5 Commonly Unexpected Challenges of New Canadian Businesses

The “I Wish I Thought of This Sooner” Phenomena

Every entrepreneur in Canada should feel pride in the impact they’re making on our country’s financial climate. The Canadian government’s Key Small Business Statistics from January 2019 show that small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy, as (on average) 95,000 businesses were created every year between 2010 and 2015.

These are impressive numbers, and they would be even more so if not coupled by the fact that another 85,000 businesses disappeared every year in that same timeframe.

Wondering how you can keep your infant business from suffering the same fate? We’ve got your back!

Keep reading and be made privy to 5 challenges commonly experienced – and uncommonly anticipated – by new business owners in Canada.

Recruitment and Retention of Skilled Employees

A business is built not only by the owners, but by the people they recruit to help them run it. 

It’s important to remember that you need the right team to help you develop and grow your business – after all, no man (or woman) is an island! Making sure you have plans in place to onboard and retain your staff is imperative. 

For smaller businesses of around 20 employees, make sure you’re delegating the time-consuming tasks you’re handling yourself to the right people on your team. It’s important to grow the team around you so you can focus on growing the business! Consider hiring a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to help you with certain administrative functions, such as payroll, taxes, and employee benefits.

Have a larger team? Then it’s time for a larger-scale staffing plan – including a dedicated Human Resources representative specifically for recruitment, onboarding, and managing employee payroll, benefits and other issues.

If you have either of these things in place, then you’re on the right track. Focus on retention by providing regular coaching and career pathing to your employees to help them stay engaged in growing the business with you!

Developing New & Innovative Products

Being a small business allows for more flexibility when it comes to responding to customer requests and preferences, but there is constant pressure to innovate and stand out. It’s a challenge to find time just to eat and sleep, never mind the research, financing and development of innovative products! 

There are great resources for Canadian Government programs (and private programs) that provide funding for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as other professional support services.

However, Bay Street Diary is a go-to for many new business owners who want to grow their product line! We can provide advice, research support, access to investors that might be otherwise difficult and time consuming to find all in one place, so check out how to you can partner with us today!

Attracting Customers & Increasing Revenue

These two things may initially seem like separate challenges, but they are very closely related. More customers will bring you more revenue, and in turn more revenue can lead to more customers!

Our team can help you come up with many ways to make sure you have both challenges covered!

  • Expanding to an international market
  • Creating a new & innovative product
  • Marketing strategies targeted to new audiences
  • Offer world-class customer service
  • Start an affiliate program
  • Hire influencers to spread the word about your brand

With our expert guidance and an endless pool of resources, Bay Street Diary can help you build out a detailed plan on implementing any of these directives. Contact us to find out how we can bring more people to the party! 

Maintaining Profitability

This also relates to the previous challenge; increasing revenue will only help you so much if you don’t have your expenses under control. Building a detailed Income Statement to start tracking Profit and Loss (P&L) year over year is the first step to maintaining profitability, and our team of experienced executives have extensive information on how to reduce spending. Here’s a few ideas to help you get started:

  1. Automate as much as possible to decrease spend on staffing – if you’re doing it more than once, then you can automate it.
  2. Measure your usage of resources closely and manage your losses through cutting waste. 
  3. Shop around! Review different vendor options for the best prices on supplies and services.

There are simply too many ways to list here; looks like we have a future blog idea in the chamber. But don’t worry, you don’t have to wait for that! You can reach out to us today, and we can review the options that will fit your business best.

Financing Business Expansion

In our experience, most new business owners aren’t considering major expansion within the first 5 years. However, with the right combination of passion, motivation and a brilliant team it can happen faster than you think!

If you start developing your growth plan early, you’re heading the right way to avoid serious “growing pains”. Here’s a few tips on how to prepare in advance.

Start researching private investors who are passionate about and have previously invested in other businesses in your industry. Look for information like:

  • How involved do they like to be with their portfolio companies?
  • Do they invest in a certain geographic area?
  • What is their typical check size?
  • What is their preferred valuation range for investment?

You should also consider government grants and funding for expansion. Some small business funding programs are positioned to support the enhancement of projects, either to improve the scope, scale, or timeline of activities. Acquiring government grants and loans can lead to even bigger projects that are completed faster. This agility creates competitiveness and allows businesses to become market leaders!

These challenges may have crossed your mind before, but the time to start focusing on how they could affect the survival of your business is now! Bay Street Diary can help you recognize the potential onset of roadblocks like these and help you prepare in advance!

Don’t struggle through your first five years of unforeseen challenges alone, reach out to Bay Street Diary today, and arm yourself with all the knowledge you need.


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