Businesses that improve their productivity face less challenges with inflation, supply chain disruptions: new study

Canadian entrepreneurs invited to celebrate BDC Small Business Week and learn how to optimize their business performance

October 17, 2022, Montreal – To mark 2022 BDC Small Business WeekTM, the Bank today launched a new study and tool that focus on productivity and solutions that SMEs can put in place to counter current economic challenges. Entitled “Inflation, Labour Shortages and Supply Challenges – Embrace Productivity to Thrive in The Current Context,” the study finds that challenges brought on by the economic context affect small and medium-sized businesses less when they put productivity at the forefront. Of businesses that focus on productivity:

  1. 28% are facing supply chain problems, compared to 42% among all Canadian businesses;
  2. Over a third (39%) consider inflation a challenge, compared to 61% among all Canadian businesses;
  3. 40% are experiencing labour shortages, compared to 58% among all Canadian businesses.

The study shows how relevant improving productivity has become in the current economic context. It provides valuable insight for entrepreneurs looking to make their business more productive, but don’t know where to start. To become more productive, the study suggests entrepreneurs take the following actions:

  1. Measure company performance against peers
  2. Optimize processes to eliminate tasks that are a waste of time and money
  3. Digitize processes to gain efficiency and automate certain processes—regardless of the sector or industry
  4. Continuously improve products, services, and processes, including staff training.

BDC has also developed a free online Business Performance Benchmarking tool to help business owners rank their company’s sales and profits per employee. Thanks to this tool, entrepreneurs will quickly know where they stand against industry peers, find out if they are maximizing revenue and profit, get a detailed report to share with their teams, as well as tailored advice based on their results.

“Not only do entrepreneurs who put an emphasis on making their businesses more productive do much better than others, but they have higher valuations,” says Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist, BDC. “Our study shows that the most productive Canadian SMEs in their industry generate six times more sales by employee and five times more profits by employee,” says Cléroux.

This year’s edition of SBW, under the theme “Dare to do things differently: Power up your growth,” invites Canadian entrepreneurs to improve their productivity. BDC Small Business Week, held Oct. 16-22, is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship that BDC has organized for 43 years. Every year, thousands of entrepreneurs gather to learn, network and celebrate Canada’s dreamers and doers. For more information, visit: https://www.bdc.ca/en/small-business-week.

About BDC

As Canada’s development bank, BDC is a partner of choice for all entrepreneurs looking to access the financing and advice they need to build their businesses and tackle the big challenges of our time. Our investment arm, BDC Capital, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions to help grow the country’s most innovative firms. We are one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. For more information on BDC’s products and services and to consult free tools, templates and articles, visit bdc.ca or join BDC on social media.

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