Canadian small businesses face several challenges within our competitive market. From competing against larger companies to the ever-changing online and mobile landscape, it can be tough to keep up. To help Canadian small businesses succeed in the future, it will require insight into the trends that are currently disrupting the Canadian marketplace. This insightful article will discuss these challenges and attempt to predict how they may be solved over the next year.
Problem 1: Canada’s aging population could negatively impact small businesses.
The aging population is a fact of life. But it’s also an opportunity for small businesses to capitalize on the needs of an increasingly older population.
Aging populations are growing and are expected to continue growing. In fact, by 2050 the number of people aged 65 and older will more than double from 39 million in 2015 to 82 million in 2050. This means that there will be more senior citizens and more people with disabilities who need help with the daily tasks of living. It also means there will be more people who want to stay in their homes as long as possible and need services that can be provided through home care providers or other non-medical professionals.
As baby boomers age, they are helping to change the way we think about retirement, which impacts how they plan for their futures—and how they spend their money. While some people may still choose to retire at 65, others will work longer because they want to keep earning income while they’re still able or because they don’t want to stop working altogether. As a result, many will continue spending money in ways similar to what they did before retirement—on things like travel, entertainment, and leisure activities—but now they’ll do so out of pocket rather than through employer-sponsored benefits such as health insurance or pension plans.
In other words, the definition of retirement has changed. When people stop working, they no longer have to spend their time in traditional ways—like commuting to work or sitting in an office all day.
Solution 1: Adaptation of various workplace strategies
There are ways small businesses can adapt their strategies to accommodate an aging population:
- Offering flexible hours: If employees can work remotely or at odd hours with little notice, they’ll be able to keep working as long as they want without having to give up any benefits or pay increases just because they’re getting older.
- Creating an employee training plan: Offering to pay for courses or certifications that will help employees build new skills will not only help them stay relevant in the workplace, but it’ll also keep them feeling valuable to the business.
- Scheduling regular online meetings: If employees are too far away or frail to meet in person, video conferencing software like Skype or Google Hangouts can be incredibly helpful. This will allow them to stay connected with the rest of the company without having to travel—a great option for older workers who can’t drive anymore.
- Offering more benefits: If a company is only a small business, it might not be able to offer the same kind of benefits as larger companies do. However, many benefits don’t cost much or anything at all—such as flexible hours and remote work opportunities—that will help keep older employees working for longer.
- Offering perks: Some small businesses have begun to offer benefits like health insurance pensions. These are great ways to retain employees who might otherwise leave when they reach retirement age.
- Offering more flexible benefits: It’s not just about offering health insurance and pensions. Small businesses should also consider offering flexible benefits like paid time off or sick leave so that employees can take care of themselves without having to worry about losing paychecks or feeling like they’re taking advantage of the system.
Problem 2: Online shopping could be a huge threat to independent retailers.
Online shopping is a threat to independent retailers because it is convenient, fast, and simple.
Online shopping makes it easier for consumers to buy products without having to interact with people. This means that online shopping is more convenient than going to an independent retailer who may not have what the consumer wants in stock or who may only have one item available.
Online shopping also offers a wide variety of products, which can be difficult for independent retailers who specialize in selling a few specific items. For example, if you are looking for a specific type of cake pan at your local bakery, they may not have it in stock or they may only have one or two in stock. On the other hand, if you were able to search on Amazon for “cake pans,” you would be able to find hundreds of different options at different price points and styles.
Finally, online shopping allows consumers to easily compare prices between stores and find deals that they would otherwise miss out on if they visited an independent retailer that did not offer discounts or sales on their products regularly.
Solution 2: Going online as well
There are a few ways that small businesses can get on board with e-commerce without losing all customers:
- Using social media marketing: Social media is a great way to get the word out about a small business, but it’s also important to ensure that customers know there are real people behind the scenes. Using social media as an opportunity to connect with customers makes them feel like they’re not just buying from a faceless corporation—building relationships with potential clients by getting involved in online conversations and answering questions when appropriate is a surefire way to boost small businesses.
- Creating an online presence through blogs or websites where potential customers can learn more about the products or services: This lets them know what kind of business they’re dealing with before they make any decisions about where to shop next time around— small businesses might even find some new leads along the way! Once people know about the store, they’re likely to come back again and again even if they’ve already bought everything they need from the business online.
Problem 3: Investors in both private and government agencies might be wary of funding businesses.
Investors in both private and government agencies might be wary of funding small businesses. One reason for this is that small business face an extra challenge when it comes to raising funds: the risk of failure.
Raising funds for a new business can be difficult, especially if the business is still in its infancy stage. Investors who want to invest in a small business may not be willing to take on the additional risk that comes with funding a startup company. The fact is that most startups fail within their first year of operation, but many investors do not want to fund companies that have so much uncertainty associated with them. Another reason that investors may be reluctant to fund small businesses is the lack of track record. It can be difficult to determine the success or failure of a new business without looking at previous results. If an investor does not know anything about a company, they will not want to invest in it.
Solution 3: Innovate
The benefits of investing in small businesses that innovate are well-documented. In addition, many studies have shown that large companies tend to be less innovative than smaller companies. A recent study showed that only about 3% of Fortune 500 companies were founded after 1980 (a period when large corporations were more prominent). However, despite these benefits, many small businesses struggle to get off the ground due to a lack of funding.
To help increase investor confidence in these young ventures, various governments have created programs like SRED (Scientific research and experimental development) tax credits. Programs like SRED offer incentives for investors who want to support science-based startups or early-stage firms developing new technologies or products with high potential for growth through business innovation rather than financial investment alone.
Problem 4: Small businesses may have difficulty hiring new employees.
Small business owners might be having trouble finding the right employees. Hiring new people is always a challenge, but small businesses may have an even harder time than large ones.
One of the main issues is that there are fewer applicants to choose from. Smaller companies do not have as many opportunities to hire new employees, so they have to work harder to attract them in the first place. It’s also more difficult for small businesses to pay competitive salaries because they have less money available to spend on salaries and benefits.
Another issue is that there are fewer qualified applicants available for smaller companies. When someone applies for a position at a large corporation, they are competing against hundreds or thousands of other applicants who have similar qualifications and experience levels. But when someone applies for a job at a small business, they will likely be competing against just one or two other applicants who also meet all of the requirements listed in the job description (which means there is less competition). Additionally, smaller companies typically aren’t able to offer as many perks such as flexible scheduling options or paid time off; this makes it easier for them to attract better candidates than larger firms can offer these sorts of perks due to their size).
Solution: Hiring a recruiter
A recruiter is someone who specializes in finding qualified candidates for jobs. They work with both large and small companies, as well as individuals looking for work. They’re able to help you identify what kind of person you need, then they’ll find that person and get them on board with your company.
There are many benefits to using a recruiter. First of all, they have access to a huge database of applicants that they’ve pre-screened for qualifications and experience. Small businesses don’t have to waste time trying to sift through resumes or cover letters—the recruiter will do that for them. Recruiters also have connections within the industry that may lead them right to the perfect candidate for your open position.
Another benefit is that a good recruiter will be familiar with the best practices when it comes to hiring—they’ll know things like how long an interview should last, how often a business should check in after an offer has been extended, etc. This can help ensure that a small business is getting the best candidates for open positions.
Finally, a recruiter can help find candidates that are a good fit for the company culture—if a small business doesn’t have someone on staff who knows what makes the company unique, a recruiter may be able to help find individuals who do.
Problem 5: Small businesses could struggle with employee retention.
Small businesses are often at a disadvantage when it comes to employee retention. Small businesses have fewer resources and less time to devote to developing the company’s culture, which can make it harder for them to keep new employees around long enough to get them invested in the company.
Solution 5: Investing in the existing employees further
- Offering competitive compensation packages: This doesn’t mean offering top dollar across the board; rather, it means making sure everyone who works for the business gets paid fairly based on their role and experience level within the company. Making sure this is reflected in written contracts is adamant so there are no misunderstandings about what’s included in their salary package (bonuses, stock options) and what isn’t (meal credits, free parking).
- Giving employees room to grow: Employees are more than just bodies filling seats; they’re people with hopes and dreams of their own. Helping them achieve those goals by offering opportunities for professional development within the company (training, learning sessions, etc.) will make them realize that they are a part of something special that cares for them.
- Offering more regular employee benefits: These don’t have to be expensive or elaborate—a free lunch once a week or the ability to take two weeks of paid vacation are both good examples. But it is important to make sure that everyone has access to them, and make sure they’re advertised as perks to attract new employees who may not otherwise know about them. In addition to compensation packages, small businesses must also make sure employees have access to benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. These perks can help them attract more qualified candidates and keep the current employees happy at the same time.
Shelly Solis is one of the co-founder of SaaSLaunchr, a website specializing in SaaS guest posting services and search engine optimization. Read more about her insights and thoughts on the Saaslauncr.com blog.