SURVEY: Canadian small business owners predict 2015 outlook to remain same as 2014; Less optimistic than U.S.

Sage recently surveyed more than 800 Canadian and U.S. small business owners to determine what their plan of attack for business growth will be in 2015, and what they believe are some potential challenges ahead. Overall, Canadian small business owners are at a standstill regarding their prospects in the New Year, compared to their U.S. counterparts.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • 57 per cent of Canadian small business owners expressed that the 2015 outlook for their company is relatively the same as last year
  • 47 per cent of U.S. small business owners believe 2015 will be better than 2014
  • Only five per cent of both Canadian and U.S. small business owners believe 2015 will be worse than 2014

Small business owners perceive their biggest challenges in 2015 are:

 

 

2015

Cdn Survey

2014

Cdn Survey

2015

U.S. Survey

1)

Finding qualified employees

38%

N/A

25%

2)

Getting new customers

34%

41%

36%

3)

Increased competition

20%

22%

23%

4)

Government regulations

16%

25%

31%

5)

Taxes

15%

28%

29%

 

Small business owners are looking to focus on the following important areas of their business including:

 

 

2015

Cdn Survey

2014

Cdn Survey

2015

U.S. Survey

1)

Hiring more employees

29%

19%

29%

2)

Cut expenses

29%

29%

36%

3)

Launching new services or products

24%

31%

24%

4)

Investing more in sales and marketing

23%

23%

28%

5)

Investing more in technology

20%

24%

31%

Additional Analysis:

The biggest change in the results this year from the 2014 outlook survey is that Canadian small business owners will be most focused on hiring more employees in the New Year, compared to being only the sixth highest priority in 2014 outlook survey. A focus on hiring employees was included in this year's survey questions and results show that Canadian small businesses are also expecting that finding qualified employees will be one of the biggest challenges in 2015. In the U.S., small business owners will be most focused on cutting expenses (36 per cent), and investing in new technology (31 per cent).

Currency:

Despite a weaker Canadian dollar through the course of 2014, Canadian small business owners believe that this will have absolutely no impact on them (0 per cent), indicating that a “stronger Canadian dollar” will not be a challenge in 2015 – a slight decrease from last year’s finding of only three per cent.

About Sage

We provide small and medium-sized organizations with a range of easy-to-use, secure, and efficient business management software and services—from accounting and payroll to enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and payments. Our customers receive continuous advice and support through our global network of local experts to help them solve their business problems, giving them the confidence to achieve their business ambitions. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has millions of customers and more than 12,700 employees in 24 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia, and Brazil.