20+ years as a small busi­ness owner

Have Your heard?

The Victoria Standard - - Business - SHERI MACGREGOR Au­di­ol­o­gist Sheri Macgregor is owner of High­land Hear­ing Clinic in Port Hawkes­bury and In­ver­ness. If you think you or some­one you know has hear­ing dif­fi­culty, reach out to her, [email protected]­land­hear­ing.com.

Small busi­ness week was cel­e­brated in Nova Sco­tia Oct. 15-19. In­stead of pub­lish­ing one of Sheri Macgregor’s reg­u­lar hear­ing-re­lated columns, we thought this week we would have her ‘sound off’ about her own busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence.

How did you come up with the idea to open High­land Hear­ing Clinic?

I was work­ing for a hear­ing clinic in an­other com­mu­nity and quickly re­al­ized that clients were driv­ing from Antigo­nish to see me as there was no ser­vice provider in that area. I opened High­land Hear­ing Clinic in Antigo­nish in 1997 and then ex­panded to Port Hawkes­bury in 2001. We now go to In­ver­ness twice per month as well. Ba­si­cally, we go where we are needed.

What do you en­joy most about your busi­ness?

I love be­ing able to take a per­son from the hear­ing test to the hear­ing so­lu­tion. We re­ally get to know our clients well as we see them ev­ery two weeks un­til we are sure that they are happy with the hear­ing so­lu­tion. I also love the fact that we are an in­de­pen­dent clinic which is not tied to a hear­ing aid man­u­fac­turer. That means we can choose from eight dif­fer­ent brands of hear­ing de­vices and be very sure our clients have the op­por­tu­nity to ob­tain hear­ing tech­nol­ogy that suits their own needs and bud­get.

What is some­thing you like about be­ing a small busi­ness in your com­mu­nity?

I love when we find a com­mon thread be­tween our­selves and our clients. I've been in the com­mu­nity long enough that I am start­ing to see con­nec­tions be­tween my clients (i.e., sib­lings) or even chil­dren of my clients from 15-20 years ago. I'm happy to re­port that the baby boomers of to­day don't wait as long as their par­ents did to ad­dress a hear­ing prob­lem.

What words of ad­vice would you give to other would-be small busi­ness own­ers?

"Take baby steps" in the be­gin­ning. Start off with a small team, a small salary and a min­i­mal in­vest­ment un­til you sur­vive those first five years. Then add more re­sources and as­sets to your busi­ness grad­u­ally as you can af­ford it.

What does the fu­ture hold for you?

I plan to take more time to work ON the busi­ness in­stead of IN the busi­ness. It's hard to jug­gle see­ing clients full time plus run­ning the or­ga­ni­za­tion be­tween ap­point­ments and in the evenings and week­ends. Now that I've built a great team of staff, I feel our clients are in great hands even when they are not my own hands.

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