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Planning time a luxury for small business owners, according to RBC survey


TORONTO, October 16, 2006 — For many small business owners in Canada, having the time to think about long-term future growth opportunities and to achieve an ideal work/home life balance is a luxury, according to the 2006 RBC Small Business Survey.

“The findings in this year’s survey shed light on the day-to-day challenges small business owners face in trying to manage their business, plan for growth, and maintain an acceptable level of work/home life balance,” notes Kristina Depencier, national manager, Small Business for RBC Royal Bank. “Many small business owners are looking for ways to better manage their day-to-day workload, to give them more time to focus on other priorities, both at work and in their personal lives.”

When asked how well they felt they are balancing work and home life, for example, 61 per cent indicated that there was room for improvement, with only 39 per cent stating that they felt they were balancing work and home “very well”. The top five pieces of advice small business owners have for other businesspeople seeking a better work/home life balance: Take time for yourself and your family; set clear boundaries between work and home; put your family and home life first; set realistic business goals; efficiently manage your time.

“Regardless of the stage their business is at, or the long-term plans they have in mind, small business owners struggle with time management,” added Ms. Depencier. “It’s not that small business owners want to be able to work more hours in any given day - they’re looking for suggestions to help them use the hours they already have in a better way.”

In fact, the RBC survey found that if more efficient time management freed up even one ’extra’ hour a day for small business owners, 58 per cent of Canadian small business owners would most likely spend that hour as “personal time” - with their spouse or family (32 per cent), for relaxation or “down time” (16 per cent), or catching up on personal-related matters (10 per cent).

To help ease their current time crunch, many small business owners are turning to their financial institutions for online services, including paying bills (48 per cent), reviewing their bank accounts and conducting bank transactions (39 per cent), filing their taxes (37 per cent), downloading banking information into financial software applications (21 per cent), and relying upon e-mail money transfers to make immediate payments to suppliers to ensure faster delivery (20 per cent).

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid/RBC Royal Bank poll conducted between August 4 and August 14, 2006. For the survey, invitations were sent to a representative sample of Canadian small business owners 18 years of age or older, resulting in 2,032 completed online interviews. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

RBC Royal Bank delivers a wide range of financial services and practical advice to small and medium-sized businesses and their owners. RBC is Canada’s leading financial institution for small business, serving one in four small businesses. For practical advice and information about starting, owning and managing a small business, visit:


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