Shove the excuses aside and capitalize on the opportunities
Lost your job? Feeling bummed out about the economy? Have an idea, but not sure Alberta is ready for it? Or maybe you don’t think you have an idea at all. Worse, you’ve been there, done that and closed doors before your first year.
We’re here to alleviate your fears, debunk your excuses and convince you that 2020 is all about starting a successful small business in Alberta.
“The economy sucks. The energy industry’s downturn has left too many people out of work with no money to spend.”
Sure, recessions are hard and added uncertainty about the future doesn’t make things easier. However, there is a silver lining in this gloomy environment:
- There are problems that need solving: Consumers and businesses want solutions to problems which present opportunities for solutions.
- Help folks save money: As a nimble startup with few expenses, you should be able to undercut your competitors. Do a good job and you’ll keep those clients when the economy recovers.
- Pull from a qualified labour pool: In a downturn, when layoffs are rife, it’s easier to find highly qualified, talented and effective individuals.
- Things are cheaper: Weak economic growth means your typical overhead costs such as office space, supplies and even labour tend to have lower base prices, and vendors are more likely to discount prices, too.
“There’s just no market for my service or product here.”
Depending on your service or the product you are selling, considering expanding your business outside of Alberta can be an incredible opportunity.
As more people worldwide gain internet access, and even those in the most remote of areas are shopping online. By setting foot in the world of ecommerce, no longer are you competing on a local or even national scale, you’re expanding into an international market that keeps growing. In fact, ecommerce sales are predicted to be at $3.3 trillion this year, and $4.5 trillion in 2021.
“I have nothing to offer.”
You have more to offer than you think. Consider your daily routine at work or at home. How often do thoughts like, “this would be so much easier if…” or “I wish I had a…” cross your mind? Next time those thoughts pop up, focus on how you could solve them and watch your idea come to life.
Remember these three actions:
- Successful business ideas create solutions to real problems.
- Analyze old ideas and think about opportunities to change and improve them.
- Focus on making something easier, cheaper or more convenient.
“Most small businesses fail. Why risk it?”
According to an Industry Canada study, “the main reason for business failure is inexperienced management. Managers of bankrupt firms do not have the experience, knowledge or vision to run their businesses.” At the core of this? Poor planning.
Thankfully, business failure because of poor planning is completely avoidable. Though planning is typically harder and more time consuming than executing your business strategy, it’s worth the investment. If you’re still stumped, a consultation with a business advisor could be well worth your time.
At Guildstreet, we help small business owners optimize their operations and help them run their business more profitably and efficiently. Our tactics to set businesses up for success include: strategic planning, budgeting, scaling for growth and key performance indicators.
No excuses left?
Great, but just in case you needed more convincing, consider how your small business can be part of something bigger. Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their impact on Canada’s economy.
- There are almost 1.1 million SMEs in Canada.
- More than half — 55 percent — have fewer than 4 employees.
- Only 1.6% are medium-sized businesses.
- Small businesses employed almost 70 percent of private sector workers in 2012, or 7.7 million people across the country.
- In the 2002 to 2012 period, small businesses were responsible for 78 percent of all jobs created in the private sector, and on average, small businesses create around 100,000 jobs each year.
- SMEs represent 54 percent of the economic output produced by the business sector.
- 90 percent of exporting companies have fewer than 100 employees, but produce 25 percent of the total value of Canadian exports.
- The largest number of SMEs are in the wholesale trade and retail sector (19 percent).
- Fewer than one out of four Canadian SMEs invest in research and development (R&D).
- Only half of new firms — 51 percent — survive until their fifth year of operation.
Considering that the 2009 downturn is included in these statistics, the numbers are incredible! Small businesses are the true economic engine in Canada and contribute to the diversity of the thousands of businesses that employ less than 100 people.
Whether you are starting a small business, optimizing your operations, scaling for growth or launching a product line, the Guildstreet team will engage you in creating your best strategy and designing an optimal environment that promotes the seeds of your vision to establish the deep, healthy and resilient roots of a solid foundation. From there, the only way to grow is up.