Alberta Venture - - Marketing Matters -

It was a tough year for Al­berta’s econ­omy, and the chal­lenges are re­flected in the Fast Growth 50 list. Over­all rev­enues for the 50 are down $1 bil­lion, to $6.1 bil­lion, from a year ago, and the num­ber of oil and gas com­pa­nies is down to four, from 12.

But the story doesn’t end there. It hardly even be­gins there. “What trou­bled times?” asks Chris Chivilo, pres­i­dent and CEO of WA Grain and Pulse So­lu­tions. “Agri­cul­ture is boom­ing but rarely gets a line on page 10 of any news­pa­per!” Yes, agri­cul­ture and forestry and other sec­tors are do­ing well. We also see more high-tech and pro­fes­sional ser­vices com­pa­nies on the list than we have in the past.

Some com­pa­nies have taken ad­van­tage of the slow­down. They’ve re­fo­cused on pro­cesses and core com­pe­ten­cies and have been able to high-grade their staff. And of course good busi­ness peo­ple are find­ing a thou­sand dif­fer­ent ways to thrive.

That’s why, this year, we’ve themed the Fast Growth 50 around learn­ing. We asked peo­ple what they’re do­ing to build their ­busi­ness now. Some are ex­pand­ing into other mar­kets. Oth­ers are en­ter­ing joint ven­tures. Still oth­ers are get­ting back to ba­sics: fo­cus­ing on strat­egy and mar­ket re­views and ex­cel­lent ser­vice. “En­sur­ing we sup­ply the work we cur­rently have per­fectly al­lows us to gain mar­ket share through re­fer­rals and word of mouth,” says Jarvis Ni­coll, pres­i­dent of Canada West Land Ser­vices. “There is no rea­son to grow if you are go­ing to lose what you al­ready have.”

We hope you’ll find some words of wis­dom in th­ese pages to help you thrive in the com­ing year.

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