Kissing 2016 Goodbye: Small Business Operators Optimistic About 2017

December 20, 2016

TORONTO – (December 20, 2016) – Think positive. That’s the sentiment small business operators in Canada are embracing as they look to the year ahead. According to research conducted by Maru/Matchbox, optimistic small business operators in Canada outnumber pessimists by 2 to 1 about the outlook for 2017. The findings are the result of research by Maru/Matchbox through its Angus Reid Business Forum, an online community of business leaders from across Canada.

According to the research, 77 per cent of small business owners expect 2017 to be a good year, while almost 40 per cent expect 2017 to be better than 2016 in terms of revenue and profitability. Four in ten respondents reported lower revenue (37%) and profits (38%) in 2016 than 2015, while the biggest challenges faced in 2016 were work/life balance (38%), government bureaucracy (27%), effective marketing (26%), profitability (23%), lack of repeat clients (23%) and cash flow (21%).

Many respondents cited improved marketing efforts as something they would do differently if they could go back to the beginning of 2016 – more advertising and promotion, improved web communications, and more aggressive tactics for finding the right customers. Many others cited things they wish they could have changed in 2016, like the low value of the Canadian dollar and decreased crop yields due to fluctuating climate conditions.

When asked to share a piece of advice for new business owners in 2017, a number of respondents stressed the importance of being ready to weather shifting market conditions, being familiar with taxation and regulatory issues, spending wisely, keeping good records and doing your homework.

“Understand that if you own a small business you can make a good living by working half days,” said one respondent. “You just have to decide which 12 hours you want to work.”
A total of 444 owners of small businesses from across English speaking Canada were contacted through the Angus Reid Business Forum, a community of business leaders whose role and business type have been pre-identified. The survey was completed online between December 13 and 14, 2016.

Click here to learn more about the Angus Reid Business Forum survey.

About the Angus Reid Business Forum

The Angus Reid Business Forum is Canada’s premiere online business research community, giving Canadian business leaders the opportunity to voice their opinions since 2008. Organizations use the Angus Reid Business Forum to help them better understand the business-to-business community on a variety of topics including buying behaviour, business outlook, government policies, the economy, and taxation. Members are prescreened on the number of employees, type of industry, role in the business and many other attributes. This makes it possible to quickly and efficiently reach the type of business leaders that are important for making sound business decisions.

About Maru/Matchbox

Maru/Matchbox, a Maru Group company, has been pushing the boundaries of the customer market insights space for over a decade. We combine deep sector expertise with cloud-based customer insights communities, and take a results-focused, consultative approach to helping clients better understand what motivates their customers and influences their markets, so they can act decisively and win. For more information please visit:

About Maru Group

Maru Group is a technology enabled professional services firm delivering information and insight services. Operating in multiple countries, Maru Group provides research, insight and advisory services to large enterprises across a broad spectrum of industries and markets. Founded in 2016, Maru Group’s core area of expertise is providing fast and strategic customer feedback to corporates through a variety of technology platforms. Led by market intelligence industry veteran Ged Parton, Maru Group is backed by Primary Capital Partners LLP, a United Kingdom-based provider of private equity finance for high potential and growth companies.

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