So often I think the worst is about to happen, especially when it comes to my kids, traveling, work and life in general. All the time, generally. When one of our mobiles took a long time to get from Fernie to Massachusetts, I was expecting 1 star reviews, angry messages and responding with free products and large discounts to smooth things out. It’s my least favourite part of running a business: anticipating bad experiences.
What I’m learning, to try and avoid these bad experiences, is to just be open and honest and communicate with the client. Check in, tell it how it is and pray they understand. I’m learning that most people do!
My old business partner is an inspiration and often I think to myself “What would Albertine do?” and then I try to put myself in her shoes and it usually works. Our customers loved Albertine because she communicated and created these awesome relationships with people around the world and she did it by email. They would come back and use our business again just so they could work with Albertine.
What a strange year it’s turning out to be. A couple more shops are shutting down this year, Vitality Body & Mind and The Play Room, kind of unexpected for the rest of us – perhaps, not so unexpected for the owners. This on top of the other businesses – Kelvin’s Kitchen and Four Cubs who already said their good-byes.
It’s not an easy town to start a business in and the ones that last a long time are considered the lucky ones. I’m just guessing but I gather you need to prepare for really busy and completely dead and not expect one year to be anything like the last.
There are resources in the area to help and advise. CBT offers a free service to businesses in the Kootenays called Basin Business Advisors Program. Something to consider, as they’re highly recommended and running a business can be difficult.
Common areas of support include:
- financial analysis;
- business and strategic planning;
- human resources;
- competitive analysis;
- target market analysis;
- general business viability
Posted in Conferences, Retreats, Workshops, Fernie BC, Ideas Galore, Living Local
Tagged Basin Business Advisors Program, Columbia Basin Trust, Financial Analysis, Kootenay Business, Marketing, Small Business
I live in Fernie and I’m a creative person. It’s all I want to do – drawing, paint, make mobiles, build things with my hands. I also have two kids who are still quite young and need a lot of attention. Being a creative mom is easier now than it probably ever was in a small town. I’m blessed to be in a situation where my husband can work full time, with flexible hours and I can be the main daytime caregiver to our kids. I can still find time to draw, build, paint and play in between all the craziness. Making stuff is one thing, selling it is another. I’ve decided recently to try out this whole ETSY handmade marketplace. I figure it would be a good place to start! So I’ve gone and done it. I have two things happening right now – Annex Suspended (cool mobiles with Michelle Galway) and Brina And Friends Art (so far by myself but I have plans to add other talent).
I’ll let you know how it goes! So far we haven’t sold anything but being on ETSY is like some strange video game or a puzzle that I need to figure out. You can’t just post things on there and the money rolls in. But my kids are both going to be in school full time soon and I need to figure this stuff out. Tick tick tick tick tick tick….
Elkford, Fernie & Sparwood Chambers of Commerce,
In conjunction with Small Business Week are pleased to present a Grant Writing and Business Counseling Workshop at Sparwood Chamber of Commerce.
On Wednesday October 27, 2010
Cost: Free (Space is Limited)
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Columbia Basin Trust – Grant Writing Workshop
Presented by Carrie Schafer
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Lunch Sponsored by Teck
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Kootenay Rockies Innovation Council (KRIC)
Business Coach Andre Labine & Executive Director Katie Wells
(To learn about KRIC’s programs and initiatives that support vibrant diverse economies in The East Kootenay through science, technology and innovation based economic development, and to learn about KRIC’s programs including Business Coaching services, valuable information services, upcoming Tech. directory, mentoring and more)
Please Reserve your seat by calling Alayna at Sparwood Chamber of Commerce 250-425-2423.
Posted in Community Event, Elkford, Fernie BC, Ideas Galore, Sparwood BC
Tagged Columbia Basin Trust, Elkford Chamber of Commerce, Fernie Chamber of Commerce, Grant Writing, KRIC, Small Business, Small Business Counseling, Sparwood Chamber of Commerce