topl

The Lendified Blog

 

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Take Advantage of the Low Loonie

With the Canadian dollar plummeting to serious lows — and projected to stay low for quite a while — small business owners certainly have reasons to worry. From the rising costs of goods to domestic investment losses, it could be a tough time for your organization. But, as the old saying goes, where there’s crisis, there’s opportunity. Below are four ways you may be able to use the low dollar in your favour!

  1. Capitalize on the tourism boost

A low Canadian dollar usually leads to a boost in tourism, particularly from America, but also from Canadians who now find it harder to afford an international holiday. If you’re in the business of retail, entertainment, or food and drink, you may experience a welcome uptick in travellers checking out your wares. You could take a few small steps to increase your sales, including:

  • Offering signage that outlines how much money international visitors will save because of the exchange rates;
  • Encourage travellers to sign up for your email lists or social media to take advantage of special offers and foster future business;
  • Partner up with hotels, charter bus groups, or other organizations that cater to tourists.
  1. Grow your international customer base online

You also don’t need to wait for tourist season to kick in to make in-roads with customers outside of Canada, particularly if your business revolves around selling goods. According to a recent report in the Globe & Mail, only about 20 per cent of small businesses in Canada have an online presence, and few of them offer an e-commerce experience. If you haven’t taken your business online, now is the time to make your presence known to international online shoppers. There are plenty of straightforward hosting options, with Etsy and Shopify being two of the most popular. If you’d like to have more custom options and could use more funding, consider applying to Lendified.

  1. Look for local

A lower Canadian dollar means imported goods will be more expensive. If your business relies heavily on importing items from abroad, see if there’s an opportunity to source similar goods locally. For example, food prices in Canada are expected to outpace inflation by four per cent in 2016. The country imports nearly 80 per cent of its fruits and vegetables. So, if you run a cafe, maybe it’s time to look at what menu items can be swapped for local produce and seasonal offerings. And if you really need to offer chocolate banana muffins all year around, it could be time to start charging more for them!

  1. Research and identify growth opportunities

Having a low currency is also attractive for some types of foreign investors. For example, the film and television industry is receiving a boost because it’s now cheaper to make movies and TV shows here. Indeed, half of this year’s Oscar Best Picture nominees were partially shot in Canadian locations. And it’s not just American film companies taking advantage now, as the Bollywood and Chinese film industries have been filming more and more in Canada. That’s good news for a whole slew of businesses, including catering companies, designers, post-production studios, hotels, to name a few. Foreign investors will also be massively interested in the Canadian real estate market, tech start-ups, exports, and more. Do your research. No matter what kind of business you run, there could be ways to you for you capitalize on these growth areas!

With the Canadian dollar plummeting to serious lows — and projected to stay low for quite a while — small business owners certainly have reasons to worry. From the rising costs of goods to domestic investment losses, it could be a tough time for your organization. But, as the old saying goes, where there’s crisis, there’s opportunity. Below are four ways you may be able to use the low dollar in your favour!

About the Author: Michelle Pinchev