SOURCE: SAGE

Sage

November 26, 2013 12:00 ET

Sage Mid-Market Business Index: Canadian Mid-Market Business Confidence Ranked Second Globally

Canadian Mid-Market Businesses Identify "Too Much Bureaucracy and Legislation" as Their Biggest Challenge to Doing Business in Canada

RICHMOND, BC--(Marketwired - Nov 26, 2013) - Canadian mid-market business confidence is the second highest in the world with a score of 73.50, following closely on the heels of Malaysia with 73.88. According to the first Sage Mid-Market Business Index, the confidence level in Canada is stronger than the United States, which comes in fifth with 71.87, behind Singapore and Brazil. The Sage Mid-Market Business Index survey was conducted between July 31 and August 28 and is a part of the global Sage Business Index. Sage surveyed more than 1,800 medium-sized businesses in 17 countries.

The first Sage Mid-Market Business Index also found that Canadian mid-market businesses are optimistic in their country's economy, with that index coming in at 66.35. However, when it comes to the global economy, Canadian mid-market businesses are less confident with the outlook, at 60.88. All indices are scored on a scale with zero as negative, 50 as neutral and 100 as positive.

"The first Sage Mid-Market Business Index is encouraging, as it shows the potential for growth both domestically and globally," said Nancy Harris, Sage senior vice president and general manager, Canada. "Given the fragile state of the North American economy, the mid-market looks like a bright spot, as we forecast it will continue to bolster the economic recovery. We must be mindful of maintaining a positive business environment so that mid-market and all businesses can thrive."

The Sage Mid-Market Business Index also surveyed respondents about their attitudes towards risk taking, their biggest business challenges, and what can be done to help boost business confidence. Seeking risk is common among 62 per cent of respondents, while 22 per cent were neutral and only 16 per cent consider themselves risk averse. Of those who consider themselves risk takers, 68 per cent believe they need to take risks in order to succeed. On the other hand, 50 per cent of those who consider themselves risk averse, "don't like leaving things to chance," compared to nearly two-fifths globally who steer away from risks for the same reasons.

Over the next 12 months, winning new customers (17 per cent), reducing operating costs (15 per cent), and increasing customer loyalty (14 per cent) are the core business priorities for those in the Canadian mid-market business community. Globally, the top concerns included winning new customers (19 per cent), reducing operating costs (12 per cent), and growing revenue (11 per cent). When asked about the biggest challenges for their businesses, Canadians mirrored the same concerns of global colleagues with winning new customers (19 per cent), retaining the right employees (16 per cent) and expanding in new markets (14 per cent).

When asked about the biggest challenges to doing business in their country, most responded that there is too much bureaucracy and legislation (18 per cent), followed by lack of skilled workers to choose from (16 per cent), and tax relief for businesses (14 per cent).

Summary of key global statistics

  • Mid-market business confidence index from a global perspective is 65.82.
  • Fifty-five per cent of global respondents consider themselves risk takers, 20 per cent consider themselves neutral, and 25 per cent consider themselves risk averse.
  • Sixty-seven per cent believe they need to take risks in order to succeed.
  • Winning new customers (19 per cent), reducing operating costs (12 per cent), and growing revenue (11 per cent) are core business concerns.
  • Too much government bureaucracy and legislation (22 per cent), lack of skilled workforce from which to recruit (12 per cent), and government handling of current economic challenges top the challenges to doing business (12 per cent).

Note to editors: As part of the Sage Business Index 2013, Sage interviewed 110 medium-sized businesses in the Canada and 1,800 medium-sized businesses in 17 countries between July 31 and August 28, 2013.The research follows similar studies conducted in 2011 and 2012. All data is available on request. 

About Sage North America
The Sage Group plc is a leading global provider of business management software to small and medium sized companies, creating greater freedom for them to succeed. Sage understands how and why each business is unique. We provide products and services that suit varying needs, are a pleasure to use and are secure and efficient. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has over 6 million customers and more than 13,380 employees in 23 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia and Brazil.

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