TORONTO, ON – February 14, 2020 … The Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) Toronto, a group of 111 business leaders, who are the owner, founder or controlling shareholder of companies with revenues of at least $1 million + a year, are weighing in on the biggest business barriers to cracking their first million dollars.
Asked a series of entrepreneur specific start-up questions, EO Toronto business leaders are sending a clear message that banks could do more to support the start-up community.
Key findings of the survey:
- Banks Can Do Better:
Asked if their bank was supportive in their first years of business, just over half of focus group respondents (52%) simply said ‘no.’ 21% said ‘sort of’ and only 21% said yes.
“Access to the right kind capital at the right time can be critical to the success of a business,” said Peter Demangos, President, PDF Financial Group Inc. & President, Entrepreneur’s Organization (Toronto Chapter), “Generally, banks are not quick to lend at early stages of a business. In many cases the business venture is looked at as its own individual transaction rather than a long-term partnership with a wealth building entrepreneur.”
- More money (seemingly) less problems:
Asked what the biggest barriers to cracking their first million were, respondents said:
50% – Make it easier to get funding
21% – Lower the business tax rate
9% – increase the employee training tax credits
5% – increase foreign trade opportunities
4% – increase employment tax credits
Surprisingly, only 2% were concerned with capping credit card fees or slowing CPP increases.
- Easy does it:
A definitive 61% of entrepreneurs believe that it’s easier to make $1 million today, then when they started. 22% think it’s harder and 17% think it’s the same.
Asked why, entrepreneurs citied:
- “Less people required; more tools available.”
- “opportunities to automate.”
- “bigger markets enabling services at lower costs.”
- “easier to create online businesses with billions of customers.”
- “more opportunities and the digital economy removing barriers.”
- They wish they knew what they know now:
Asked what they know today that they didn’t know when they started their businesses, entrepreneurs had a range of opinions including:
- “Who, not how.”
- “importance of innovation, speed to market, digital strategy, strategic partnerships.”
- “Not being so involved in the day to day.”
- “Have expert accounting support!”
- “Cash is king, start with sales.”
- “Hiring the right people and realizing the benefit of admin people.”
- “That specialization is key to building great margin.”
- “How difficult it is to obtain working capital within the formative years of establishing your business.”
“As a creative agency start-up, I had to wear many hats – sales, marketing, creative and accounting. I wasn’t comfortable with borrowing from the bank to fill all the positions,” said Parveen Dhupar, EO member and Chief Creative officer at BTI Brand Innovations Inc. “I bootstrapped by only filling 2 designer positions and an office manager. For the first year we worked from my home office until we had enough client partners that provided consistent revenue. This allowed us to lease office space and do more hiring.”
About the Entrepreneurs’ Organization
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 14,000+ influential business owners with 193 chapters in 60 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond.
About the survey
111 members of the Entrepreneurs’ Association (EO Toronto) were recently asked a series of Startup-related questions via online survey. Acting as a focus group for elite Canadian entrepreneurs who are the owner, founder or controlling shareholder of companies with revenues of at least $1 million + a year, the EO Toronto membership weighed in on the challenges and opportunities of starting a business in Canada and reaching the first million dollars in revenue.