Is Canada Conducive for My Small Business?
By: Adam Groff
You don’t have to be from the Great White North to start a small business there. Every day more and more people are crossing the Canadian border to launch their businesses. So, what’s the draw and which types of businesses are making the move?
A Stable Economy
When compared to the U.S. and other similar markets, Canada’s economy is in much better shape. As with anything economics related, the reason Maple Leaf country is faring so well in these rough economic times boils down to one thing: spending. Due to the fact Canada’s neighbor to the south is also one of the largest importers of Canadian goods, the Canadian market basically has a built in investor. Add to that its unending supply of natural resources like oil, non-existent military expenses, and a market that’s based on supply and demand and Canada makes a great fit for any small business trying to get on its feet.
There are a few key factors that set Canada apart from the rest when it comes to business startups. Not only is Canada one of the safest countries to live in, its banking systems are some of the most secure in the world too. Additionally, thanks to its prime location, Canada also acts as a middleman between the U.S. and other markets such as Asia. This means the Canadian marketplace is always alive and flourishing, which is just what any small business needs. Because of all of the economic action, Canada has a workforce that meets the need. According to the Organization of Economic Development, Canada has one of the most educated populations in the world resulting in a workforce with advanced skills.
The Canadian government makes setting up a business a breeze with low business costs, great incentives, and speedy licensing. In addition, Canada realizes immigration is an economy driving force, so they have taken a “the more the merrier” immigration approach. To keep inline with its welcoming immigration policy, Canada offers startup visas for certain businesses. This alleviates some of the complications involved with transitioning a business to the Canadian market. if it’s anything technical, Canada wants to help. Businesses that specialize in innovation, research and development, and IT receive particular benefits when moving to Canada like government rebates and attractive tax incentives.
Which Businesses Are Thriving?
All this talk about businesses thriving due to the Northern Exposure makes you wonder what kinds of businesses are making the journey. As stated before, more and more tech companies, online reputation management services, and web startups are Canada bound. Likewise, fast food franchises, collection agencies, and accounting companies find Canada beneficial to their small businesses. Canada also offers home-based businesses the same benefits as standalone ones; home business owners can flourish from the comfort of their own homes without the huge initial investment of an office suite. From a solid economy to virtually risk-free investing, the benefits of moving a small business to Canada are hard to ignore. So, fly north and see where it takes your small business.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of quality content. He writes on a variety of topics including online reputation management services, personal health, and how to make startups start working.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.