Business ‘better than I ever expected’
Sundridge screen printer shares success insights
Owning a business is “better than I ever expected,” Jamie Lamb says.
Lamb, the owner of Silver Screen Printing in Sundridge, was one of several business people sharing their experiences Friday at the Canadore College Applied Research and Entrepreneurship Forum.
“You can’t really know what to expect,” says Lamb, who graduated from Canadore in 2011. “You try your best to plan for everything, but curve balls happen.”
Lamb purchased the business when the former owner – a former employer of his after he graduated – decided it was time to retire. He contacted Lamb and talked about selling the 35-year-old business.
“I really had to educate myself,” Lamb says, giving credit to local agencies such as The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound, for helping him make the transition from employee to employer.
The first days as an entrepreneur, he admits, were not all smooth sailing.
“I did make a lot of mistakes,” he says, but Lamb was able to keep his head and learn from those errors.
The lessons he learned in school, as well as through the mentors he was able to lean on both from The Business Centre and those he cultivated on his own, have made the journey a lot easier than it could have been.
One of the most difficult things, Lamb admits, was developing a business plan.
”If you don’t have clear goals, the risk of failure is quite high,” he says.
But the greatest skill anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur can take into business is passion.
“You have to be passionate about what you do,” Lamb says. “Having a fire inside to push through. Get up in the morning and push through long hours of work, and still have a smile on your face.”
Confidence is also necessary., “People won’t buy what you have if you’re not confident in your own product. People won’t take you seriously.”
And you have to be open-minded, Lamb says, always being open to find new efficiencies.
“Be honest with yourself,” he says. “Never stop learning.”
Lamb says it was an easy decision to take part in the seminar.
“It’s really big for me to give back, to Canadore and The Business Centre,” he says. “They were what helped me get where I am today.
“And if I can inspire one person, that’s huge.”
Ryan Drouin, manager of the centre for career development at Canadore, said the idea behind the seminar, which attracted several dozen members of the business community, funding agencies and students, was to showcase the opportunities for entrepreneurship that are available.
“It’s a chance to showcase what people have done and what can be done,” Drouin says.
Other items on the agenda included presentations on current projects at Canadore College, social enterprise, student startups, Indigenous research, funding programs and networking opportunities.
Jamie Lamb, owner of Silver Screen Printing