Optimism among Canadian business owners remains high—34% are very confident in growth prospects for their companies; 52% are somewhat confident, finds the Robert Half Professional Employment report.
Meanwhile, 13% of execs plan to hire full-time staff in the fourth quarter of 2012.
However, finding talent will be tough, says Lara Dodo regional vice president of Robert Half International.
"Professionals with highly specialized skills are in short supply, particularly in the information technology, and advertising and marketing fields," she says.
By industry, 17% in professional services expect to make staff additions. Finance, insurance and real estate followed closely, with 16% planning to hire.
By profession, lawyers are in the highest demand—31% of law firms are hiring this quarter. And 15% of executives say they would hire sales and business development staff.
Small businesses also optimistic
Confidence is also high in the small biz sector, with 85% feeling optimistic about their futures, finds a CIBC poll. Further, 43% plan to expand their businesses in the next three years.
Among those, 46% are planning to increase capacity/production; 41% are increasing marketing initiatives; 39% are expanding into new Canadian markets; 30% want to introduce new products; 25% hope to grow internationally; and 21% are planning to make an acquisition.
And new business owners are the most eager to invest in expansion, says CIBC. However, those who have tried to grow in the past have had trouble accessing capital.
"While it's positive to see that start-ups are eager to expand, the poll indicates that there are lessons to be learned from experienced businesses who have undergone expansion phases in the past," says Jon Hountalas, CIBC's executive vice president of business banking.
Here are some tips for small biz clients:
- Have a business plan. It should be reviewed and updated annually, especially when contemplating a major change.
- Consult with external partners and advisors. Getting an outside point of view can add clarity and provide new insights
- Develop a realistic financial plan. Ensure your financial strategy supports and complements your expansion. Consider the implications on your cash flow and make sure your company will not find itself short of funds.
Originally published on Advisor.ca