Oct. 14, 2011 - Canadian entrepreneurs say the most
important pieces of advice that they would give to other entrepreneurs
to help them grow their businesses are: 1) develop an effective
business plan (44 per cent); 2) manage your time well (43 per cent);
and 3) engage in networking (38 per cent), according to the 2011 RBC
Small Business Survey conducted by RBC and Ipsos Reid.
"With many competing priorities, it can be challenging for any small
business owner to know where to focus their attention," said Mike
Michell, national director, Small Business, RBC. "These survey results
tell us loud and clear that planning, networking, and managing your
time should be at the top of every entrepreneur's agenda."
Entrepreneurs suggest that other business owners who want to grow their
businesses should also:
Seek help/advice (28 per cent);
Aggressively solicit clients/business (25 per cent);
Conduct market research/planning (25 per cent); and
Get financial advice before starting our business (23 per cent).
"This is great advice coming from small business owners considering the
challenges that they expect to face over the next year," said Michell.
"The expertise of peers and professionals can help take your business
to the next level."
The study also found that the top three challenges business owners say
that they will face over the next year are:
finding clients/developing market (60 per cent);
maintaining sufficient cash flow/maintaining growth (47 per cent); and
work life balance issues, like working long hours (35 per cent).
"Lessons can be learned from these challenges," adds Michell. "Finding
clients, as well as retaining them, is an ongoing challenge for
business owners at every stage, and critical to the life and success of
RBC Business Success Tips
The creation of a business plan should help you identify your customers,
your market, the competitive landscape, and other important aspects of
Leverage your business plan to help identify what your true priorities
are, and start each day with a plan to effectively manage your time.
Ask for advice from people who are already working in your line of
business, as many of them are usually willing to share industry
information or serve as sounding boards for your ideas.
Leverage technology to communicate to potential and existing clients,
using websites and social media.