Set­ting up suc­cess

Busi­nesses come to­gether to show­case prod­ucts, share ad­vice

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY CLARENCE NGOH THE BEA­CON clarence.ngoh@gan­der­bea­con.ca

Busi­nesses come to­gether to show­case prod­ucts, share ad­vice.

Cer­tain prin­ci­ples set up a per­son and busi­ness for suc­cess, ac­cord­ing to

Wanda Pittman, Econo-Malls re­gional man­ager for At­lantic Canada.

Pittman was one of the ex­hibitors at the 2nd An­nual Busi­ness Sym­po­sium and Show­case held at the Qual­ity Ho­tel & Suites in Gan­der Oct. 17.

Part of Pittman’s role is “net­work­ing with the var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties the malls are in, be­ing on the pulse of what is hap­pen­ing in the com­mu­nity, and (en­sur­ing) the malls are well rep­re­sented,” she said.

One of the com­mon threads run­ning through the dif­fer­ent con­ver­sa­tions at the sym­po­sium is that con­sumers are look­ing for more va­ri­ety and shop­ping op­por­tu­ni­ties, Pittman said.

But pro­vid­ing this is not that sim­ple, she says.

“The mar­ket may not tol­er­ate it.”

A sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge to pro­vid­ing va­ri­ety and ser­vices for small busi­nesses – what Pittman calls the “mom and pop” op­er­a­tions – is lack of lo­cal sup­port.

“Peo­ple are not nec­es­sar­ily shop­ping lo­cal, and shop­ping lo­cal is very crit­i­cal for lo­cal busi­ness to stay in busi­ness,” she said.

“They rely on the lo­cal com­mu­nity.”

An­other key to busi­ness suc­cess is know­ing your mar­ket by con­duct­ing thor­ough re­search; fol­low­ing the head more than the heart is often safer, with a more favourable out­come.

“Dif­fer­ent mar­kets have dif­fer­ent needs with dif­fer­ent de­mo­graph­ics,” said Pittman. “If you’ve done your re­search on what the com­mu­nity is look­ing for, then you’ll be suc­cess­ful. If you have not done your re­search, and you open a busi­ness for some­thing you be­lieve in, but it’s not con­ducive to what the mar­ket can ac­cept, then you will not be suc­cess­ful.”

Di­ver­sity is an­other key to suc­cess, ac­cord­ing to Pittman.

“You must con­tinue to evolve and sell dif­fer­ent types of items, in ad­di­tion to look­ing at your mar­ket­ing strate­gies, cus­tomer ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ence, and the type of per­son hired to run the busi­ness.”

The big­gest challenges Gan­der faces is re­cruit­ing work­ers and pro­vid­ing af­ford­able hous­ing in the area, ac­cord­ing to Pittman.

“There is a need for more af­ford­able hous­ing for more folks who are able to work, and want to work, but can­not be­cause they can’t af­ford to live here,” Pittman said.

“It is prob­a­bly one of our weak­est ar­eas – we don’t have the in­fra­struc­ture to sup­port that.”

Pittman em­pathises with fam­i­lies who are strug­gling and her ad­vice is to “al­ways work.”

“Don’t ever go home and stay home. Al­ways be out and show­ing your work. Your work ethic, and your per­se­ver­ance, is what em­ploy­ers look for. Net­work with peo­ple. Your rep­u­ta­tion is ev­ery­thing.”

CLARENCE NGOH/THE BEA­CON

Wanda Pittman, Econo-Malls re­gional man­ager for At­lantic Canada, rep­re­sented Gan­der Mall in the 2nd An­nual Busi­ness Sym­po­sium & Show­case held at Qual­ity Ho­tel & Suites in Gan­der.

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