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.

Wabamun Watersport Rentals Inc

Alfred Samson, Rodney Biggar and Brody Wells
Wabamun Lake, Wabamun


Weather you want to Fly like a superhero, swim like a dolphin, take a ride on a seadoo or relax on a boat, this new and exciting business Wabamun Watersport Rentals Inc. is located at Wabamun Lake, Wabamun.

At Wabamun Watersport Rentals, their goal is and always will be the customer’s experience. From the moment you contact them, their priority is to ensure you have the most enjoyable experience, and to make sure that at the end of your lesson, you will tell your family and friends, and come back for more. They aim to give every person the experience of a lifetime. Whether you have been around water sports your whole life, or you have never swam in a lake before, they are always there to help and make sure you have the best experience possible. Anyone can have a great day on the lake and experience something they have never experienced before with Wabamun Watersport Rentals Inc.

The business it locally owned and operated by Alfred Samson, Rodney Biggar and Brody Wells. This being Wabamun Flyboard Inc.’s 2nd year in business and the 4th year for the Flyboard to be out on the scene, we are very excited to see where the sport has come from and how it has been developing. With Flyboarding just making its way to the headlines they are eager to spend their summer teaching people about this new summer sport.

CFCR was able to help with initial start-up funding as well as business advice and coaching. With expansion in mind CFCR was able to help again with Wabamun Flyboard Inc.’s overall goal to expand into all water sport activates. They want everyone to be able to experience Wabamun Lake in the same way.

We are excited to see Wabamun Flyboard Inc. grow.

www.wabamunwatersports.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wabamun-Watersport-Rentals/16044304564928...

R. Rinaldi Welding

Randy Rinaldi
Crowsnest Pass


Rinaldi Welding opened in 1981 and moved to its current location in the Frank Industrial Park in the early 1990s. As their business grew, so did the size of their customer base and by 2010 they had outgrown their original building.

Community Futures Crowsnest Pass was ready to help when Rinaldi Welding built an addition which doubled the size of their operation. The expanded building allowed them to take on more work with bigger jobs and diversification into servicing the mining industry. With the extra space, they now build off-road service trucks, mechanic trucks and pump-floats.

More work also meant the company needed to hire more employees and they soon doubled their number of employees. Increasing their operation led to an increased profile and Rinaldi’s is now exporting mining products across Canada and into the U.S. Randy saw the opportunities for his business and says Community Futures was very helpful in supporting his vision.

“Through the expansion, our name got out more and we now service communities from the Arctic to Newfoundland and south into the U.S.,” says Randy.

With over 35 years, Rinaldi Welding is going strong and proud to be part of the Crowsnest Pass community, providing service across the nation.

"It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up." ~ Vince Lombardi

 

KCP Energy

Geoff Domenico
Canmore , Alberta


When he started KCP Energy in 2007, three factors motivated Geoff Domenico: to be able to tell his children he was part of the answer to climate change, a desire to start his own business, and support from his wife Kendra. “Without her encouragement and understanding of the effort required, it wouldn’t have happened,” says Geoff. “It’s one of two pieces of advice I share with anyone who asks about starting a business: make sure your life partner is on board 100% and knows they are along for an interesting and sometimes bumpy ride. The second thing I share is that although I knew it would be hard to start up and grow a business, it was even harder than I imagined.”

KCP Energy focusses on renewable energy systems and has witnessed increased awareness and need for their products over the last few years. “Back when we first started, we talked about global warming,” says Geoff. “Now, it’s full-fledged climate change. Starting a new business and introducing a new product at the same time was quite an eye opener. I chose a service the market was not quite ready for, but one I believed in.  You learn how to adapt. We pivoted to different services that still aligned with our goal of helping customers use less and save more.  Residential energy assessments and home heating kept us going, while the idea of renewable solar energy was developing. Now that climate change is more widely acknowledged, the demand is growing for residential and commercial rooftop solar electricity solutions and that’s been our focus over the last 24 months.”

Community Futures Centre West (CFCWest) helped when the banks could not. “The standard retail banks would only lend based on history, not on future potential. CFCWest was willing to look not only at our potential, but at the sales and partnerships we had worked so hard to establish. They considered who we were as individuals and also took into account my engineering and project management background. It was a much different financing experience,” recalls Geoff.” They were also an excellent sounding board on how to optimize our sales process.”

KCP Energy is a Canmore based company, although there are an increasing number of employees serving the Calgary market. “I never felt that moving in order to start my business was necessary. We like the smaller setting and sense of community here in Canmore, so that’s our base.”

“I was once told a story that sums up starting a business:  in year seven you get to go to Hawaii. Now I know what that means. I was sure it wouldn’t take that long before we had a solid business, but there are no overnight successes, it just looks that way sometimes. It takes hard work and motivation to get to where you want to be. And for us, that’s to be part of the climate change solution.”

 

 

Photo by Bruce Tannas

Story by Patricia Alderson

Postcard Portables

Robert and Dustin
Medicine Hat, AB


When Robert and Dustin discovered the Postcard Portables franchise, they were already operating a small print business called “The Caddy Card”, which specialized in Golf Course marketing, in Medicine Hat. After assessing their business and deciding that it was very seasonal, they started researching a business that would open the doors for year-round opportunities and one that was still closely related to advertising and sales. They began their market research by talking with many business owners to try and understand what the needs were and how they could assist in providing better marketing efforts. Knowing about the need in the marketplace for good quality advertising and affordable pricing, they began their search for something affordable and attractive to offer small businesses. This search led them to a franchising opportunity with Postcard Portables. Their extensive experience in the printing and design business enabled them to put together a sound business plan and within a short 6-week window, they were approved to start operating their new franchise in Medicine Hat. At the beginning of 2007, the business partners started the journey to acquire the Postcard Portables franchise. Their first attempt brought disappointment and discouragement, as their application for financing was declined by the bank. Fortunately, someone they knew directed them to Community Futures Entre-Corp and this was the door that finally opened. Community Futures Entre-Corp (CFEC) offers loans to new and expanding businesses throughout Southeastern Alberta and once CFEC reviewed the business plan provided by Robert and Dustin, an approval to finance their business became a reality in a very short time. In fact, 6 weeks later, they were to become proud owners of the new franchise and began operating the new business on July 1, 2007. Just over 9 years later, their business is thriving. Reflecting on their strengths and motivators, Dustin says, “Our number one driving principle will always be customer service and dedication to building strong customer relationships”. He went on to explain how placing customer service as a top priority continues to drive profitability because those same customers continue to come back.

Enduratek

Paula & Paul Watson
Cowley Alberta


No profit grows where is no pleasure taken-Shakespeare

What the Bard of Avon is really saying is that there is nothing to be gained from things we take no pleasure in. So if you are the former North of England dirt bike endurance racing champion, having raced all over Europe, B.C. and Alberta, how better to earn your living than starting your own business with your wife, selling and repairing off road and on road vehicles.

 

Paul and Paula Watson are the entrepreneurs behind Enduortek, in Cowley, AB, just off Highway #3. Endurotek, which opened in May of 2010, is a retail and maintenance business supplying dirt bikes as well as spare parts. They also do repairs for dirt bikes, road bikes, snowmobiles and ATVs plus a range of specialized clothing for those activities. Attached to the retail shop is the work shop equipped to service and maintain most motor vehicles. Paul and Paula developed a business plan to expand their business and Community Futures was there to help them make building modifications and grow Endurotek's inventory. 

 

Besides being a champion racer, Paul has been a mechanic for over 20 years holding the red seal for auto mechanics and morotorcycle mechanics. Paul's better half, Paula, runs the retail and administrative side of the business. Paul still finds time to race on occassion and enjoys helping the growing number of individuals and families derive the most pleasure from the different off road activities available in the Foothills and mountians of Alberta. Entrepreneurs, like Paul and Paula Watson take pleasure in raising their family in Southwest Alberta and in growing their business.

 

Community Futures is ready to help entrepreneurs start, purchase or grow their business with finiancing, advisory services and training.

 

Liquor Lodge Inc.

Marc LeBlanc
Jasper, AB


Our doors opened at around 1:30pm on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. Marc LeBlanc, the founder of Liquor Lodge Inc. began developing the plan for the store in 2006 while still working in the sales department for Coca Cola.

With a vision for clean visual merchandising, the store was developed from scratch in a brand new building. Using modern shelving combined with rustic log woodwork, the store took on a unique look and quickly became a favourite with the locals and tourists alike.

Now after a few years Liquor Lodge has evolved into a full service store with free delivery, great hours and some of thebest staff you’ll find in the business. We work on the premise that to build loyalty you must continuously work on your selection and your service. We intend to be serving our great customers for many years to come

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