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What does it take to be a 'high-performing' small business? BDC has some tips

Last Updated May 14, 2018 at 7:37 am PST

(iStock Photo)

CALGARY (NEWS 1130) – A new study from the Business Development Bank of Canada outlines some of the keys to success for Canada’s top entrepreneurs.

The study shows out of 950,000 small to medium size Canadian businesses (SMEs), only about four per cent are high-performing.

Results show some of the winning strategies from that four per cent include offering employees higher compensation–up to 45 per cent higher than the sector average.

“The top performers have higher productivity or they are more efficient so that generate more revenue because of that,” says BDC Chief Economist Pierre Cleroux. “That allows them to pay their employees with better salaries so they are able to higher people with more skills, more experience. They also invest more in innovation but especially they invest more in technology.”

Many also carry less debt in proportion to their assets, giving high-performing businesses more leeway to invest in growth.

The top performing SMEs also tend to be more profitable according to Cleroux, which is exactly why they’re studying those in the upper echelon.

“We look at how different they are, because we are interested to communicate to other companies what is the best strategy, what they should do to be one of the top performers.

Cleroux says looking into expanding your business provincially, nationally, or internationally would benefit owners of SMEs. Many of the top performing businesses earn between 21 and 26 per cent of their sales from exports.