TORONTO—Canadian business owners think innovation is critical to their long-term prosperity, but face time, technological and financial constraints when trying to forge ahead with developing their businesses, according to a new CIBC poll.
“Although some reports suggest that Canada is lagging other nations in business innovation, our poll shows that 90 per cent of Canadian small business leaders see innovation as critical to their long-term success, and many are looking to invest in the next year,” Shelley Swanlund, vice-president of Business Banking and Head of Small Business at CIBC, said.
Though 77 per cent of business owners say they are likely to invest in innovation over the next year, 23 per cent say a lack of time is a serious challenge when looking to grow their business, according to the poll. Meanwhile, 21 per cent cite a lack of technological resources or cash flow as major impediments to innovation.
Likewise, 40 per cent of small business owners say changes in the market place is their top challenge.
“Given increasing competition and economic pressures, now more than ever small business owners need to find new ways to grow,” Swanlund said. “Investing in innovation can help reduce long-run costs by creating efficiencies, or help a business open up new markets by delivering differentiated products or services to meet clients’ ever-evolving needs.”
CIBC said for small businesses looking to innovate, developing a clear business plan, consulting with advisors and drawing up a realistic financial plan for the project are all key factors to a project’s success.
“Innovation can mean different things to different businesses,” Swanlund said. “Investments in innovation can include finding ways to evolve business models to meet customers’ changing needs, improving technology to be more efficient, or even uncovering unique ways to attract and retain top talent.”