New poll reports that Canadians view small business owners as highly
motivated and innovative; more than half have thought about starting
their own business, too
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - Running a small business is harder and
more time consuming than expected but, according to the results of a study
issued today, most small business owners enjoy their work and have earned the
respect of Canadians.
The Ipsos Reid study, comprising a survey of 900 small business owners
and a separate poll of 1,842 adult Canadians, was conducted on behalf of HP
Canada and the results reviewed by the Canadian Federation of Independent
The study found that 42 percent of small business owners surveyed work
more than 53 hours per week in their businesses. In addition, 44 percent say
they are putting in more effort than they expected when they first started
But their efforts are not going unnoticed. The study reported almost all
Canadians (97 percent) view entrepreneurs as highly motivated, 93 percent say
they are innovative, 92 percent believe them to be reliable, and 96 percent
say that they perform quality work.
"Canadians recognize the valuable contribution small businesses make to
this country," said Catherine Swift, president, CFIB. "With 97 percent of the
businesses in Canada classified as 'small,' Canada is truly a nation of
Small business owners report challenges ranging from finding new
customers and markets (59 percent) to handling government regulations and
paperwork (42 percent) to dealing with finances (47 percent). Yet a large
proportion (63 percent) say they are motivated to continue because they enjoy
the work, with 59 percent also saying they stick with it because of the
independence it offers.
Most of the Canadians surveyed (91 percent) say they believe it would be
a rewarding experience to run their own business or be self-employed, and
89 percent also believe it would be rewarding to work in a small business.
Small businesses turn to technology to gain a competitive edge
In other findings, a vast majority of the small business owners surveyed
say that technology provides them with better control of their business
operations and is a strategic tool that helps them differentiate themselves
and be more competitive.
In fact, 92 percent either strongly or somewhat agree that increased
productivity and efficiency is a benefit of technology in the workplace.
Seventy-eight percent say technology allows them to have an increased presence
in the market, and 77 percent say it allows them to differentiate themselves
from the competition.
Small businesses across the country report that mobility (61 percent),
data security (71 percent) and data storage (77 percent) are among their top
technology priorities. The environment is also becoming an important
consideration for small business owners, with 83 percent saying that "green"
factors play a role in technology purchasing decisions.
"This study reveals the degree to which SMBs are using technology to gain
greater control of their operations," said Michael McAvoy, director, Small and
Mid-sized Business and Commercial Marketing, HP Canada. "The emphasis these
small business owners are placing on mobility, data security and data storage
reflects an understanding of how information technology can help them gain a
true competitive edge."
Other highlights from the study:
- British Columbians are the most likely to say they started their
businesses from scratch (77 percent), while Quebecers are the least
likely to indicate this (59 percent).
- Quebecers are the most likely to have inherited the business from a
family member (eight percent) or to have purchased it from a family
member (eight percent).
- Quebecers are also the most likely to say that they are motivated to
keep going because they simply enjoy the work they are doing
- Ontarians are the most likely to cite the independence and control
that goes along with owning their own small business as their main
motivation (61 percent).
- Men (61 percent) are more likely than women (55 percent) to say they
started their own business because they wanted to be their own boss
and make their own decisions.
- Atlantic Canadians are the least likely (49 percent) to say that
wanting to be their own boss influenced their decision to start their
- Small business owners in Quebec are the most likely to believe that
technology helps them to differentiate their business in the
marketplace, with 81 percent believing so. In comparison, 72 percent
of Atlantic Canadians say that they think technology helps them to
differentiate their business.
- Quebecers are also the most likely (49 percent) to say that
environmental factors play an important role in technology purchasing
decisions. Residents of the Prairie provinces are least likely
(28 percent) to say this.
- Quebecers and Ontarians (60 percent) are the most likely to say that
mobile devices such as handhelds and notebooks are significant to
their business. In comparison, 46 percent of small business owners in
Atlantic Canada say this.
About the study
These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business and HP Canada from Aug. 1 - 17,
2007. For the survey, a sample of 900 small business owners who employ 1 to
100 employees was interviewed online. With a sample of this size, the results
are considered accurate to within +/- 3.27 percentage points, 19 times out of
20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of small
business owners been interviewed.
From Aug. 3 - 8, 2007, a sample of 1,842 adult Canadians was interviewed
online, representing a margin of error within +/- 2.3 percentage points, 19
times out of 20. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for
other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to
ensure that the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the
actual Canadian population according to census data.
CFIB is Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized
businesses. Encouraging the development of good public policy at the federal,
provincial and municipal levels, CFIB represents over 105,000 business owners,
who collectively employ 1.25 million Canadians and account for $75 billion in
GDP. CFIB's analysis of the survey is available at www.cfib.ca.
HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers
- from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that
spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure,
HP is among the world's largest IT companies, with revenue totaling
$100.5 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended July 31, 2007. More
information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.
Note to editors: More news from HP, including links to RSS feeds, is
available at www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/.
(C) 2007 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information
contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties
for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty
statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should
be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be
liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.
For further information:
For further information: Editorial contacts: Lindsay Noronha, Hill &
Knowlton for HP, (416) 413-4742, firstname.lastname@example.org; Judy
Langford or Gisele Lumsden, CFIB, (416) 222-8022, Hewlett-Packard (Canada)
Co., 5150 Spectrum Way, Mississauga, ON, L4W 5G1, www.hp.ca