TORONTO—Great employees, loyal clients, and hard work are the keys to entrepreneurial success, according to a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
The CFIB polled 8,900 companies across Canada about what makes for a successful business venture.
For 62 per cent of entrepreneurs, their employees were essential for entrepreneurial success, followed by customer loyalty (60 per cent) and hard work (59 per cent).
More than half of respondents also said that the products and services they offer were important to success.
To a lesser degree, they also cited a passion for their work (34 per cent), innovation (18), support from family (17) and defined business plans (11).
“Clearly there is much more to running a successful business than just having a business plan,” said Doug Bruce, CFIB’s vice-president of research.
“They credit the community of employees and customers for their success,” he said.
In their comments, entrepreneurs stressed the importance of having tight business relationships.
“Conduct your affairs in an honest and open manner to build a good client base and good community image,” said one respondent from an IT company.
Another respondent, from a machinery and equipment firm in Ontario, said, “always treat your employees fairly, and then in the tough times they will be there by your side.”
While good employees and loyal clients are helpful, employers chasing entrepreneurial success should also brace themselves for long hard days ahead, according to one member from an Ontario machinery and equipment company.
“You will need to dedicate far more time and effort than you have ever imagined, balancing your life will be a challenge, be prepared,” the respondent said.
Indeed, most companies already were performing a juggling act—83 per cent of small businesses logged an average of more than 41 hours a week.
And of those, 27 per cent were putting in more than 60 hours per week.
Hard work was valued the most by entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan while more Quebec respondents emphasized the importance of being passionate about their work.