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Efficient billing, cash flow are king to small businesses

By Sara Bedal |

Two surveys of Canadian small businesses show that getting paid in an efficient manner and sufficient cash flow make for happy entrepreneurs.

In 239 online interviews this summer, office supplies company Staples Canada asked small business owners and executives what keeps them up at night. Their biggest concerns were cash flow, attracting new clients, and managing workload and work/life balance. Thirty-six percent and 27% said that they needed help with online marketing and time management, respectively.

This fall, Sage Canada polled customers of its Simply Accounting software and found that 53% of them believe that efficient invoicing/billing is one of the aspects of financial management that is most critical to their businesses’ success. Managing costs (40%) and cash flow (36%) were also mentioned as pertinent to the success of their businesses.

In addition, the Sage survey found that:

  • Seventy percent of respondents said they have been negatively affected by the economic downturn, with 14 % calling the negative impact "dramatic."
  • The activities that their customers and business owners are most comfortable with are dealing with clients (79%) and dealing with suppliers (78%), while they were least comfortable with managing sales and marketing (67%).

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