BDC: Futureproofing your business

The Canadian Business Resilience Network brings together a vast network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 100 of Canada’s leading business and industry associations, from all regions and sectors of the economy. This network represents diverse viewpoints, and the CBRN blog provides a platform to share ideas with other members of the business community and the federal government. The opinions expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of CBRN or the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 

This thought leadership piece is written by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), and outlines why organizations should continue to plan for the future while looking at ways they can adapt in order to remain resilient post COVID-19.

The fallout from the global pandemic has had a huge impact on Canadian SMEs and we are seeing them rise to the challenge in so many ways. At the onset of the crisis, the federal government and banks acted swiftly to provide capital to support Canadian business owners. Many business owners adapted quickly, where they could, to find creative and necessary ways to survive. As the economy reopens, the good news is, week after week, business owners say they are less worried about their own business and the Canadian economy.

Across the country, we are seeing many shining examples of resilience across Canada but, in difficult times the way ahead isn’t always clear.

Many businesses are still struggling while they adapt to the new reality, particularly those that rely on physical instore contact such as food services, tourism, and retail[1]. When the lockdown began, many consumers were either forced, or opted, to order essential goods and services online. Since then, many have come to embrace its convenience and experts predict these behaviours will likely become permanent for many consumers.

Planning now for the future is essential. To be able to continue to easily reach and service your customers requires a website and online sales strategy but getting your business online isn’t always as simple as it sounds. There are many things to consider and BDC is here to support Canadian entrepreneurs on the road to recovery.

When the pandemic struck, retailers were particularly hit hard. Many of these businesses operate out of brick and mortar stores and few have websites let alone e-commerce solutions which allow customers to shop online. Statistics Canada says sales are bouncing back but are still about 20 per cent lower than the same time last year. It also confirmed that online sales are surging at an increase of 112 per cent above last year’s level.

To support entrepreneurs on the road to recovery, BDC has partnered with the Retail Council of Canada and Shopify to help retail business owners how move their business online. Join the first webinar on September 2 to learn more about how to launch online sales, plus hear first-hand advice from women entrepreneurs in retail who have successful e-commence stores.

No matter what your business goal is, BDC’s Advisory Services team can help you strategize ways to help your business thrive. This includes moving your business online or optimizing your online presence to boost your sales. If you aren’t sure where to start check out our free e-book or get in touch to see if this service is right for you. Regardless of your business challenge, we’ll help you mitigate disruption and capitalize on immediate opportunities to pull through these difficult times, plus prepare the critical steps to emerge from it effectively.