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SURVIVAL STRATEGIES - CANADIAN BUSINESSES

Source: Robert Gold, Bennett Gold Chartered Accountants

Posted on February 22, 2003

      Businesses in Canada are at a distinct disadvantage. Although we are technically competent and wired, we have a fear of the "business unknown". Making (perceived) risky business moves is considered a no-no to our small and medium sized businesses. Our business managers and our banks are super risk-averse.

      We lag in production at the manufacturing level, and at the service level. Why are today's progressive businesses not making the bold decisions and taking the bold steps to propel themselves into this century?

      Strategies exist that can be adopted by Canadian businesses for the good of the companies, their shareholders and employees. These moves would be good for Canada and raise our GNP and overall production efficiency.

      Some companies have successfully made the leap, and have stories to tell. The lessons in those stories are simple and basic, yet not well known to our business people. The stories tell of leadership, management, and recognizing market opportunities. And recognizing what business you are in.

      Lack of knowledge of available tools, techniques and technologies are holding our businesses back. Where to go?

      As a CA firm, we recognize that the number one cause of business failure is management competence and ability. Bennett Gold is giving our clients (and others) the tools to see their business, and the results of management decisions, in a whole new light, and in a whole new way. Gone are the days of mundane financial "best-guessing".

      Our firm offers business owners the opportunity of participating in a "Business Awareness Workshop". The workshop uses the latest technologies to give the business person a tool that we describe as "The What If? That Works".

      Employing the tools within our interactive client workshop, a business person can understand how daily decisions affect the value, equity and cash position of his or her business. The tools available today can give Canadian businesses the competitive edge that this country needs to survive (economically) throughout this century. We can not comprehend today the changes coming over the next 50 years. Yet that is a date many Canadians will see. Smarter management is a key to survival. Technology and specialists/experts must be employed to give businesses the kick-start that is needed.

      Building on the theme of technology, Canadian businesses must take advantage of e-business opportunities. The success stories of technology driven companies are in the thousands. And more succeed every day. Technology used wisely creates the opportunity and environment for business greatness.

      Unfortunately, Canadian businesses leaders shy away from leadership roles in the "use of technology" arena. Most don't understand the issue, or they see IT as a cost, not an investment. Frankly, most just don't get it, and eventually will fail at their venture when an "e-smarter" competitor comes along.

      Groups like eBiz Toronto [www.ebiztoronto.org] exist with the evangelical mission of spreading the word about e-business opportunities and advantages to Toronto's small and medium sized businesses. Working with a dedicated group of volunteers, eBiz Toronto holds regular meetings of its members, contributes to community business functions, hosts leadership gatherings, educates members and guests and celebrates e-business successes.

      It is imperative that Canadian business leaders of today (and especially tomorrow) learn about the opportunities and advantages inherent in the adoption of e-technologies. The efficiency offered, and the competitive advantage available by the adoption of e-techniques will move Canada ahead of it's global competitors.

      The issues of Management Awareness and the Adoption of e-Businesses Techniques are two ways that Canada's small and medium businesses can first protect themselves, and then flourish. And take Canada along for the ride.




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