Running a small business is hard work and not everyone succeeds. In fact, government research suggests that 30% of all small businesses are out of business within two years of launching. That’s a sobering statistic for a class of businesses that employ seven out of ten people in Canada.
Knowing how important small businesses are to the Canadian economy, we thought year end would be a perfect time to check in with small business owners and see what they thought of 2016 and what they expect in 2017. We turned to the Angus Reid Business Forum, a community of business leaders whose role and business type has been pre-identified, to connect with a sample of 444 small business owners.
Slipping Backward in 2016
It turns out 2016 was a tough year for small business. Four in ten (37%) reported that their revenues were lower in 2016 than in 2015. A similar number (38%) reported their profits were lower. Fortunately, only one in ten (12%) indicated they were deeper in debt in 2016 than in 2015.
Looking Forward in 2017
While times were tough for many in 2016, many small business owners are optimistic about 2017. The vast majority (77%) expect 2017 to be a good year. In terms of revenue and profitability, almost four in ten expect 2017 to be better than 2016 (37% revenue, 36% profit). Many were even optimistic about debt with 23% expecting their business debt to decrease, and just 7% expecting it to increase.
Challenges and opportunities
We also asked small business owners about the challenges they faced in 2016 and what they expect to face in 2017. To learn more about the opportunities for small business in Canada please contact us for more information.