I am a born and raised Canadian… so what follows is not anti-Canadian. It is an observation of a dangerous trend I see Canada’s entrepreneurs following.
Canada is a great land filled with wonderful people… but the business community I see is wimpy. We have taken our ‘nice guy’ image too far… and it shows in our revenues and our profits,
For the past 7 years I have been consulting with entrepreneurs from all over the world… mainly the US, Canada, and Australia. In many cases I also help them create marketing campaigns to launch new products or services, and to put bums in seats at seminars they host.
Canadians seem to hate marketing.
They aren’t willing to invest the money in it, they aren’t willing to invest the time and money to learn how to do it right, and they aren’t competitive in many ways with companies who are good marketers.
Take this interview with Google:
Canadian businesses are not keeping up with consumers when it comes to taking advantage of the Internet, a senior executive at Google told a group of reporters at a press event in Toronto yesterday.
At a media session held at the search giant’s Canadian headquarters, Nikesh Arora, president, global sales operations and business development for Google, said that while Canada ranks among the top nations in terms of consumer usage, the volume of online advertising by Canadian companies does not reflect this sophistication.
“Canada has world-class Internet penetration and world-class broadband penetration, but what we find fascinating is that it’s not as competitive a business market,” said Arora. “The online adoption of businesses is not at par with the online adoption of consumers.”
According to Arora, failure to establish more of an online presence through search, display and video advertising could have adverse long-term effects on businesses as online research becomes more central to consumers’ business decisions. He added that Canadian firms were already missing out on opportunities to penetrate foreign markets in an increasingly borderless world.
“There’s a benefit that [businesses] can grab, but there’s also a risk if they don’t grab it,” said Arora, pointing out that international companies would fill the online void left by inactive Canadian advertisers.
In a nutshell: we are missing the boat and it is passing us by quickly.
International entrepreneurs are starting to get it and are taking our customers from us! How? They are actually out there in front of the buying public… Canadians aren’t.
Another major study conducted by multiple international countries shows Canada is overly confident in their business building ability.
In fact, Canada is ranked near the top for high failure rates for entrepreneurs. Why? Because we think we are better at business and marketing than we actually are. We don’t invest the time or money to learn how to do it better… because we naively think we are already good at it.
And it shows!
Thankfully the tides are turning and I am seeing a large number of Canadian firms just starting to pay attention. 2 years ago, 85% of my consulting and copywriting clients were from the US. Now, it is 50% US and 50% Canadian. A trend I like to see.
This applies to any and every entrepreneur… not just us Canucks.
Don’t get too cocky about how smart you think you are… there is always someone smarter and someone willing to work harder to get the sale.
In a recession, you have to busy your butt to generate business… and sitting back on your ego won’t get you anywhere other than bankruptcy.
Get out there and market yourself daily.
Get out there and read a new book a week, or a month, on proven marketing strategies.
Get out there an do something… and get your ego off the chair and get BUSY!
To your success. Troy