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Archive for March, 2012

Canadian Business

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The theme of last year can certainly be summed up in one word, and that’s survival. It clearly was a year of business and financing crisis and challenge for many firms. Business owners in the SME ( Small and Medium Enterprise ) market can clearly feel that if they made it through the 2008-2009 timeframe that they should be ok this year ; paraphrased I guess that means ‘ it cant get any worse ‘! What terrible economic times do for many businesses is to make them tougher, leaner and smarter.

A favorite expression of ours is that revenues and good times can mask a lot of flaws. When those revenues and profits and good times in previous years ended last year many firms saw real weakness in various financial and operational parts of their companies. That forced much business to adopt new strategies to address those financial and operational issues.

We have heard of the expression (I think it’s an old blues song?) that ‘I have been done so long everything looks up to me ‘! Most Canadian businesses are seeing sales grow again, some in fact significantly.

Canadian Business

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Despite a lot of pessimism out there many Canadian Business owners are still fairly optimistic about the business environment as we forge into 2010… Small business and middle market type firms in Canada clearly face the largest challenges for business financing – the larger firms; a la Financial Post 100 etc seem to be doing quite well.

A favorite expression of ours is that revenues and good times can mask a lot of flaws. When those revenues and profits and good times in previous years ended last year many firms saw real weakness in various financial and operational parts of their companies. That forced much business to adopt new strategies to address those financial and operational issues.
We have heard of the expression (I think it’s an old blues song?) that ‘I have been done so long everything looks up to me ‘! Most Canadian businesses are seeing sales grow again, some in fact significantly.

So is it all good news. Not really of course, a lot of the challenges are still there. Many a business owner can be forgiven, given what we went through in 2008-2009 for doubting their commitment and their skills in their business.
What continually amazes many readers is the fact that the SME engine is in fact the growth engine of the economy for business and employment. God knows they aren’t hiring at GM and Toyota we would think!

We keep reading about the entire stimulus that the federal government has put into the Canadian economy. I am assuming its there , but most business owners, like myself , certainly cant name one direct benefit of that stimulus , particularly in the area of business financing, business loans, operating lines of credit, etc.

While in fact the revenues and profits are starting to climb a bit lack of solid business financing is still a huge challenge for Canadian business owners. While the business owners and financial managers rely heavily on their ability to access financing naturally the challenges can sometimes be approached at the other end – i.e. operating more efficiently! Yet entrepreneurs being entrepreneurs, business owners should would like to market more, take on new product lines, and buy equipment to grow their business.