Preparation is fundamental for Canadian small businesses in current uncertain environment, according to Scotiabank experts



    
    Scotiabank concludes cross country Small Business Tour with perspectives
    and advice for owners
    

    HALIFAX, Oct. 23 /CNW/ - Anticipating the future and making provisions
for the "certainty of uncertainty" is good business. That was the key message
of Scotiabank's five month tour during which the Bank's Small Business experts
met with small business owners in more than 80 communities in all ten
provinces. Part of the Bank's 'Get Growing to a Million' Campaign, the cross
country tour began on June 3rd in Vancouver and was undertaken to help small
business owners identify strategies to grow their business.
    "We've been on more than a road trip," said Kyle McNamara, Managing
Director and Head of Small Business Banking, Scotiabank. "We've been on a
mission to help Canadian small business owners grow to the next level. And
while the economic climate has changed since we began this tour, our advice to
small business owners has not. We continue to tell small business owners that
anticipating challenges and developing strategies are critical steps to
weathering the uncertain economic environment that we are currently
experiencing."
    According to provincial ministries and community economic commissions,
small businesses are an important part of local and provincial economies right
across Canada. From British Columbia to Newfoundland, as the Scotiabank Small
Business Tour travelled the country, all provincial governments cited small
business as being the centrepiece of their provincial economies representing a
large percentage of all businesses.
    The Scotiabank Small Business tour team met thousands of small business
owners whose companies are creating products and services that are in demand
in Canadian, North American and global markets. While some are feeling the
effects of the global economic environment more than others, most small
business owners reported finding the current world market conditions
unsettling.
    "Small businesses in Canada are facing an increasingly challenging
environment. Whether the focus is on Canadian or international customers,
there has been a sea-change in expectations regarding the economic and
financial market outlook," says Adrienne Warren, Senior Economist, Scotia
Economics. "A number of recent surveys are showing increasing - and
understandable - concern among owners of small and medium-sized businesses
over future sales prospects. While Canada is expected to weather the current
turmoil in global credit markets relatively well, virtually no business is
fully insulated from the economic fallout."
    "Our experience with small businesses suggests the most successful small
business owners are those who have effectively planned their business concept,
from market research and human resources planning to cash flow forecasts,"
says David Wilton, Director, Small Business, Scotiabank. "While you can't
anticipate the future, making provisions for the certainty of uncertainty is
good business. There are many things small business owners can do to prepare
for the unknown, starting with a solid business plan."
    As the tour crossed the country, Scotiabank's team of small business
experts provided the following strategies to Canadian small business owners:

    
    -   Build or Update Your Business Plan. A solid business plan is a
        roadmap to success. It is a guide for employees, investors, suppliers
        and advisors as well as a tool to measure a business' progress and
        plans for the future. In uncertain times, it's important to regularly
        review your business plan and, in particular, the financial
        projections you have made.

    -   Surround Yourself with the Right Team of Advisors. This may include
        an accountant or bookkeeper, a lawyer, a small business banker as
        well as a coach or mentor experienced in your industry. The right
        team of advisors will highlight potential risks in your business plan
        and will assist a business owner, who is busy working "in" their
        business, with working "on" their business.

    -   Improve and Monitor Your Cash Flow. Cash flow is the lifeblood of any
        business. Good profits do not necessarily mean good cash flow. It's
        important to have cash available when needed. A small business
        advisor can provide easy to implement strategies and tips for
        improving cash flow, as well as provide access to diagnostic tools
        that can help analyze your financial statements, create sound cash
        flow projections and provide practical suggestions to help free up
        working capital.

    -   Manage Costs. Business expenses affect the bottom line of any
        business. The ability to manage expenses and reduce or eliminate
        time-consuming activities is important to improving cash flow. Your
        small business advisor can help you select the best mix of financial
        services, such as electronic banking and cash management, to help you
        stay on top of and monitor your expenses.
    

    While the cross country tour concluded this week, Canadian small business
owners will continue to have access to tools and expertise through the
Scotiabank 'Get Growing for business' website. Designed as an interactive
community site, www.getgrowingforbusiness.com, offers small business owners a
place to network with other small business owners, ask an expert for advice,
as well as access a full suite of interactive business-building tools and
resources to help them grow their business to the next level.

    About Scotiabank:

    Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With more than 60,000 employees, Scotiabank
Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12.5 million customers in some
50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products
and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking
business. With $462 billion in assets (as at July 31, 2008), Scotiabank trades
on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please
visit www.scotiabank.com.





For further information:

For further information: Deborah Clark, (416) 866-3631,
Deborah_clark@scotiacapital.com, Toronto; Deborah Spence, (403) 254-6830,
Deborah_spence@scotiacapital.com, Calgary


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