believes in creating value for the clients. Mr. Sharma has been actively involved in imports, exports, retail, construction and IT consulting. He has written articles in the “Canadian Immigrant” magazine on taxation and accounting for small business. He has served as director on the boards of York Regional Community Foundation, Community Living of York South and Surrey Foundation. He is a member of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers), Rotary Club of Richmond Hill, Markham Board of Trade and Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce.

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