Lo­cal en­trepreneurs share knowl­edge at NSCC Bur­ridge in Yar­mouth

Im­por­tance of net­work­ing stressed

Tri-County Vanguard - - BUSINESS - CARLA ALLEN THEVANGUARD.CA

Know­ing how to de­scribe your prod­uct or ser­vice sim­ply and at­trac­tively, plus de­vot­ing time to net­work­ing, are some rec­om­men­da­tions shared re­cently by en­trepreneurs.

A panel com­posed of lo­cal busi­ness peo­ple was part of the agenda at the Nov. 16 En­trepreneur­ship Expo at NSCC Bur­ridge.

Doug Jones, a mem­ber of NSCC fac­ulty and founder and ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Ig­nite Labs Inc., fa­cil­i­tated the dis­cus­sion.

Melanie Sweeney, with Tus­ket Falls Brew­ing Com­pany, was asked what skills she uti­lized the most as an en­tre­pre­neur.

Prob­lem-solv­ing and de­ci­sion­mak­ing skills was her an­swer.

“We started close to two years ago, plan­ning the brew­ery,” she says.

“In that time pe­riod, ev­ery day, it felt like I was mak­ing a new de­ci­sion. You make the de­ci­sion with the in­for­ma­tion you have at the time. Some­times it’s the right de­ci­sion, some­times you re­al­ize you’ve made a mis­take and you try to cor­rect it and move for­ward.”

In re­sponse to how their busi­ness is mar­keted, she says so­cial me­dia has been valu­able as well as “get­ting out there and at­tend­ing as many events as pos­si­ble.”

Scott Dauphi­nee is the manag­ing direc­tor with the Lob­ster Trap Com­pany, which of­fers newage plas­tic traps.

He agreed men­tors and net­work­ing are ex­tremely im­por­tant.

“My net­work­ing has quadru­pled or grown ten­fold in the last cou­ple of months,” he says.

Dauphi­nee was asked how he felt about his prod­uct “dis­rupt­ing” an his­tor­i­cal way of do­ing things, as fish­er­men have been us­ing wire traps for decades.

“It wasn’t my in­ten­tion to be ‘dis­rup­tive’ when I came up with the idea. I just wanted to build some­thing dif­fer­ent and pro­vide cus­tomers with an op­tion,” he says.

“What mo­ti­vated you to be­come an en­tre­pre­neur?” the fa­cil­i­ta­tor asked Mark Dunk­ley, with Saltwreck, a com­pany that jux­ta­poses maps of Cana­dian vil­lages and towns into and onto iconic im­ages.

“I don’t re­ally think of it as a ti­tle, I think it’s more of a mind­set,” says Dunk­ley.

Billy Mole, co-founder of Boost­flow Mul­ti­me­dia, says the as­pect that sur­prised him the most about start­ing a busi­ness was try­ing to build value in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing to peo­ple “who don’t re­ally un­der­stand ex­actly what it is or may not see the value in that.”

“In our usual mar­ket­ing strat­egy, we start with an aware­ness cam­paign, then pound­ing the ground, knock­ing on doors and in­tro­duc­ing our­selves to peo­ple to sell our ser­vices. A lot of peo­ple are set in their ways and just want to be on the ra­dio and news­pa­per,” he says.

Mole added new busi­ness own­ers should be pre­pared for chal­lenges be­cause no mat­ter how rock solid they think their busi­ness may seem, once they get a few months into it, they’re go­ing to find holes and things that need to change.

“While this busi­ness is chal­leng­ing, it’s also the most re­ward­ing thing I’ve ever done,” he says, to ap­plause.

Matthew El­lis, owner/op­er­a­tor of Iron Wave Pro­duc­tions, a voice-over record­ing and pro­duc­tion com­pany, says he be­lieves there are op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­nesses in south­west Nova Sco­tia but en­trepreneurs must “talk to peo­ple, press flesh, go to things, see peo­ple and get in­volved in the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing vol­un­teer­ing.”

“The more you’re out there, the bet­ter your chances are,” he says.

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