MAKE WOOD SEXY
THE BEGINNING OF MY ENTREPRENEURSHIP Building Kitply Industries From the Foundation Up
Most business owners have been in the same position I was in: jumping head first into something they’re not familiar with while knowing how important it is. It can be scary but, if you do it well, extremely rewarding. In my classes, I noticed that the teachers always grabbed onto the ideas I offered, and I realized I had a natural ability to view the larger picture. Finding that reassurance gave me a strong sense of confidence that the decision I made was correct. It was an incredible feeling. But I will say that the best feeling comes when you find your true niche. In my case, it hit me like a bolt of lightning: “This is what I’m supposed to do!” I thought. My moment came at Hardwoods Specialty Products, where I discovered I had a gift for selling products to manufacturers. Oftentimes, you’re faced with important choices in life, and as a business owner, each choice has major consequences, both good and bad. But to become better in every aspect of life, you need to take those risks. You know what it’s like to have to make an important decision that involves significant risk. Just starting a business from scratch is part of that risk. Launching Kitply Industries was a risk, but it was one I knew I needed to take. When you first opened your business, you may have run it from a small office, a building you were renting from, or, similar to myself, from your parents’ basement. I may have started small, but with the help of my wonderful wife, Amrit, Kitply Industries flourished. We put a lot of our time and
When I entered college and started thinking about pursuing a career in business, I never thought I’d find myself in woodworking. I’m not what you would call a handyman in any form and, for a long time, considered myself much more of an IT specialist. I was unsure of where the road would lead me, but I pushed forward until I found my niche. Sound familiar? Finding that niche can be really difficult. No one can predict what will cross your path, but it’s important to face each challenge as it comes head on. Maybe you’ve had a hard life up until this point; I can relate. I experienced relative poverty while growing up. When I was 15, my family moved from India to Vancouver, British Columbia, for better opportunities, but we still struggled financially. During that challenging time, I reached the same conclusion almost every entrepreneur makes before they go into business: If you want to support your family and help them through hard times, you need to start your own business and work for yourself. I entered college, deciding to play to my strengths. Knowing what you’re comfortable and interested in is a great way to keep yourself motivated, so I entered the IT program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. I did well there, but I knew that I needed to step out of my comfort zone to find true success, especially when my goal was to start and run a business. After I got my degree in computer information systems, I came back to KPU and entered the business administration and entrepreneurial leadership program.
effort into ensuring Kitply continued to move forward, in addition to raising our two children. It was hard, but our blood, sweat, and tears paid off. Almost 10 years have passed since Kitply started, and our business has grown immensely in that time. We are so proud and thankful for how far we’ve come and what our business is today. It was through the efforts of our risk-taking, the people who are part of our team, and, of course, our customers who have supported us over the years that we have found such success. -Ankit Sharma
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There are significant benefits to incorporating philanthropy into your business’s culture. Your company will help the community you serve and contribute to your business growth simultaneously. Kitply Industries has five core values that define the culture of our company, one of which is “Giving Back.” We recognize the importance of giving back to the community that has supported us for so many years. One of the ways we give back is through our involvement with Access Programs for People with Disabilities at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. This program helps students with disabilities develop work- related skills. Kitply supports these students financially through an annual endowment and by giving them a chance to gain professional experience by working in our office for a short time. We are thrilled to support the community and create these experiences for the students who work with us. But the program doesn’t just help the community; it also helps our company. The more involved a company is with the people it does business with, the more it will be recognized. Giving back to the community is positive PR, allowing for customer retention and recognition from within the community and outside of it. By making giving back a priority in your business and participating in local events, word of your business will spread. Additionally, being an active part of your community generates opportunities to create relationships with other businesses. Becoming involved isn’t a complicated process. Do some research and see if there’s any local cause you can support. Are there any charitable organizations that you can donate to? Have you considered partnering with a charity to sponsor an event they’re hosting? Is there an event your team can volunteer to help with? The possibilities are endless. At Kitply Industries, giving back isn’t just about offering our time and resources to causes that matter to the community. To us, giving back is also about improving the community as a whole. At the end of the day, the only reason we stay in business and grow is because of the people we serve in our area, so giving back is our small way of saying thank you. In 2020, with a little research and effort, you can offer that thanks to your customers too. GROWING YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH GOOD WORKS Give Back to Others, and You’ll Help Yourself
3 TIPS FOR EVERY BUSINESS LEADER EXECUTE STRATEGY AND KILL STAGNANCY
“To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed ... Execution is worth millions.”
Anyone can take this advice to heart, whether you’re a stay-at- home parent or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Ideas are easy, but no one becomes successful because they had a great idea. Success comes from putting that idea into action. Being able to execute a plan is a skill every business leader needs. Here are three steps to help you improve your execution. 1. DITCH PERFECTION Have you ever watched a behind-the-scenes featurette of your favorite movie? Some of the most successful films were all but unrecognizable in their early phases. In fact, a lot of early concepts are terrible. Look up the original designs for Woody in “Toy Story” to see for yourself. Fortunately, rather than wait for the perfect script, creators executed their visions and make changes as needed. Putting off action in favor of creating the perfect plan or strategy leads to stagnant business. Successful people know that plans take many shapes before they reach their final form. Don’t jump into something without a clear plan, but don’t be afraid to define your strategy as you go. There’s a reason audiences won’t be flocking to theaters to watch the latest galactic adventures of Luke Starkiller this December. 2. BE METHODICAL While you shouldn’t wait for the perfect plan, you shouldn’t be flying in blind, either. You can be too energetic about execution. Make sure everyone involved in a plan knows their responsibilities. Confusion will torpedo any strategy faster than you can say, “Who was in charge of this?” The Harvard Business Review states, “Having the discipline to organize people, assemble resources, and then generate a plan that others can commit to will collectively improve execution.” 3. EVALUATE, EVALUATE, EVALUATE We’re not saying you should micromanage your team, but you do need to be checking in on a regular basis to evaluate progress on your plan. Schedule monthly or quarterly meetings to go over the strategy. This is where you look for any changes that need to be made and refine the strategy. A smart strategy feels reassuring, but learning to execute a plan is the only way to make progress. The best business plan in the world is worthless if you never follow through.
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SCALING UP SCOREBOARD TECHNOLOGIES THAT HELP YOUR BUSINESS THRIVE
CLASSIC ROAST CHICKEN
Accelerate: To be successful, you and your team need to grow and improve continuously. Transform: Growth is important, but it’s also crucial to enjoy that growth. Be sure to continuously check in with how things are improving throughout your company regularly. HOW IT HAS HELPED US Through the use of the Scaling Up methodology, we at Kitply Industries have created a plan that gives our business the edge it needs. Our strategy is to encourage the team to hold daily huddles and attend weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings. The point of these meetings is simple: get our people involved and invested in the company. People are able to give and receive positive feedback, which is then recorded into Scoreboard. This allows the team to be more aligned and connected with the company’s mission. These meetings are only a few minutes long, but those few minutes can help significantly. They keep the team focused on what needs to be done and what their work means for the company’s future. Help your business today by learning more about Scaling Up by visiting ScalingUp.com. TAKE A BREAK
Keeping all the moving parts of a business running together as one unit can be tricky. Since a business is made up of many individuals coming together for one purpose, it can be challenging to get them to work together to achieve the same goals. Scaling Up is a performance platform that helps thousands of businesses do just that. This platform provides these businesses with models of the best learning opportunities and communication methods, while encouraging everyone to drive toward the company’s goals. SCALING UP METHODOLOGY The purpose behind Scaling Up is to prepare a company for any growing pains it might experience as it continues to expand. To help businesses in this area, there are six important steps all companies must take. Assess: Evaluate your team and goals; make sure that your efforts are directed toward those goals. Align: Everyone should be aware of what your goals are and how to achieve them. Plan: Make sure that you have a cemented plan your people can follow. Execute: Once you have a plan, make sure that you follow through with it and track your progress.
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1 chicken, approx. 5–6 lbs
Freshly ground pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, 20 sprigs removed
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Rinse chicken inside and out, removing giblets if included. Move to a work surface, pat dry, and liberally season with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with thyme bunch, lemon halves, and garlic head. Brush outside with butter, and then season again. Tie chicken legs together with kitchen string. 3. Meanwhile, in a roasting pan, toss onions and carrots in olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and 20 sprigs of thyme. 4. Place the chicken on the vegetables and roast for 1 1/2 hours. 5. Remove from oven, and let stand for 20 minutes covered with foil. 6. Slice and serve with the vegetables.
Inspired by Ina Garten
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Ensuring a Secure Future for My Family Execution Is Greater Than Strategy
Benefits of Giving Back Scaling Up the Business Classic Roast Chicken The 1995 Rugby World Cup
THE SPORT THAT UNITED A COUNTRY
The 1995 Rugby World Cup
weeks, what happened in this country was incredible,” Pienaar said. Just before the final game that would decide the 1995 World Cup winners, Mandela sported a Springboks jersey and stood behind the team. Through a hard- fought match, South Africa came out on top, and, after receiving the trophy from President Mandela, Pienaar explained the atmosphere of the event: “When the final whistle blew, this country changed forever.” If the 1995 World Cup was any indication, the camaraderie inherent to rugby can transcend all kinds of barriers. Meet a fellow rugby player or fan in any part of the world, and you’ll likely forge an instant kinship. In 2021, you can look forward to cheering on the women’s teams during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Just a few years earlier in 1991, apartheid legislation had been repealed in South Africa. The policy had left a deep cut, and the country still had a long journey toward healing and reparation. Nelson Mandela, who had been elected in 1994, was set on championing a “rainbow nation” in this new postapartheid era. Rugby started in England in the late 1800s, and colonizers took it to South Africa, where South Africans of every color embraced the game. It was controversial because of its connection to the architects of apartheid, but Mandela saw rugby’s potential as a symbol of hope and unity for a country that desperately needed it. Springboks captain Francois Pienaar (played by Matt Damon in “Invictus,” the film adaptation of this event) thought the president’s support of the team was a brilliant act. “During those six
In early November, the 2019 Rugby World Cup wrapped
up in Japan. The international competition brings out world-class athletes
and entertainment. While matches are certainly intense, respect for the
competition and for referees is a core tenet of rugby culture. After going head-to-head with an opponent, you’ll still shake hands, and maybe have a beer together, at the end of a match. This principle was on full display nearly 25 years ago at the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in South Africa. The South African Springboks were up against the New Zealand All Blacks, and a number of factors made this an exceptional match.
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