What's on the minds of small business owners? Cash flow concerns and rising fuel prices



    
    - TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey reveals the top challenges and
    rewards experienced by small business owners -
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Making payroll. Suppliers' bills. Rising fuel
costs. According to the TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, these are the
top concerns faced by the nation's small business owners.
    The first TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey polled 1,000 small
business owners from across Canada to uncover their biggest challenges in
order to help provide relevant advice for entrepreneurs. The survey found that
more than one-quarter of respondents lose sleep worrying about cash flow while
16% say rising fuel costs is their biggest concern.
    "We encourage small business owners to meet with their local Small
Business Advisor for strategies on managing cash flow so that they can sleep
better at night," says Kerry Peacock, SVP, Business Banking, Sales and Product
Support, TD Canada Trust. "Small Business Week, October 19th to 25th, is the
perfect opportunity to visit a TD branch and learn more about business
financing and how to start - and grow - a small business."
    Despite concerns about cash flow, 2008 is proving to be a good year for
small business owners. Nearly 25% of owners graded their business' performance
as an A or A+, indicating that they have had solid growth or their best year
yet. Fifty per cent gave their business a B grade, indicating that they did as
well as they expected. Twenty-three per cent gave their business a C saying
that they did not have the year they planned and only 4% gave themselves a
failing grade.
    For small business owners that gave their business performance an A or
A+, a third attributed their great year to innovating with the right products
and services at the right time. This was followed by focusing on what they are
good at and outsourcing the rest (28%).
    Looking ahead to 2009, small business owners anticipate that the biggest
business challenges will be similar to what they worry about now: cash flow
(23%) followed by managing growth (20%). Rising fuel costs was the third most
common challenge cited (17%).

    Owning your own business has its benefits

    The best thing about owning a business, according to Canada's small
business owners, is controlling their own destiny (36%) and having a better
work-life balance (31%). Only 8% of respondents said that making more money is
the best thing about owning their own business.

    Advice from small business owners

    The top piece of advice from small business owners for those wanting to
start their own business is to raise enough capital before starting.
Twenty-one per cent of owners said they would have raised more capital if they
started their business today. The second change they would have made was to
diversify their services more (19%). Small business owners who have been in
business less than a year are most likely to say that they should have raised
more capital (41%), whereas business owners who have been in business 11 or
more years, say that they would diversify services more (22%).

    Small business and the environment

    The environment is a top priority for small business owners. In fact, 74%
report that it is important to run an environmentally responsible business.
The biggest barriers to adopting more environmentally friendly measures are
cost (44%) and lack of credible industry providers (28%).

    Small business and technology

    The TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey also asked business owners
about their views on technology. Nearly 50% of owners say that e-mail is often
a more effective communication tool than using the phone. Seven per cent of
respondents are so dependent on technology that they would rather have a root
canal than give up their BlackBerry.

    About TD's sponsorship of Small Business Week

    Small Business Week is a nation-wide celebration of entrepreneurship,
October 19th to 25th, 2008, organized by the Business Development Bank of
Canada (BDC) to pay tribute to Canadian small business. With the endorsement
of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, organized events such as conferences,
trade fairs and seminars provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to network
and exchange ideas to enhance business growth. TD is a sponsor of Small
Business Week and to recognize its small business customers, TD is conducting
a national advertising campaign, sponsoring SOHO (small office home office)
conferences in Toronto and Vancouver and sponsoring regional events with
chambers of commerce and business associations across the country. To see
events that TD is sponsoring, visit
http://www.tdcanadatrust.com/celebrate/index.jsp?id=2. As well, TD will host
in-branch customer appreciation days at more than 280 branches staffed by a
small business advisor.

    About the TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey

    The TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey polled small business owners
from across the country to uncover their biggest challenges and to help
provide advice for entrepreneurs interested in starting a business. The survey
was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies from September 4 to 8, 2008 with
English and French speaking small business owners (defined as business owners
with fewer than 20 employees) across Canada using the Angus Reid Forum. The
sample size included 1003 men and women.

    About TD Bank Financial Group

    The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as
TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh largest bank
in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in
four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial
centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including
TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment
in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth
and Commerce Bank (to be known together as TD Bank); and Wholesale Banking,
including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's
leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million on-line
customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$509 billion in assets as of
July 31, 2008. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York
Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.





For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Abbass, Karen McCullough, Paradigm
Public Relations, (416) 203-2223, cabbass@paradigmpr.ca,
kmccullough@paradigmpr.ca


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