Your Business Buddy

The Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them on their blogging journey, will they share insights on the challenges and triumphs of the business world.

Your Business Buddy

The Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them on their blogging journey, will they share insights on the challenges and triumphs of the business world.

Displaying 1 through 6 of 6 total records in this search
Celebrating Excellence: Announcing the Winners of our Business Excellence Awards!
We are thrilled to announce the winners of our annual Business Excellence Awards!
This year, we received an incredible array of nominations from businesses and individuals who have demonstrated exceptional talent, dedication, and impact in their respective fields. Our awards have 14 categories, recognizing the diverse contributions that drive our community forward.

Without further ado, let’s celebrate the winners of the 2024 Business Excellence Awards!

Community Service
Winner: R&R Rescue & Resort
Community Service Not-for-Profit
Winner: Grey Bruce Hospice
New Business of the Year
Winner: Shanny's Kitchen
Service Excellence
Winner: Sugar Dust Baking
Winner: Papi's Eatery & Lounge
Winner: Bluewater Lavender Farm
Skilled Trade (1-5 Employees)
Winner: Meg's Drywall
Skilled Trade (6+ Employees)
Winner: Grey-Bruce Plumbing
Small Office/Home Office
Winner: Ashlee Cunningham - Mortgage Architects
Entrepreneur of the Year (Age Under 35)
Winner: Bob's Barber Shop
Entrepreneur of the Year (Age 35+)
Winner: Driverseat
Business of the Year 25+
Winner: Cobble Beach Golf Course
Business of the Year 1-24
Winner: The Water Store
Arts and Culture
Winner: Georgian Bay School of The Arts

Congratulations to all our winners! Each of these winners exemplifies the highest standards of excellence in their respective fields. Their hard work, innovation, and commitment to their communities are truly commendable. We are proud to recognize their achievements and look forward to seeing their continued success.

Thank you to everyone who participated and supported this year’s Business Excellence Awards. Together, we celebrate the remarkable accomplishments that make our community a better place to live and work.

Your Business Buddy,
Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce
Success Stories in the Business World: The Journey of Paul Oehm
Welcome to the first installment of our new series, "Success in the Business World". Each post in this series will dive into the inspiring journeys of entrepreneurs and business leaders who have achieved remarkable success in their fields.
In our first story, we are going to spotlight Paul Oehm, founder of Business Profit. Over the past 40 years, Paul has started, scaled, and sold 5 of the six companies he has started with sales of well over $100M. Today he is operating company six, Business Profit. He helps your company gain growth and profitability for your business. Without further ado, let’s dive into Paul’s story through an insightful Q&A session.

The Man Behind Business Profit

Q: What initially inspired or motivated you to start up your own business?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family so this was bred into my blood. I started the Business Profit because I have a passion for helping business owners overcome their challenges and issues and help them reach their goals. I have learned so much over my lifetime that I can Fastrack business owners not making the mistakes I made and learn from my success to help them excel in their businesses. They don’t have to figure this out on their own.

Q: How did you find your niche or market opportunity, and what advice would you give to others trying to find their own?
This starts with what is your passion. My passion is business and business growth and profitability. For years I have been involved with many dealers' advisory groups, business organizations, community chambers, BIA's, etc. People have always asked me for advice so I decided instead of retiring (which I will never do) I would start a business advisory company.

Q: What strategies did you use to build and grow your brand from the ground up?
I have a vast network of people, businesses, and organizations that I have built over the past 40 years. Reaching out to my network gave me the connections and credibility to quickly gain clients. Providing them with exceptional advisory, and connections and teaching them to systemize and increase profitability, has led to many referrals to build my business.

Q: How do you stay motivated and resilient in the face of setbacks?
Setbacks are part of business, with a positive attitude, a strong business plan and the will to never give up have helped me to always be motivated!

Q: How do you approach risk-taking and decision-making in your business endeavours?
You must know your numbers, strengths, and weaknesses. From there you must build a business plan and stick with it. Sometimes you must pivot and change directions if things do not work out and accept the results as lessons for the future. Let the data and numbers be your guide, they do not lie!

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are hesitant to leap into starting their own business?
Lean on your peers, and find seasoned business people like me to run your business ideas and plans by. Also, create a well throughout budget and cash flow to accurately assess the amount of risk and capital you will take and need.

Q: In your experience, what are the most common mistakes that new entrepreneurs make, and how can they avoid them?
Not having a solid plan and knowing their numbers. Go back to the answer to question 7

Q: What were some of the significant challenges you faced when starting your business? How did you overcome them?
I started Business Profit in 2019, just before Covid. That says it all. But I pivoted and made this into an opportunity as many business owners do not know how to navigate a crisis like COVID-19.

Q: Why did you choose to open a business in Owen Sound?
We moved to Owen Sound in 2022, and I brought my business with me. I have clients throughout North America, so the location does not matter.

Q: In hindsight, what is something you wish you had known or been better prepared for when you first started?
I did not realize the impact I could have on business owners to help them with their businesses and the value I can provide!

Paul’s journey with Business Profit is a remarkable example of how vision, determination, and strategic innovation can lead to extraordinary success. His story is just the beginning of our exploration into the world of successful business leaders. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories in our “Success Stories in the Business World” series, where we can continue to uncover the secrets behind thriving enterprises.

Your Business Buddy,
Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce
Discover a World of Support and Resources at Our Seniors' Trade Show
Experience the best of senior living! Solutions for wellness, lifestyle, and support!
As we gear up for our eagerly anticipated Seniors’ Trade Show, we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on our esteemed sponsor whose dedication to providing care for our community is truly commendable. At the heart of our event lies a mission to honor and support our senior community and their caregivers, and we are privileged to have Woodley Care Services on board as a key partner in this endeavor.

Woodley Care Services has been a proud part of our community for 10 years. Their mission goes beyond mere caregiving; it’s about enabling individuals to maintain their independence and dignity, allowing them to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes for as long as possible. Recognizing the importance of respite for caregivers, Woodley Care Services also provides much-needed breaks, offering peace of mind and support to families in need.

With over 30 vendors specializing in seniors' needs, the Seniors’ Trade Show is designed to provide a platform where seniors and their caregivers can explore various resources, engage in enriching activities, and empower themselves with knowledge and connection.

Hers is a sneak peek at some of the vendors you can expect to find:

1. Senior Residences: Explore options for vibrant, active senior living communities that provide a sense of home, amenities, and tailored support services to meet individual needs.
2. Home Care Providers: Discover reliable and compassionate home care services designed to help seniors maintain independence and quality of life in the comfort of their own homes.
3. Basic Living Essentials: From mobility aids to adaptive equipment, browse a range of essential products that promote safety, comfort, and convenience for daily living.
4. Education Providers for Seniors: Insight on safely navigating the internet. It is essential to equip oneself with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify and protect against the potential risks posed by scammers.
5. Healthcare Services: Access comprehensive healthcare resources, including medical professionals, wellness programs, and preventive care services to support optimal health and well-being.
6. Financial Planning and Legal Services: Gain peace of mind with expert guidance and financial planning, estate management, and legal matters relevant to seniors and their families.

In partnership with Woodley Care Services, we look forward to making the Seniors’ Trade Show a resounding success and a testament to the enduring spirit of community and care. Join us on May 14th at Best Western Inn on The Bay to embark on a journey of discovery, empowerment, and connection. Whether you’re seeking practical solutions, educational opportunities, or simply a chance to socialize and have fun, our diverse range of vendors has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on this exciting event designed to celebrate and support the vibrant senior community!

Your buddy,

Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce
The Power of Shopping Local: Why Supporting Local Businesses Benefits Us All
In an era dominated by big-box retailers and online shopping giants, it’s easy to overlook the charm and significance of local businesses. Yet, there’s a compelling case to be made for choosing to support our local businesses.
In this blog, we’ll explore many reasons why supporting local businesses benefits both the buyer and the seller, and how we play a crucial role in fostering this symbiotic relationship.

Building a Strong Community
When you choose to shop local, you are investing in the vibrancy and strength of your community. Local businesses are often owned and operated by individuals who live in the same neighborhoods as their customers. The money spent at these establishments circulates within the community, fostering economic growth and creating a sense of unity among residents.

Personalized Service and Expertise
Local businesses take pride in offering personalized service that is often hard to find in larger establishments. Owners and staff typically have a deep knowledge of their products and services, allowing them to provide valuable recommendations and assistance. This personalized touch not only enhances the shopping experience but also helps build lasting relationships between businesses and customers.

Unique and Handcrafted Products
Local businesses are often the incubators for creativity and innovation. They contribute to the diversity of products available by offering unique, handcrafted, and locally sourced items that you won’t find in mass-produced alternatives. Supporting these businesses not only allows for a more diverse market but also helps preserve local craftsmanship and traditions.

Environmental Impact
Choosing to shop locally can have positive environmental effects. Local businesses often source their products locally, reducing the need for extensive transportation and lowering the overall carbon footprint. Additionally, the presence of local businesses in neighborhoods promotes walkability, reducing the reliance on cars and further contributing to a greener environment.

Job Creation and Economic Stability
Local businesses are significant contributors to job creation. By supporting them, you are not only helping to maintain existing jobs but also fostering an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and the establishment of new businesses. This, in turn, leads to increased economic stability within the community.

The Role of the Chamber of Commerce
We play a crucial role in supporting and advocating for local businesses. We strive to be a collective voice for the business community, working to create a favorable business environment through initiatives like community events, marketing campaigns, and advocacy efforts. There are plenty of networking opportunities for businesses, facilitating collaboration and mutual support.

In conclusion, the benefits of supporting local businesses extend far beyond the immediate transaction. By choosing to shop local, you are investing in the strength and vitality of your community, enjoying personalized service, contributing to environmental sustainability, and fostering economic stability. As the Chamber of Commerce, we further amplify these benefits, creating a thriving ecosystem where both buyers and sellers can flourish together. So, the next time you are considering a purchase, think local and make a positive impact on our community.
Small Business Success: Leveraging Strong Marketing Campaigns with the Chamber of Commerce
In today's fast-paced world, small businesses often face a unique set of challenges. But guess what? With the right marketing strategies, your small business can not only survive but thrive!
In this blog, we are going to dive into how small businesses can benefit from strong marketing campaigns that connect with your target audience, and how we as the Chamber of Commerce can help.

1) The Heart of Connection
Small Businesses have a secret weapon: their ability to create a real, human connection with customers. Strong marketing campaigns can amplify this connection. When customers feel like they know the people behind the business, it builds trust and loyalty. It’s like becoming friends with your customers! So, the first step is to make your business relatable.

Think about what makes your business unique and highlight it in your marketing. Tell your story, share your passion, and show your personality. People don’t just want products or services; they want experiences and relationships. Use your marketing to foster this sense of connection.

2) Know Your Audience
Every business, big or small, needs to understand its target audience. But for small businesses, this is particularly crucial. You might not have a huge marketing budget to reach a broad audience, so knowing your ideal customers inside and out is essential.

Research your audience’s demographics, behaviors, and preferences. Create buyer personas to help you visualize your typical customers. This way, you can tailor your marketing campaigns to speak directly to them. The better you know your audience, the more effectively you can reach them.

3) Stay up to Date
The business world is very competitive and is ever-changing in its marketing strategies. When businesses stay up to date with the new ways of marketing, they never stop attracting new customers. We can use social media as an example. Social media is not just about posting content; it’s about engaging with your audience in a genuine and youthful way.

Share your behind-the-scenes moments, run fun contests, and respond to comments and messages promptly. Use stories and reels to keep things fresh and exciting. Be creative and authentic in our social media presence. This will not only boost your brand’s image but also attract new customers.

4) Collaborate with Others
Small businesses can truly benefit from collaborating with other local businesses. Partnering with like-minded professionals can help you tap into a new customer base and provide exciting promotions.

You may consider organizing joint events, giveaways, or cross-promotions with other businesses. When you work together with others, you are not only saving on the marketing cost, but you are also offering a sense of community that customers love to be a part of.

If you're wondering how the Chamber of Commerce can assist you, we provide various opportunities for our members to collaborate with us in our events. This gives them a platform to advertise to a broad range of business owners, entrepreneurs, and members of the business community. In addition, our social media is your social media. We use our social media channels to promote and highlight our members' offerings, as well as provide insights into what's happening within the organization.

Strong marketing campaigns are the lifeblood of small businesses. They have the power to create genuine connections with customers, tailor messages to specific audiences, and foster a dynamic online presence. Especially when you are a part of the Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce, your marketing efforts can shine even brighter. So, don’t shy away from experimenting with new and creative ideas to take your small business to new heights. After all, the journey of a small business can be just as exciting and rewarding as the destination!
Unveiling the Challenges Faced by Small Businesses and Strategies for Success
Small businesses are the backbone of any economy, but they often face many challenges that can hinder their growth and success. From limited resources to intense competition, small business owners must navigate a complex landscape.
One of the most significant struggles that small businesses face is access to capital. Without sufficient funding, businesses may not be able to invest in new equipment or technology, expand their product lines, or hire additional staff. This can limit their ability to compete with larger corporations, which often have more resources at their disposal.

Another challenge that small business owners face is navigating the ever-changing landscape of marketing and advertising. With so many digital channels available, it can be challenging for small businesses to know where to focus their efforts to reach their target audience effectively.

Despite these challenges, there are many strategies that small businesses can use to overcome these hurdles and achieve success. In today’s fast-paced and interconnected business world, networking has become an indispensable tool for professionals looking to expand their horizons and open doors to new opportunities. One such avenue for effective business networking is through your very own Chamber of Commerce, as you know we are a community-based organization that brings together businesses of all sizes to foster growth and collaboration. In this article we will explore the importance and benefits of participating in our business networking event, offering valuable insights into how these events propel your business forward.

The Role of the Chamber of Commerce

Our primary mission is to support and promote local businesses by providing a platform for networking and collaboration. We work closely with government entities, advocate for pro-business policies, and offer various resources to help businesses thrive. Business networking is one of our functions and here is why it matters.

  • Building Relationships

    At the heart of effective networking is the art of relationship-building. By participating in Chamber of Commerce events, you can meet other business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals in your community. These connections can be the foundation for future partnerships, collaborations, and referrals, helping you grow your business.

  • Gaining Credibility

    When you become a member of the Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce and actively participate in our networking events, you signal to potential clients, customers, and partners that you are a reputable and committed business. This stamp of approval can boost your credibility and make others more willing to engage with your company.

  • Access to Resources

    We offer a range of resources, such as business development workshops, seminars, and expert panels. By participating in these events, you can acquire valuable knowledge and insights that can help you fine-tune your business strategies and stay updated on industry trends.

  • Local Visibility

    For small and local businesses, we as the Chamber can be a powerful ally in increasing your visibility within your community. Networking events organized by the Chamber give you a platform to highlight your products or services, helping you reach a wider audience and potential customers.

Types of Chambre of Commerce Networking Events

Chamber of Commerce networking events come in various forms, catering to a wide range of businesses and professionals. Here are some common types of events you might encounter:

  • Business Breakfast or luncheons: Typically featuring guest speakers, these events offer valuable insight on relevant topics while allowing attendees to network over a meal.

  • Workshops and Seminars: Educational events that offer practical knowledge on various aspects of business, from marketing to social media to finance and entrepreneurship.

  • After-Hours Networking: Evening events that enable professionals to unwind and connect in a less formal setting. An example of this would be our Alive @5 event.

  • Business Excellence Awards: This presents an opportunity for us to enhance the well-deserved credibility of our industrious business community across various categories tailored to best align with the strengths of your company.

  • Golf Tournament: This serves as a valuable platform for businesses to engage in networking opportunities.

Business networking with your local Chamber of Commerce is a powerful tool for professional growth and business development. These networking events offer an invaluable opportunity to build relationships, gain credibility, access resources, and increase your visibility within your community. By actively participating and following best networking practices, you can harness the potential of your local Chamber of Commerce to take your business to new heights. So don’t miss out on the chance to connect with fellow entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals in your area and unlock the doors to success.
Stay tuned for my next blog on how strong marketing campaigns can be an asset for small businesses.

Your buddy,
Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce