Beyond the balance sheet, Canadian small business owners are adapting and thriving during tough times, and they see great opportunity ahead.Download Report
Some of the most critical aspects of owning and operating a small business are the ones that don’t show up on the balance sheet. P&L statements don’t account for hustle. At Driven, we recognize that in order for us to best serve Canadian small businesses, we must take the time to understand what owners, their teams, and their families are really going through. And how they’re adapting, surviving, and thriving on their own terms.
Every day, in phone calls and support chats, we hear about the opportunities and challenges our clients face, but it can be hard to capture or quantify today’s unique economic conditions at a broader or macro level. Last month, we reached out to a select group of our customers to ask them directly what life looks for them right now, more than two years after the onset of a global pandemic, along with ongoing struggles over inflation, supply chain issues, war, and more.
As we read through the honest and open responses of almost 150 owners, we were energized by the stories they told us. It’s been a tough couple of years, and every owner needs things to change in their own way, but we see genuine cause for optimism where the smallest of Canadian businesses are concerned. These are the sorts of businesses often neglected by research and support, where the owner is either the sole operator or the leader of a small team, and where stepping away or bringing in backup support can sometimes prove impossible. Yet they always find ways to be innovative and keep an eye on future opportunities.
Owners told us that they need better support structures, better financial tools and better guidance in leadership at the micro level. With those things in place, Canadian small business owners are ready to do great things, right now.
Some of the most critical aspects of owning and operating a small business are the ones that don't show up on the balance sheet. At Driven, we asked Canadian small business owners what life looks like for them right now. As we read through the honest and open responses of almost 150 owners, we were energized by the stories they told us.Download Report
“It’s very lonely at the top. Even the staff (with the company for 30 years) do not understand what it takes to run a business, someone who can share the burden of daily issues.”
"Small businesses need easier access to funding without relying on the owner alone to provide credit history."
"Post-covid has introduced a whole new outlook on the business we operate in. Where have all the talented staff gone? Wage increases are also a new challenge in ensuring staff are paid what they are worth while our services aren't priced out of the client’s reach. Though we are a luxury service provider, even our clients have their financial limits."
"The cost of rent is going through the roof. Our competition is undercutting one another. This is not sustainable for the future of my industry. Costs of goods are skyrocketing."
"Payments are slower, materials are harder to get, and good labour is hard to come by."
"I wish this were not the case, but my business is so specialized, that I have to be hands on for the vast majority of the time. I would rather prioritize my home life."
"We opened during the peak of the 2nd wave of COVID and have had to pivot several times. This has helped us to be able to keep pivoting or extending our reach and grow significantly. We have become more self-reliant, not depending on invoice factoring to pay employees, and even paid some dividends at the beginning of our third fiscal year."