Last year marked a year of change and a considerable amount of instability for business. A recent Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll found that Canadians aren’t convinced that we have recovered from the recession. How does that confidence level affect business? It can have an impact on spending!
Yet, the year did end on a positive note. According to Ted Mallett, Vice-President & Chief Economist, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), small business optimism increased: “CFIB’s Business Barometer Index climbed to 65.0, almost a point and a half above its November level. The Index has historically hovered between 65 and 70 when the economy is expanding, so the return to ‘near normal’ is seen as good news for Canada’s economic performance, which had lately been constrained by uncertainties in foreign markets.”
And according to the 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, 50 per cent of business owners think 2012 will be a good year for their business and a further 13 per cent believe that 2012 might be their best year yet.
What are your plans for 2012?
With the onset of a new year it is time to consider the current economic environment and rethink your objectives and goals for the year. Take time to reflect on what worked and get rid of what didn’t work in 2011.
Planning is the key. What do you need to consider? Ask yourself:
- What takes up most of your time during the day?
- Do you shift your focus and goals continuously?
- What are your spending habits and should they be revised?
- Are you trying to do everything yourself?
Did you know that in 2011 entrepreneurs spent more time working on their businesses? According to TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, business owners spent an average of 48.7 hours per week, up slightly from 47.8 in 2010.
Your time is valuable and at a premium so start planning to save time. Spending time wisely is never a waste of time.
What about your business?
- Are you keeping an eye on the trends?
- What are the economic indicators?
- Has the business target market changed?
- Review last year’s successes and incorporate them into 2012.
- Review, revise or remove what did not work.
One way to test the market is to continually do research on what the current economic current indicators are and how they can have an impact on your business. Statistics Canada has data that is updated on a monthly basis.
The market is constantly changing and so are the needs. The benefit of knowing your market and understanding customers’ needs will help save you time and money. It will also create new opportunities. A well thought out plan will help make 2012 a successful year.
Each business is unique and has different needs. The Halton Region Small Business Centre is here to help. Call and make an appointment to talk to one of our Small Business Consultants. We can help direct you through the process. Also, check out our schedule of upcoming seminars. Contact us at 1-866-442-5866, www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @haltonecdev and Facebook at www.facebook.com/HaltonSBEC.