Why small businesses continue to thrive
Small businesses are increasingly referred to as being the backbone of the Canadian economy. While some are quick to dispute the legitimacy of this theory, there is a substantial amount of evidence out there to suggest there is more to it than mere conjecture.
According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute 39 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and represent over 97 percent of all employer businesses. Canadian startups raised $2.5billion in first nine months of 2016, and further growth is predicted in 2017, with tech companies tipped to do particularly well over the next 12 months.
It’s clear that Canadian SMEs play an important role in determining the economic climate, with many startups developing impressively, and others predicted to follow suit. But what’s the secret? Why are so many small businesses across the country prospering, leaving larger companies in their wake?
Here, we take a closer a look at why small businesses are thriving in Canada, and at what the future might hold for the various types of SMEs that make up a significant part of the nation’s economy.
Small businesses have a face
Big businesses are often disparagingly referred to as faceless corporations, and while their CEO's would argue that this is unfair, it’s easy to see why this label is so widely applied.
Making queries or complaining to many larger companies usually involves sending an email to an anonymous customer support address, whereupon the sender receives an automated message thanking them for their inquiry and promising that someone will be in touch within a certain amount of time.
When people raise an issue with corporations, they often have no idea who their message has gone to or who will be handling it.
Modern small businesses, on the other hand, take a more personalized approach, replacing automated messages with real-time live chat on their websites, and emails that are written and sent by an actual person. Such businesses built their brand and customer base from the ground up via word of mouth.
Subsequently, customers are loyal to them, returning because of the service they received, not because they’ve been bombarded with marketing. Small businesses are often chosen willingly due to the good reputation generated by addressing customer concerns quickly and personably via social media and instant messaging.
Part of the reason small businesses are thriving is because they take a human approach to things. They behave in a way people can relate to, share similar values to their target audience, and encourage customers to communicate with them an informal, enjoyable manner.
SMEs make customers feel like they matter, rather than being just another number, which denizens of the digital age find refreshing.
Small businesses have access to big technology
It’s no longer only big companies that can afford to spearhead operations with the latest technological innovations. The rapid evolution of the digital era has seen advanced applications become affordable to smaller businesses.
High-speed internet connections are essential to many SMEs, and with business internet plans becoming more affordable and more flexible, small companies can access services based in the cloud, meaning they can utilize cutting-edge technology without having to heavily invest in hardware and software.
Cloud communications such as hosted private branch exchange (PBX) are particularly popular with SMEs, as they actively facilitate growth and efficiency. Hosted PBX enables small businesses to modernize their telephone system, offering effective office organization, excellent communication, and reduced overheads, as well as liberating staff by allowing them to work from home or on the road.
Affordable and innovative accounting, human resources, marketing and project management tools are now available online, allowing small businesses run effectively and focus on core objectives.
Access to ‘big’ technology has given small businesses the opportunity to thrive in the digital age, and many have grasped it with both hands.
Small businesses have a bright future
Business is defined by peaks and troughs, but there is little sign that the growth of small businesses in Canada will grind to a halt any time soon. On the contrary, there are some exciting developments on the horizon for SMEs, and many startups are looking towards a bright future.
Established corporations are being forced to re-position themselves in an environment that has changed drastically over the past decade buy startups that were born and raised in the digital world. These companies have been set up with online and mobile in mind, with the likes of apps, eCommerce, mobile marketing and social media being second nature to them.
The evidence suggest SMEs are being set up and run with a view to the future, rather than simply looking to survive, with $111 billion spent on growth and development by Canadian SMEs in 2016. These modern companies are looking ahead, readying themselves to adapt when required - a smart approach in an ever-evolving digital era where innovation occurs at a dizzying rate. Simply put, SMEs continue to thrive because they are prepared for tomorrow.
The sustained success of small businesses in Canada should instill confidence in any prospective entrepreneur looking to launch their own product or service. Many people starting small businesses now have an in-depth knowledge of the digital environment in their field, having watched it develop. While starting a small business isn’t an easy task by any stretch of the imagination, the wide range of SMEs flourishing in Canada today demonstrates how achievable it is.
Primus prides itself in supporting SMEs by offering high-quality, cost-efficient cloud communications, internet connections and network solutions. Get in touch with us today to get your small business off the ground and running with the best possible start.