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Jul 27, 2020

Thirty thought leaders step up with profound insights, compelling ideas, and much-needed and deserved inspiration to help small business owners get to where they need and deserve to go.

In Series One, Small Business Matters personalized the stories of 10 small business owners so that we take their dreams and challenges personally.  Why? Small business is the heart of our economy, and it is in our collective interest to keep them beating strong. In each episode, three thought leaders invested the time to learn their business and to offer their ideas.  In this episode, I share some of their wisdom, thought leadership we can all benefit from.

Presented by RBC.


Mastering the basics (01:36)
Dr Trung Ngo advises Paul Hemburrow in Ep2, that by mastering the basics, he can better navigate his challenges and increase his chances of success.

Finding the silver lining (02:38)
In Ep 4, Joe’s O’Brien’s whaleboat touring business battles to stay afloat during COVID-19, but Alexandra Blum and Ujwal Arkalgud offer inspiring advice on where his next opportunities lie, post COVID - if only he can hang in there.

Touch and Taste (05:48)
Kristi Knowles, Mother Raw (Ep 5)and Sheena Russell’s businesses, Made with Local, (Ep 10) both rely on “touch and taste”. Our experts, Andrew Black and Darrell Jones, share the importance of getting one's product into consumers hands and encouraging them to share their great experiences to build word of mouth.

Value (06:42)
When talking to Paul Hemburrow’s, at Health Hub Solutions, David Kincaid defined value: "It's not what a product does, but what it enables.” In Ep 7, Joe Jackman,  believes that Jennifer Menard, needed to communicate her value, taking credit for it and finding the “tie-breaker”. For Lisa Taylor, founder of Challenge Factory, Kelly Peters advised that she needed to clearly articulate what her customers were going to get - their results.

Your point of difference and telling your story (10:30)
In Ep 8, Chris Barrett, CEO of Operatic, identified a key point of difference Ernesto Gomezes needed to take advantage of. Duke Mackenzie, shared his advice on the power of personalized storytelling.

Digital marketing & fly fishing (13:19)
Chris Barrett and Sabrina Geremia, VP & Country Director at Google, Canada shared their advice on how digital marketing can power one's business. From understanding your customers intent to using online reviews to build trust and the need for your digital destinations to perform speedily.

Narrow your focus (15:27)
Eliminating redundancies, focussing on fewer opportunities and overall, narrowing one's focus was shared by many of our experts. Beverly Hammond and Caroline Paxton advised Lisa Taylor on where she could narrow her focus.

Broaden your focus (16:48)
Additionally, many of our experts shared advice on broadening one's focus. Increased revenue can be had by expanding one's opportunities. Corby Fine advised Traci Shepheard as such in Ep 1. In Ep 6 , Lisa Kimmel, CEO of Edelman, Canada and Latin America encouraged Carly Shuler, Co-Founder of Hoot Reading to expand from literacy to STEM. For Jennifer Menard, Stephen Shaw recommended she broaden her offering to include other services, such as security. Jeanne Beker recommended François Thériault, Co-Founder at Surmesur, expand his business into woman’s wear. Nancy Rooney, VP of PepsiCo, guided Kristi Knowles on where she could expand her business and Bobby Sahni, Partner & Co-Founder, Ethnicity Matters provided Sheena Russell with ideas on expanding her product line to cater for ethnic communities.

Not just a bank - RBC’s depth of advice (20:38)
Caroline Paxton, provided our entrepreneurs with advice on all things social media related. Laura Davey, on the importance of cash flow; Laura Darlington shared the role of scenario planning in ones business; Kellie Sauriol planning and knowing ones financial situation is key to engaging with your financial advisor; Jane Henderson, displayed her depth of knowledge of the food industry when advising Kristi Knowles; Eric Leblanc, shared advice on the importance of understanding what one is trying to achieve; Kiruba Sankar, on the advantage of being a certified supplier; Kellie Sauriol, the importance of budding credibility with your bank; Lolita Guerrera, compliments Francois on his quick pivot to save his business; Sid Paquette, advises Paul that being transparent allows financial advisors to truly understand his issues.


Links and References

RBC Business page –
RBC COVID-19 Financial Relief page -
To get specialized support for your business, visit
Future Launch -

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