how to grow and sustain a small town business

How to Grow and Sustain a Small Town Business

Jay: My first grocery store was a franchise, but now I am a complete independent. There's nobody to tell me what to do or how to do it. I prefer this way, but it is harder.

Levi: What are some of the challenges of operating an independent grocery store?

Jay: If you want amenities in your small communities, you have to do your part to support them. I try to shop local as much as I can.

Jay: To be a successful entrepreneur, of course you need drive, but you are going to need money, and you are going to have to take on risk. That's all on top of working hard.

Levi: Is there one thing you would have told yourself knowing what you know today, back when you first started?

Jay: It's going to take a lot more money and hard work than you think. But it is definitely worth it.

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interview with jonas arnoldussen thumbnail

20 Year Overnight Success

Jonas: We are celebrating our 35th year in business next month. We started in 1987, and I was here at that time, so I've been here from the start. I was down in the parts department building the shelves that you still see there now.

Levi: What was your position at that time?

Jonas: My position was whatever I was told to do. I washed cars, and changed oil. That was part time because I was still in school. I started full time back in 1991.

Levi: When did you become the Dealer Principal?

Jonas: That took quite a while, of course. Being the Dealer Principal means your the person running the dealership.

Jonas: My dad has always said to me "You know what Jonas, it takes 20 years to become an overnight success".

Levi: I like to reiterate that any chance I get, because some people don't realize how long it took to get where you are.

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customer service and being a face in the community

Customer Service and Being a Face in The Community

Liz: There was a lot of stressful nights. We said, "We need to innovate. We need to try something different. We need to dig a little deeper.". Even the Cafe, people thought we were nuts. But it was unused space here. We had people saying, "I'm so hungry every time I leave the gym".

Liz: Local businesses have a pretty good grasp on customer service.


Liz: Our staff know that they will always be taken care of. We are family.

Levi: I had to let someone go recently, and it sucks. I hate letting people go. It's like a breakup. I actually care about them even though it didn't work out. This wasn't the right place for them, and the longer I hold onto them, the longer I'm holding them back from their own opportunities.

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encourage episode interview thumbnail bernie huizing

Putting in the Time to Run a Successful Business

Bernie: Think big but start small. You have to have a dream and try to attain that dream. It's baby steps at first.


Levi: Do you think it's advantageous to spend some time working in the industry that you are thinking about starting a business in?

Bernie: I think it has merit for sure. Just so that you can instruct your staff in the correct way to do things. If you don't know, how can you teach others?


Bernie: There may be overnight successes out there. But they are few and far between. Most will have to put a lot of time in. Starting your own business, thinking you will be able to work an 8-5, probably won't work. You need to put some time in. Even still today, I put 12 hours a day.

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encourage episode interview thumbnail tim schipper

How To Successfully Manage Your Team

Tim: We try to reduce the workload for our employees. In the car industry, because we are so performance driven, and our employees get paid better when they perform, it can be stressful, but that doesn't mean that their experiences shouldn't be considered. We need our team members to have a really good experience, because that will translate to our customers. Too much pressure means that things start to fall apart.

Levi: So you bought in to the company in 2015. What was that feeling like?

Tim: Actually it's an interesting lesson. Yes, it was important, and yes I'm lucky, and yes I deserved it, but unless I treated my staff right, unless I had a good time at work and enjoyed my job, that didn't matter at all.

Tim: I learned that it's more of an opportunity to be of service to your staff, and be a servant to them and help them be better.

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how to start networking

How to Start Networking for Your Business

Chelsea: I was ready for a challenge and I was ready to learn something new. I went out and was seeking new connections. I was trying to figure out where there were gaps in the industry. I got out there and I was networking, and I found it very difficult.

Chelsea: At that time, you had to sell yourself. I didn't like talking about myself, it felt egotistical. So I had to learn to do that organically. I was doing it because there was value in what I was sharing. Over those 2 years, I really grew my network.

Chelsea: As I was growing my network, I was doing market research also. Finding out "what are your struggles with networking and connecting? What resources do you need in the community that would help you grow your business?"

Chelsea: For a year straight I committed to 5 interviews a day. It was so much work. You meet a lot of people and learn a lot about the community.

Levi: Right now people might see Chelsea, the owner of Collective, and think that you made it. But they won't know how much work went into you getting here.

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starting your business

Tips to Start Your Business

That's my belief in business. If you really, really want something, go for it!


Vicky: When we hire people, we have them work a 3 hour shift, and then we sit down with them and discuss whether it will work out. We kind of do a 2-step interview.


Levi: I think that there is a misconception that since you are the business owner, you have all of the answers.

Vicky: I also believe that if you have the opportunity to work with your staff, you should because you will learn some of their tricks, and they will learn some of mine.

Levi: If we're giving advice to people that are aspiring to be entrepreneurs, don't be beyond getting in the trenches and helping your team. Entrepreneurs also need to understand the work you need to put in early on. It's part of the process in building something great. Great doesn't necessarily mean it's the most money, but just great because you love it.

Vicky: How many times have you heard "you get back what you put into it". You gotta spend money to make money. If you don't hire a promotion person or an accountant to help you, you're not going to get ahead. You can't do it all yourself. Do what you do best!

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starting your business thumbnail with hunter heggie

How To Succeed In Business

If you think about business, you need courage. Courage to start a business, courage to be in business, and the courage to fail.


Levi: Most people don't think about the number of times business people fail before finding one fraction of success.

Hunter: I totally agree. We fail probably 9 out of 10 of the ideas that we try. Maybe more. When we find one good idea that hits, we go with that.

Hunter: When we opened this store in the late nineties, it was a giant leap. For a year and a half, the three of us didn't take a paycheque. I literally had every credit card maxed out. I was going to the bank and making mortgage payments with my credit card. We were just absolutely flat broke, trying to get it to where we envisioned it.

Levi: Is there any parting last words of advice for someone that might be

Hunter: What you have to do is roll up your sleeves, and get to work.

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how to choose a good microphone for you

Best Types of Microphones for Any Situation

Today we are talking about microphone polar patterns, and what microphone you should invest in. Polar patterns in microphones are basically the range and directions that the microphone picks up sound from. There are different kinds of polar patterns for different situations.

Cardioid Polar Pattern

The first kind of polar pattern is a cardioid pattern. The cardioid pattern picks up anything in front and to the sides of the microphone. This makes the cardioid mic really good in controlled environments, such as a studio where there is not much background noise, allowing the mic to just pick up your voice. Cardioid mics are everywhere. They are the most common kind of pattern that you will find.

Omnidirectional Polar Pattern

Let's say you actually want to capture some background noise. Maybe you are making a documentary, or you want to capture audio at a public event. That's where an omnidirectional polar pattern comes in. It can capture anything around it, regardless of what side of the microphone audio is coming in from.

Bidirectional Polar Pattern

The last kind of polar pattern is a bidirectional, or figure-of-eight polar pattern. These kinds of microphones pick up sound from the front and back, but not from the sides. Let's say you have 2 people across the table from one another, wanting to record their conversation. This polar pattern in great for recording podcasts.

So, what type of microphone should you use for your next business video or audio recording? Hopefully this article has helped clear up some of the confusion and given you a good starting point. If you need help with your corporate audio and video, give us a call! Our team is experienced in all types of production and can recommend the best equipment for your needs. Thanks for reading, and happy recording!

how to build and maintain brand consistency in your business

How To Build and Maintain Brand Consistency

Today we are going to discuss how you can build and maintain brand consistency to ensure your brand is instantly recognizable.

Brand consistency refers to making sure that your brand voice is cohesive. You want it to stay the same across all platforms, across your messages, across your advertising, and you want to make sure that you're putting the same message out everywhere that you are present.

In regards to anything visual, anything graphics. I know for myself it is very tempting to get carried away, but you are really doing yourself a disservice if you're getting sidetracked with these things.

It's really important to solidify your branded font, icon, and colour pallet.

You really want your brand to be low resolution in the idea that you don't want people to be stopping and thinking about it. You want to be part of the local landscape. You want to be a business that is instantly recognizable.

If you are releasing too many colours, fonts, symbols, icons, and such, you're starting to stray away from that recognition and people will have to stop and wonder "what's that symbol". You do not want that!

You want people to instantly see your branding and go "I know that business".

Take Artrageous for example. You are likely reading this article on our website, where you can see our font, colours, and logo. They match perfectly to the branding in the video above, as well as the thumbnail for the video. All of our business cards, signage, social media posts, and digital advertisements stick to the same branding principles mentioned in this blog post to ensure we are consistent across all platforms.

Those are some quick ways that you can maintain your brand consistency.

If you need help with your Logo & Branding, or social media marketing, contact us today!