Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Poll finds WHAT is curbing Cdn innovation?


November 13, 2015
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Nov. 13, 2015 – With today’s competitive business landscape, Canada’s small business owners say innovation is a top priority in 2016 according to the latest poll by CIBC.

While more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of small business owners say they are likely to invest in business innovation in the next 12 months, they also cite a lack of time, capacity, technology and cash flow as the biggest obstacles holding back their ability to innovate.

“Although some reports suggest that Canada is lagging other nations in business innovation, our poll shows that 90 per cent of Canadian small business leaders see innovation as critical to their long-term success, and many are looking to invest in the next year,” said Shelley Swanlund, vice-president, Business Banking and Head of Small Business, CIBC.

“Innovation can mean different things to different businesses,” she continued. “Investments in innovation can include finding ways to evolve business models to meet customers’ changing needs, improving technology to be more efficient, or even uncovering unique ways to attract and retain top talent.”

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Poll respondents included a cross-section of small business owners from all sectors of the economy from professional services and manufacturing to health care and real estate.

The top overall challenges faced by small businesses include dealing with changes in the marketplace (38 per cent), competition (32 per cent) and identifying sources of future growth (32 per cent).

When asked what innovation means to them, business owners’ top selections were evolving a business model to meet customers’ changing needs (22 per cent) and using new technologies to achieve efficiencies (18 per cent).

“Given increasing competition and economic pressures, now more than ever small business owners need to find new ways to grow,” said Swanlund. “Investing in innovation can help reduce long-run costs by creating efficiencies, or help a business open up new markets by delivering differentiated products or services to meet clients’ ever-evolving needs.”

CIBC suggests developing a business plan, consulting with advisors, and creating a realistic financial plan as three tips to help small businesses succeed.