Lifecycle of a Business drawing BIG interest at Cowichan symposium

Alana Elliott, Libra Naturals.Alana Elliott, Libra Naturals.
Alyson Tomlin, Riot Brewing Co.Alyson Tomlin, Riot Brewing Co.
Cara Light, MNP LLP.Cara Light, MNP LLP.
Caroll Taiji, Taiji Brand Group.Caroll Taiji, Taiji Brand Group.
Chris Manley, Resthouse Sleep Solutions.Chris Manley, Resthouse Sleep Solutions.
Grant McKinnon, Pacific Homes.Grant McKinnon, Pacific Homes.
Kenneth Chiu, Scotiabank.Kenneth Chiu, Scotiabank.
Mike Smith, Scotiabank.Mike Smith, Scotiabank.
Peter Richmond, 49th Parallel Grocery.Peter Richmond, 49th Parallel Grocery.
Zaida Giron, MNP LLP.Zaida Giron, MNP LLP.

If enrolling in the Harvard Business School isn’t going to happen for you, there may be an alternative.

And it could be as close as the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Small Business BIG Day symposium on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

“The program is brimming with dynamic guest speakers and workshop sessions designed to support local small business,” says Alec Wheeler, the Chamber’s events and membership manager.

A two-part panel session called Lifecycle of a Business is drawing particular attention as it tackles the key considerations and framework needed to successfully navigate start-up, early growth, maturity and exit strategy. Moderated by MNP’s Zaida Giron and Cara Light, the panel series will feature six local business owners and two small business banking specialists as panelists.

The exciting part is that the panel will consist of people from the region who have learned from their own experiences of taking a business idea to the market. In many cases, their business college has been the school of hard knocks as they negotiated their way through government red tape and financial challenges to a point where their venture has graduated into the ranks of successful businesses.

Alana Elliot of Libre Naturals and Chris Manley of Resthouse Sleep Solutions will be joined by Mike Smith of Scotiabank on the first panel. They’ll be speaking to their experience in launching a new business and navigating the challenges of the first few years of growth.

Alyson Tomlin from Riot Brewing Co. will also be joining this panel. After a meteoric rise to success in the first couple of years, the brewery faced significant challenges and has recently been the subject of speculation regarding their current operational and production status.

“We had a ton of success and awards straight out of the gate, which you’d think could only be a good thing,” notes Tomlin.

“But the reality is, we weren’t prepared for such fast growth and eventually, cash flow problems caught up with us,” she acknowledges.

“Hopefully, by being open about our experiences and talking bluntly about what we’ve learned — in some cases, the hard way — it’ll help others who are starting a business.”

Tomlin says Riot will be announcing some encouraging news in the days leading up to the symposium that will speak to the Brewery’s future.

Wheeler says the second panel will talk through the later stages of business growth and tackle the challenging topic of exit strategy, whether that’s by way of succession planning or preparing a business for sale.

Panelists include Caroll Taiji of Taiji Brand Group, Peter Richmond of 49th Parallel Grocery and Kenneth Chiu of Scotiabank.

Rounding off the panel is Grant McKinnon of Pacific Homes whose participation is particularly timely given the recent sale of the company to All-Fab Group out of Winnipeg.

“Business succession or selling your business can be one of the most stressful, gut-wrenching experiences you will have in your career,” says McKinnon speaking from his experience in navigating 60 years of growth and transition at Pacific Homes.

“It’s critical that you educate yourself to the process and pitfalls.”

The two panels will run concurrently and symposium attendees will be encouraged to attend one or the other.

Panel 1, Start-Up & Early Growth is recommended for entrepreneurs, start-ups and businesses that have been in operation less than five years.

Panel 2, Maturity & Exit Strategy is recommended for businesses in operation more than five years and those looking to step back from their business, by way of succession or sale.

Small Business BIG DAY will be held at the Ramada by Wyndham Duncan on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Each of the sessions can be booked individually. Full day passes, which include both breakfast and lunch, are also available at a discounted rate.

All members of the business community are welcome. Capacity is limited and registration closes on Friday, Oct. 25.

For more information visit or call 250-748-1111.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Cowichan councillor Christopher Justice wants to see rare habitats protected in the municipality. (File photo)
North Cowichan wants rare ecosystems to be a priority in OCP

But some council members want public input into decision

The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary is taking a pro-active approach and closing the thrift shop as a precautionary measure as of Saturday. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop closing again as a precautionary measure

Second closure this year will last at least six weeks due to the COVID situation

The Santa’s Workshop fundraiser being put on by Camosun students on Dec. 5, 2020, will benefit Providence Farm. (Submitted)
Camosun students harness spirit holiday season with Providence Farm fundraiser

The next event, coming up on Dec. 5, is a virtual “Day in Santa’s Workshop”

Colwood resident, Geoffrey Irwin, has been missing since Sep. 27. His vehicle was found in Vancouver on Nov. 25. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
Police search for former Caps player last seen in September

Geoff Irwin’s vehicle was found in Vancouver Nov. 25

Cowichan Tribes’ artist Darrell Thorne (left) and Phil Kent, chairman of the Island Corridor Foundation, hold Thorne’s first-place winning design in the ICF’s First Nations artist competition. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cowichan Tribes’ Darrell Thorne wins ICF art competition

Artists designed perspectives on passenger trains of the future

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

Most Read