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What It Takes to Be an Award-Winning Business

What It Takes to Be an Award-Winning Business

Business owners are often taken for granted without consideration to the sacrifices and struggles they had to go through to be a business owner. They often put their reputation, financial stability and money on the line for a dream. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but for the ones that do, the rewards are worth it. Three Best Rated® sat down with three award-winning business owners to learn what sacrifices they made to have a successful business.

Jane Berry is the owner of Blueprint Home, a furniture store located in Ottawa, Ontario. Jane has always enjoyed the prospect of opening her own business. While attending university, she decided to make her dreams come true and opened her first business. She later decided to open Blueprint Home in 1999. She wanted to focus on a fresh and modern yet affordable style for her customers’ homes. Jane decided on a boutique-style store to offer personal care and guidance with an experienced design team. She knew a home is at the heart of a person’s life and wanted to help make the customer’s furniture visions into a reality.



 
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She has found that owning a business is filled with sacrifices. Jane has to do what is right for the business, even if the outcome was uncertain. “We lost power recently for three days after a tornado swept through Ottawa. While everything in our neighborhood was affected, we decided to open the store using natural daylight,” Jane says. “It turned out to be a great community experience.” She feels that having that community relationship is important, especially in this new age of technology. “We are a local business, so the surge in online shopping is currently a challenge,” she admits. Having a personal connection to the local community will hopefully drive loyal customers to their doors. Even though it’s been over 20 years since it’s inception, Jane still has trouble finding time to travel and take vacations. “Travel is a challenge as I’m a dedicated part of our team,” Jane says. She genuinely enjoys owning and working at Blueprint Home and knows that her sacrifices will be worth it in the end.

When she and her team found out that Blueprint Home was listed as one of the top three furniture stores in Ottawa, Ontario, for 2019 by Three Best Rated®, they were beyond excited. “It’s so nice to be acknowledged in my retail community by Three Best Rated®,” she says. She hopes to continue to be listed on Three Best Rated® for years to come.

David Crane is the owner and founder of iBroken Canada, a phone and tablet repair service located in Calgary, Alberta. The idea to open a cellphone repair company came after he broke his own phone. He found the market to be in a huge upswing and decided to open iBroken Canada out of the back of his Honda Civic in 2013. David had previously owned an auto glass repair company and a window cleaning company so he was familiar with traveling to a customer’s home to bring the service to them. “We started as a … we come to you repair company,” David says, “I felt my idea of a mobile service for phone repair would be received well.” He worked hard to make his company a success. “I remember driving to customers’ homes many nights past 9 p.m. to fix phones,” he says. “I remember fixing phones past 12 a.m.” His quality and dedication soon spread through word of mouth and suddenly, iBroken Canada had three cars on the road before opening their first brick-and-mortar store in January of 2017.

iBroken Canada becoming a success wasn’t easy. “There were many hard days,” David recalls. “With three cars on the road in a short time, it was prevalent that systems for inventory monitoring and route optimization were going to make or break the company. Many hours were spent testing software, coming up with a workflow and customer notifications on the status of their techs’ arrival times.” He pushed through. For the first two years of the business, he was unable to take a salary. “Our family lived off my wife’s income. I did not want to go into debt for the business, therefore, I reinvested 100 percent of the profits back into the business,” he says. He also refused to take a vacation for the first three years of the business. “Being self-employed looks glamorous on the outside, but it takes many years and a lot of hardship to make it really feel it was all worth it,” he says. David credits his work ethic and excellent customer service as the key parts of getting iBroken Canada off the ground. “My willingness to work hard non-stop got me referrals and repeat businesses,” he says. “It’s a struggle making sure every staff member is trained on exactly how I take care of the customers and that the customers receive the same service every time and every day no matter what.” It is time well spent, however. “Without customer service and having our customers, the business would not exist,” he says.

When David and the iBroken Canada staff found out they were named one the top three phone and tablet repair companies in Calgary, Alberta, for 2019 by Three Best Rated®, they were thrilled. “We felt that our work and our dedication was finally getting recognized,” David says.

Jim Mydonick was raising a young family and dedicated his time to them. He served on his local community executive board and coached his kids through their sports programs for 10 years until 1998 when the last one flew the coop. Jim quickly became bored. He decided it was time to open his own shop and so InterCity Autobody officially opened on Oct. 1, 1991.



 
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Jim already had plenty of experience working on cars as a refinished technician, but he admits it can be a struggle keeping up with the automotive industry. “The trade is evolving at a very rapid pace right now through technology and new automotive construction materials, such as aluminum and carbon fiber,” Jim says. “Another upcoming challenge for the last number of years is the shortage of trained and skilled technicians, as well as new apprentices coming into the trade.” Despite these challenges, he’s confident in InterCity Autobody’s ability to adapt and roll with the punches. After all, they already dealt with difficult situations. Very early into their existence, they had their MPI accreditation suspended for 90 days. “We billed the insurance company for a part of a customer’s vehicle that was on back order and actually turned up being obsolete,” Jim explains. “We explained it to the insurance provider and supplied call records for all the attempts we made to try and find the part. They decided this would be considered insurance fraud and they suspended our accreditation for 90 days.” Despite this setback, InterCity Autobody continued to grow due to Jim’s ability to learn from his mistakes and adapt. Owning a successful auto body shop hasn’t been easy. “As a small business owner, you wear all of the hats all of the time at your business,” Jim says. “The high times can be pretty enjoyable and the low times can almost break you.”

When he learned that InterCity Autobody was named one of the top three auto body shops in Winnipeg for 2019 by Three Best Rated®, he shrugged it off at first. “Honestly, I wasn’t sure of the validity of the Three Best Rated® program, so I actually shrugged it off a few weeks,” he laughs. “I became aware that some other local businesses were mentioning the recognition in their advertising, so I checked out the credibility of Three Best Rated®.” When he realized it was a credible website, he was very pleased. “The fact that the research is done very independently and they had not contacted InterCity Autobody in any way also added to the integrity of the Three Best Rated® Recognition Award,” he says. “I would have to say that it is really nice to be recognized as being the top of the class, especially after all the years of hard work and dedication to the business and our customers.”



 
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