Scotiabank Asks a Small Business

In honour of Small Business Month, this October, we are asking Canadians behind great small businesses about their advice for fellow small business owners.
Oct 22, 2018 1:20 PM ET

Meet Amanda

Amanda Hamilton runs Amanda Hamilton Interior Design, a Calgary-based interior design business, which works within the residential and commercial market throughout Western Canada. She has also recently launched an e-commerce based business called Palette Archives that provides people with designer-curated materials palettes to help with any home renovation or build.

Amanda says one of the best pieces of advice she has received was from her first client, who encouraged her to face obstacles head on.

“He said, ‘You have to eat problems for breakfast.’ Meaning, if there is an issue you need to immediately call your client or sit your team down. Allowing things to fester is the worst,” Amanda says. “I changed it to, “Eat problems for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” because I think as a small business owner you are constantly managing people’s expectations, putting out fires and negotiating relationships. It’s evolved to the point that now when I sitting down with a client, we talk about our shared expectations from the start of the project.”

Meet Brooke

Brooke Garcia runs 4 Seasons Transportation, a special needs transportation company based in Calgary. Much of their work is focused on helping children, supporting several school districts and government programs. The company has grown significantly since it first started, with a staff of 300.

Brooke says the best advice she has received about running a small business came from her father, who spoke to her about the important of finding work-life balance. It is advice she says she finds helpful as she runs her business, while raising her three kids.

“I consciously work at keeping my focus as a business owner on what’s important. Of course, as an entrepreneur, our business will appear to be what’s most important, when really it’s about having that balance. Because without that balance, it seems like everything falls apart, including your business,” says Brooke.

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