Thinking of starting a small business?



    Scotiabank study reveals goals and challenges faced by start-up owners.

    TORONTO, Oct. 11 /CNW/ - Owners of small business start-ups are
remarkably consistent in the goals they set for themselves and the challenges
they face, a study conducted for Scotiabank reveals. Those goals can be
achieved and challenges overcome with comprehensive services, solid planning
and good advice, say Scotiabank experts.
    "Starting a small business can be both exciting and overwhelming," said
Kyle McNamara, Scotiabank Head of Small Business Banking. "To achieve the
goals and overcome the challenges start-up owners identify as critical, a
great strategy is to create a formal written business plan and to seek out
sound advice."
    Not surprisingly, increasing profit tops the list of business goals;
other goals are focused on expanding the business while managing expenses and
risk. Here are the top six goals in the Scotiabank survey, which was conducted
by TNS Canadian Facts:

    
    -   Increasing operating income or profit - 88 per cent
    -   Generating double-digit growth - 69 per cent
    -   Improving administrative practices - 59 per cent
    -   Better managing cash flow - 57 per cent
    -   Expanding the range of products and services offered - 52 per cent
    -   Better managing business risk - 52 per cent
    

    The survey also looked at the major challenges facing start-up owners.
They were more likely to mention keeping and finding customers (28 per cent)
and promotions and advertising (12 per cent) as major challenges facing their
businesses than businesses that are growing, mature or winding down. Financial
matters, such as taxation, capital and cash flow were identified as challenges
by 27 per cent, while labour/staffing issues and competition were cited
equally by 15 per cent of start-ups.
    The study also reveals that more than half of start-up owners (52 per
cent) have a formal financial plan for their business. They are more likely to
have worked with someone at their financial institution to develop their plan
(20 per cent), than businesses that are growing, mature or winding down.
Start-ups are most likely to identify advice about growing their business as
being important to running their business (81 per cent), followed by taxation
advice at 78 per cent, and advice about cash flow management at 73 per cent.
However, only 26 per cent currently receive advice from a professional advisor
on growing a business, 41 per cent on taxation, and 17 per cent on cash flow
management. Thirty-nine per cent of entrepreneurs do not seek any professional
advice on the range of business matters examined.
    "The large number of start-ups that have taken the time to develop a
formal plan is encouraging," added McNamara. "At the same time, having a plan
is only part of the solution. Once you have identified your goals and your
challenges, it is equally important to seek out the advice you need to be
successful."
    "Multiple goals and challenges also require comprehensive solutions,"
continued McNamara. "That's why Scotiabank introduced the Scotia Running Start
for business(TM) package. This suite of products and services offers a
thorough array of options to meet the unique needs of today's entrepreneur. By
incorporating personal and business financial solutions, ranging from waived
fees on key business products to discounts on marketing materials, we have
created a package to get small businesses off to a strong start. In addition,
to help small business owners construct a business plan, we have the Scotia
Plan Writer for business(TM), a free resource available at
www.scotiabank.com."
    "Anyone thinking of starting a small business can learn from the
entrepreneurs in this study," said McNamara. "There are many goals and
challenges within the first two years of operation. A suite of financial
services, a good business plan and a team of experts, including a small
business banker, are key milestones on the road to realizing business
successes and overcoming any start-up challenges that might arise."
    The Scotiabank Small Business Study is an online survey of Canadian small
business owners. For the purposes of this research, a "small business" was
defined as a company with less than $5 million in annual revenue. "Start-up"
is defined as having been in business for two years or less. A total of 1,190
businesses participated in the survey.
    The sample for the survey came from two sources. Small business owners
were identified from TNS Canadian Facts' online panel. This was augmented by a
sample of small businesses selected from D&B listings. This latter group was
recruited by telephone to participate in the online survey hosted on the TNS
survey website. Interviews were weighted to be representative of all small
businesses in terms of revenue and region. The online survey took place
between July 16th and August 6th, 2007.

    Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With almost 60,000 employees, Scotiabank
Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12 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.
With $408 billion in assets (as at July 31, 2007), 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: Patty Stathokostas, Scotiabank Public Affairs,
(416) 866-3625, patty_stathokostas@scotiacapital.com


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