Advice from local business owners: starting a small business

Long hours, financial instability, and many years to establish a small business as being something viable.

We’ve all heard the stories about the long hours, the financial instability, and the many years it takes to establish a small business as being something viable.

But for some, it is the only way to go, and there are several here in the Town of Lake Cowichan who have stuck with it and are finding success.

With that in mind, a few of the businesses owners in town offered some words of advice about starting a business and how they are “aiming high and planning for the future” to follow in the spirit of the theme for Small Business Week.

Scarlett Feltrin of Scarlett’s Second Hand Boutique says to make sure that whatever you choose to do, make sure it is what you absolutely love to do.

“So that you enjoy every minute of your day, otherwise you’re going to start not enjoying coming to work. That’s probably the biggest thing.”

She also feels that social media plays a key role in a successful business, as well as making sure that your customers can find you through the Yellow Pages and other forms of advertising.

For Feltrin, recycling and shopping locally are a key component to her business, which links to how she sees consumers can support small businesses such as her own.

“My whole motto, and everything that has to do with my store, is recycling, and recycling is obviously a huge part of our future because we overconsume everything these days, and we need to start buying less, and better quality.”

Corrie Helliewell of Copper Lane has just moved her store front location, but her philosophy about running a business will not change.

“You have to be consistent, especially in a small town. And great customer service, just going over and above, and I do that with my customers.”

She also cautions that small businesses such as hers need to prepare for the slow winter months.

“In your really good months, you just gotta prepare for your bad months.”

In terms of planning for the future, Helliwell says she is always marketing, no matter where she is, and she makes full use of online resources such as Facebook and Twitter.

Terry-Lynne Warren of Fit for a Princess advises going after what you want no matter what other people say.

“Don’t listen to any negative advice. Stick to your guns. Have your plan, have your idea, your dream, whatever, and just do it.”

For small business resources and a list of events happening during Small Business Week, go to


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