- 70% of Canadians say it's important to connect with small businesses through technology -
TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - According to a new survey by TD Canada Trust, Canadians choose which small businesses to do business with based in large part on how they use technology - whether it's online payment processing or an easy-to-navigate website.
The research, which examined how Canadians interact with small businesses, found that Canadians are more likely to shop or do business with a small business that has an easy-to-navigate website (83%), appears in online search results (71%), and has online payment/shopping options (65%).
"Entrepreneurs who have not yet invested in online and social media capabilities could miss the opportunity to connect with potential customers and grow their business," said Dan Demers, Vice President, TD Canada Trust. "Many small business owners have limited time and resources, but an investment in technology could really help take their business to the next level by attracting the online consumer."
Additional research findings show Canadians are increasingly using social media to stay connected with small businesses either by becoming a "fan" on business Facebook pages (42%), posting comments about businesses they like (31%), or sharing complaints and customer service issues (21%).
"To help juggle multiple customer touch-points, small business owners might consider engaging a social media expert to help strategize and manage their online presence," said Demers.
For small business owners looking to invest in technology and new online capabilities, there are additional factors worth considering:
Understand financing options: While there are many opportunities to invest in technology at minimal cost, such as creating a Twitter or Facebook account, small business owners should meet with a small business advisor from their bank to discuss credit options and repayment plans for larger investments such as expanding their web presence, and improving search engine optimization.
Automate payments: Cash flow is the lifeblood of small business. The TD research showed that 44% of Canadians automate their payments to small businesses. Investing in online payment processing capabilities can help ensure on-time payment for products or services which can improve cash flow.
Keep on top of business banking: Having on-the-go access to financial information, such as through the use of mobile banking apps, can go a long way in helping small business owners ensure they always have a complete picture of their finances.
Take advantage of free online resources: Social media has made it easier than ever to connect with other small business owners and industry experts, while building a virtual support network that provides valuable advice to help small businesses succeed and grow. Small business owners can also find helpful tips and articles at online resources such as the Small Business Resource Centre on www.tdcanadatrust.com.
Get professional help: From setting up the right business banking accounts to understanding credit options, small business advisors can help entrepreneurs find the right solutions for their business and help them make the most of their resources.
About the TD Canada Trust Small Business Month Poll
Toronto-Dominion Bank commissioned Environics Research Group (www.environics.ca) to conduct an online custom survey of 1,004 Canadians, aged 18 years and older, about the influence technology and social media has on their decision to do business with a small business. Responses were collected between September 10 and 13, 2013.
About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.
SOURCE: TD Canada Trust
For further information:
TD Bank Group
Sandra De Carvalho
TD Bank Group