Canada's Entrepreneurs Offer Words of Wisdom to Aspiring Small Business Owners - RBC Survey

    Top 10 Tips on How to Successfully Start Your Own Business

    TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Canada's existing entrepreneurs have some
well-earned words of wisdom to offer the 3.3 million aspiring entrepreneurs
across the country who are planning to start a business within the next five
years, according to the annual RBC Small Business Survey.
    "The key piece of advice from Canada's veteran entrepreneurs is 'do your
homework' before you open up your new business," said Rina Pillitteri,
director, Small Business Client Strategy for RBC. "When successful small
business owners look back on what helped them get off the ground, it's the
fact that they knew what they were facing - they researched who their
competition was, they understood what gaps they could fill in the marketplace,
and they delved into the likes and dislikes of their potential customers. They
also networked to find out as much as they could from other entrepreneurs."
    The top ten pieces of advice existing entrepreneurs have for people
hoping to start up a business, according to RBC's survey:

    1.  Know your competition (51 per cent)
    2.  Develop a business plan (50 per cent)
    3.  Research the market (49 per cent)
    4.  Network, develop alliances (45 per cent)
    5.  Take time for marketing (38 per cent)
    6.  Seek out mentors (35 per cent)
    7.  Spend time defining the needs your business will meet (35 per cent)
    8.  Survey potential customers (34 per cent)
    9.  Do homework about where to locate your business (34 per cent)
    10. Join clubs/associations (32 per cent)

    "Aspiring entrepreneurs can uncover amazing tips and insights by talking
to current business owners before getting swept up in the fast pace and
excitement of starting up," added Pillitteri. "Also, seeking out a mentor can
help you save time as well as money, and the advice they offer could mean the
difference between success and failure."
    The RBC survey, which compared the responses of aspiring entrepreneurs
with those of existing entrepreneurs, suggests Canada's emerging entrepreneurs
may not need to be as focussed on obtaining financing as they think they need
to be. In fact, while half (51 per cent) of Canada's aspiring entrepreneurs
expect that one of their biggest challenges will be getting enough money to
start their business, only one in five current entrepreneurs recalls getting
initial financing as a challenge. For existing business owners, the biggest
start-up challenges were finding clients or developing their market
(48 per cent), keeping a steady workload (31 per cent), working long hours
(28 per cent), and dealing with government bureaucracy and regulations
(21 per cent).
    RBC's 2007 Small Business Survey also reports a majority (61 per cent) of
Canada's small business owners appear to be satisfied with the way they
started their businesses - if they had it all to do over again, they would not
change a thing. Of the 39 per cent who said they would do things differently,
61 per cent would start at a younger age and 58 per cent would get more
financial advice.
    "Whether or not it's a new entrepreneur or a veteran, every small
business owner is bound to face a unique set of challenges," noted Pillitteri.
"That's why it's extremely important to do your initial research, develop your
business plan and seek out the ongoing, customized support you need to meet
your business goals and your customers' needs."
    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between July 27 and August 3, 2007. The online survey is based on a randomly
selected representative sample of 3,806 adult Canadians of which 2,253 owned
small or medium-sized businesses (entrepreneurs) and 1,553 aspire to own small
or medium size businesses (aspiring entrepreneurs). With a representative
sample of this size, the results among entrepreneurs are considered accurate
to within +/- 2.1 percentage points, and among aspiring entrepreneurs +/- 2.5
19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian
population been polled.

    RBC delivers a wide range of financial services and practical advice to
small and medium-sized businesses and their owners. RBC is Canada's leading
financial institution for small business, serving one in four small
businesses. Entrepreneurs - existing and aspiring - can visit for practical advice and
information about starting, owning and managing a small business.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Judi Levita, (416) 974-8810

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