Success stories

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Success Stories

Community Futures is pleased to showcase some of the many good news stories in rural Alberta. Everyday we help people like you start and grow successful small businesses.

Go Technologies

Greg & Angela O'Hare
Kitscoty, AB


Go Technologies is a shop business located in Kistcoty in the County of Vermillion. They have three hardworking employees; Angela and Greg O’Hare, and Scott Pratt. It began with Greg O’Hare’s vision, with trying to solve a problem, capturing off gas, and utilizing the results to generate energy to use elsewhere.

Go Technologies approached Community Futures Lloydminster and Region in their developmental stage, approximately eight months into planning through the CFLR website, in late 2011.

Go Technologies regards Community Futures as a great starting point, “[We] believe [we] could not have started without CFLR’s support… the loan was instrumental in changing our lives, allowing to start the business and reduce our dependence on external resources.”

Go Technologies have found success in their community, withsales  and vendor contracts being almost all within a 50km radius, and with an ncredible 300% growth rate in the last two years. They foresee a bright future that includes increasing staff, and business growth.

www.gotechnologies.ca

Hymark Investments Ltd.

Mitzie Mytz
Boyle, Alberta


"I would like to start off by thanking Community Futures Tawatinaw Region for providing excellent services provided free of charge and management of my account.  As you already know, I was faced with some large difficulties with my business over the last 3-4 years.  I originally came to Community Futures to apply for company financing as I had been rejected by the bank I held my corporate accounts with.  I appreciate the fact you took the time to discuss options and met with me for training.  Until that point in time, I had never learned how to do a business plan, cash flow projection and many other useful business tools for success.   These services from Community Futures were free of charge to my business and I would have not been able to receive such training at the time otherwise.  As a result of my training, I did produce an excellent business plan and receive company financing to proceed with business plans. 

My company is called Hymark Investments Ltd which currently has 3 different divisions.  Lakeside Storage and Xcalibre Paintball were established in 2006 and received financing from Community Futures within the last 2 years.  Due to the nature of the paintball park being seasonal (summer 6 months), there became alot of initial “re-opening” costs each year with the revenue being received in later months.  Without the help of Community Futures financing, I would not have been able to complete projects necessary in spring months (i.e.: gravel for Storage Compound, paintball inventory, etc..).  This allowed the company to meet customer demands and perform maintenance of the facility according to schedule.  Since this time, I have seen positive changes in many aspects of the business while making larger debt repayments in later month with increased revenue.  The 3rd division of the company was established January, 2014 with the help of Community Futures, called Hymark Pilot Services.  With the purchase of new truck/equipment and offering new services, it has been proven to be a great success within the first 6 months.  With this addition moving forward in 2014, it is expected to increase annual revenue to the highest point in the existence of the company since 2006.  My company & staff strive to succeed but we could not have followed through with business plans in such an efficient and professional manner without the advisement and financial aid from Community Futures.  We highly recommend your services to other business owners and potential new start up companies.

We look forward to doing business with you in the future!

Mitzie Mytz
Hymark Investments Ltd
Office: (780)576.2211
Fax: (780)576.2215

The Cake Company

Grant Canning
Canmore , Alberta


When is a cake company not a cake company? When it’s the Cake Company Café in Banff. The history of this spot, popular with local residents, goes back to 1988 when the first bakery/coffeehouse opened in Banff. “It pre-dates all the big chains, so when I bought the business in 2010, it made sense to keep the name – it’s a tradition!” says Grant Canning, owner.   No longer just a bakery, this popular spot now offers sandwiches and wraps, some desserts and a full range of coffee and teas. “It’s the kind of place that tourists stumble across, but all the locals know about,” says Grant. “I like being able to greet people by name and sometimes, we have their favorite beverage ready by the time they reach the counter.”  Grant’s journey in entrepreneurship was a natural progression of his solid education, including an MBA and Bachelor of Commerce degree with specialties in Tourism and Marketing. Fueled by his experience in marketing while in the ski industry, he knew business ownership was in his future. When the Cake Company Café became available, he was confident he knew what it would take to run a successful operation. “When the idea of owning a coffeehouse first started to percolate, I had the desire, but lacked two things – experience and capital.” That didn’t go over well with traditional lenders, he recalls. “I understand why they are governed by numbers, but decisions are often made by people you never get to meet.”

“My experience with Community Futures Centre West was much different. I was actually referred to them by a bank who turned me down. Community Futures was remarkably helpful and I was given a very specific outline of what I need to do to move forward. They worked with me to find solutions, so I didn’t hear the word “no” very often. Instead, I heard alternatives and great suggestions, such as how to mitigate the financial risk. They listened to my ideas, understood my vision and most of all, they took into account who I was as a person.”

“The best advice I’ve received about business ownership is that every decision made should add value to my business and if it doesn’t, then I need to rethink it. I tell aspiring entrepreneurs to always believe in yourself. Owning a business comes with lots of stress, but success or failure is always predicated by you. Have confidence that you’ll do well.”

Now in its sixth year under Grant’s ownership, The Cake Company Café is a haven for locals, many of whom either work in the professional building where it’s located, or walk through to and from appointments in the building. “They are my mainstay, what keeps me going. Sure visitors to the area find their way here, but we really try to be a local oriented place and want to stay that way.”

Story by Patricia Alderson

Photography by Bruce Tannas

 

    

 

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