Canadian small business owners are counting on their resilience and optimism to help them weather the COVID-19 storm, according to a new RBC Small Business poll conducted by Ipsos.
Nine in 10 (87%) business owners say they can recuperate quickly when faced with setbacks (compared to 72% of the overall Canadian population), and most (88%) are confident in their ability to deliver creative solutions to solve problems (compared to 73% of the overall Canadian population).
While COVID-related small business closures have no doubt contributed to the unprecedented economic hardship experienced by Canada, authors of the report say, “82% of current business owners expect that their business is resilient enough to be able to keep it going the next six months. Moreover, 22% of owners believe that their business will be able to prosper in the coming months.
“For many small business owners, resiliency is something they began to build in childhood. While two in 10 (20%) Canadians recall having experienced household financial distress or instability during childhood, business owners are even more likely to say this was the case, at one in three (34%).
“The entrepreneurial spirit of their parents was also passed down at a young age: 35% of entrepreneurs had parents who owned their own business, compared to 29% of the general population, and 30% of business owners remember being encouraged to earn money through entrepreneurial ventures as a child, compared to 24% of Canadians overall.”
According to RBC, Canadians at large have furthered their appreciation of small businesses as the pandemic wears on, with eight in 10 (80%) agreeing (27% strongly/52% somewhat) that they recognize the value of small business now more than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
They also suggest that once the crisis is over, businesses will need a robust digital presence to be successful, whether it involves advertising, offering or directly delivering their services through digital means.
Canadians have also outlined their priorities for small businesses over the next 12 months to support the economic recovery, with the top-five priorities being: refining core product/services offerings to improve the customer experience (61%), contingency planning for future risks and challenges (57%), cutting costs and paying down debt (51%), investing in marketing sales to reach new customers (41%) and expanding into new markets, including new geographic areas or new lines of business (39%).