EDITORIAL TEAM David MacDonald Jamie Barrie Jordan Parker CONTRIBUTING WRITER Denise Alison Jamie Barrie Janice Buckler Jody Euloth MEDIA CONSULTANT Tim Kohoot Arleen Atienza Ceiledh Monk Dan Monk



W e kick off 2019 in this month’s issue. Now that the holidays and blue Monday are behind us it is time to put our business plans for the new year into action. For us 2019 is going to be about connecting, engaging and inspiring the SME business leaders of today and tomorrow and helping these leaders do the same with their customers. Connecting with customers is something that Sean Myles and Gina Haverstock of the Annapolis Cider Company have been very successful at doing for their brand. They are not located in a big city but nestled on Main Street in downtown Wolfville, a small town in Nova Scotia that is now equally known as the epicen- tre of the local food movement as it is for being the home of Acadia University thanks to Sean Myles and Gina Haverstock’s unique ciders that are gaining pop- ularity throughout Canada and beyond the border. For Geoff Gornall and partners Neil Bergman and Warren Gregory, co-owners of Tapworks Brewing Co, engaging their community is what has moved beer from a hobby to a beverage brand suited to represent living on the sunshine coast and their rural town of Gibsons, located in British Columbia and surround- ed by hiking trails and natural beauty. In Gibsons, the community takes pride in their environment and local business. Gornall, Bergman and Gregory are proud of the community and brand that they represent and make sure they have a flavour in their brewery for every occasion and everyone. When it comes to making the jump into your own business nothing is more inspiring than our story with Jason Barrett of Black Button Distilling. It would have been easy for him to stay in the family business and continue to provide some of the finest men’s suit buttons that have closed suits worn by Presidents, Popes, Kings, and Businessmen all over the world since 1922, but Barrett tells us why he left his family’s fourth generation business and went out on his own.

Want to guess where he got the name for his company?

We hope you enjoy the issue and we would like to thank all our featured companies for sharing your challenges, successes and for inspiring others to follow their dreams and passion. We also thank all those involved in putting this month’s issue together along with our advertisers and readers as we look forward to telling more stories about successful businesses and the people behind making it all happen.

Lee Ann Atwater Editor

P.O. Box 35007, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3M 0G3 P: 902 593 0533 E:




Jason Barrett’s family has provided some of the finest men’s suit buttons that have closed suits worn by Presi- dents, Popes, Kings, and Businessmen the world over since 1922. So why did Barrett leave his family’s fourth generations business, his answer is clear and simple, “I was meant for a different path.” So, he broke tradition and started to make whiskey. The lessons he had learned in his family’s factory as a kid still guide him to this day; work hard, work with your hands, make your product the best on the market, and you can’t cheat time. Although he is now in a completely different business, his distillery pays homage to his grandfather and the world he knew – where real men worked hard and drank real pot distilled whiskey. When we sat down with Jason Barrett and asked if it was a hard decision to start his own company. We learned that it was not just one decision, but a series of them along with a driving desire to strike out on his own; to make his mark on the world.

As far as apprenticeships go in the home construction industry, Dave Waldner had the best. Dave, the founder of Master Painting and Renovations in Chilliwack, British Columbia, grew up in a family of flippers. “I lived in a reno for the first 18 years of my life,” he explained proudly when he spoke with Spotlight on Business in early November. “In total I think we moved 23 times – there were six of us. Dad would buy the junkiest house on the nicest block, we’d move into that house and in a year, we’d have it lickety-split and ready for sale.” Dave can remember as early as seven years old helping his family with simple demolition-relat- ed tasks. “Even then I was carrying two-by-fours, cleaning up, that sort of thing,” he said. “We never hired out con- tractors; Dad would do everything with us, just the family, from scratch.” Even his father’s full-time job provided Dave with invaluable early insight into the industry in which he’d one day build a successful business. “Dad was a drywall taper, so he was on job sites all day. It was the evenings and weekends where we would work as a family and we’d get these houses up and running – and eventually sell them to make some profit.” Today, Dave still relies on family teamwork to deliver premium craftsmanship at a competi- tive price to customers throughout the Fraser Valley and...




02 SPOTLIGHT ON JANUARY 08 JANUARY INDUSTRY EVENTS 12 SPOTLIGHT ON INDUSTRY 14 MESH MEDIA NETWORK- THE DYNAMIC SOUL OF SELLING It’s not personal, it’s business 16 STRATIGRO- GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA! 5 Ways to create meaningful social media content 18 CONTRACTORS CORNER Being a self-employed owner of a renovation company 20 BLACK BUTTON DISTILLING 2 parts acumen + 3 parts passion = 1 successful business 26 RAGING CROW DISTILLING Nova Scotia distillery prides itself on local wares 34 SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS 38 TAPWORKS BREWING COMPANY Tapworks brings west coast lifestyle to ale 46 TRIM DESIGN INTERIORS Successfully stagingcompany sellingNewfoundlandhomes 50 MASTER PAINTING AND RENOVATIONS Born to renovate 56 SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATION 62 SPOTLIGHT ON HEALTH 64 HOLISTIC HEALTH TIP FOR JANUARY BY JANICE BUCKLER Auto-immune disease: from a gut & thyroid standpoint

When Megan Callahan moved from Houston, Tx. with her husband home to St. John’s, Nfld., she began helping friends and family decorate their homes. Pretty soon, her hobby exposed a talent she never realized she had. She went from a Business Analyst - a numbers person - to a creative thinker with a mind for design. She began Trim Design Interiors and went from helping her family to helping strangers. Callahan built relationships with realtors, and now she’s doing consult- ing with their clients to get homes sold efficiently and quickly. 46

For Geoff Gornall, co-owner of Tapworks Brewing Co., beer isn’t a hobby. It’s a beverage that needs to suit your lifestyle, whatever it may entail. Living on the sunshine coast, in Gibsons, B.C., the small town is infused with a ton of flavour. Sur- rounded by hiking trails and natural beauty, the community takes pride in their environment. Gornall and partners Neil Bergman and Warren Gregory make sure they have a ... 26




A IDACA MEDIA understands that small and medium size enterprises and businesses are key to the successful growth of any economy and just as import- ant as big businesses to the global economy as a whole. By putting a spotlight on your business, organization or commu- nity with effective and interactive media and advertising we will help you capture the interest of business leaders and potential clients, giving you an opportunity to promote your brand and grow market share through mobile, online, print and social media support, helping your business connect and stay engaged with your customers.



Upon us again is the season to reflect on another year that has passed, the challenges that we faced, the great entrepre- neurs and business leaders that we have had the honour to work with and the amazing stories that we have been able to bring to our readers as we put the spotlight on the people that made it all happen in 2018. This time of the year many businesses look to close out their year strong, while focusing on planning strategies and setting goals for 2019 and beyond. Like the year before, 2018 was an interesting year which saw many new challenges for busi- nesses on both sides of the border. We, like many of you, will learn from 2018 and look ahead to all that 2019 has to offer.

Taking a look back at some of the best articles from 2018



The Santa Clara Convention Center – Santa Clara, CA, USA DesignCon is back in Silicon Valley for its 24th year! Created by engineers for engineers, DesignCon brings together 5,000 professionals and over 175 exhibitors from the high-speed communications and semiconductor communities for three jam-packed days of education and activities. Through an in-depth conference program — curated by a 90-person Technical Program Com- mittee — and expo showcase, this event offers state-of-the-art design methodologies, applications, technol- ogies, and unparalleled networking opportunities. ​For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @DesignConEvent Follow on Facebook: @DesignCon

BUSINESS EXPO January 29th, 2019 Croatian Cultural Centre – Vancou- ver, BC, Canada An acclaimed event hosted by Pro- gressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society which is a registered non-profit society that has been serving the community since 1987, the Mega Job Fair is the perfect platform for employers and job seekers to connect. The fair has been taking place in Surrey since 2005, and this year expanded to Vancouver! The Mega Job Fair has continuously brought together organizations and businesses from diverse industries and sectors. Numerous exhibitors and thousands of visitors attend each year, making this event highly suc- cessful and productive for all those who attend. The purpose of the fair is to reduce the stress and pressures both employers and job seekers face when job searching, recruiting and networking. The Mega job fair is the place where all your employment needs are addressed – all under one roof! We look forward to coming to Vancouver this year – with the mission to unite talent with opportunity. ​ For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @megajobfairpics Follow on Instagram: @picsmegajob- fair

LAS VEGAS MARKET SHOW 2019 January 27th – 31st, 2019 Las Vegas Market – Las Vegas, NV, USA Since its launch in the Summer of 2005, Las Vegas Market has become the most comprehensive furniture, home décor and gift market in the Western United States! With 4,000+ lines in a world-class destination, Las Vegas Market offers efficient access to furniture, bedding, lighting, flooring, accessories and gift resources as well as signature west coast introductions on an easy-to- shop campus at World Market Center. ​For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @LasVegasMarket Follow on Facebook: @lvmarket Follow on Instagram: @lasvegasmarket

FARMTECH January 29th – 31st, 2019 EdmontonExpoCentre – Edmonton, AB, Canada Thiswill be the20thAnniversaryedition of FarmTech – Canada’s premier crop production and farm management conference. FarmTech is considered “The international trade show for agri- cultural industry” bringing attend- ees together and allowing them the opportunity to explore all the aspects relating to the topic of crop produc- tion and farm management.

DESIGNCON 2018 January 29th – 31st, 2019


​For more information of the event:



CARGO LOGISTICS CANADA EXPO & CONFERENCE February 5th – 9th, 2019 Vancouver Convention Centre – Vancouver, BC, Canada Connecting freight owners with freight movers – fostering multimodal synergy between diverse stakehold- ers in import, export and domestic supply chains. This is the prime opportunity for you to meet your colleagues across the country, and across the industry. You will hear from top experts in the industry, as they explore the issues, challenges and opportunities. Plus you can get face to face with vendors on the ground floor and explore the 150+ exhibits showcasing their latest products and technologies. ​For more information of the event: https://www.cargologisticscanada. com/en/home.html Follow on Twitter: @CargoLogistics Follow on Twitter: @farmtechevent

The Retailer/Buyer has over 130 apparel, footwear, accessories, children and gift agencies and retail-related business- es to choose from, located in multiple venues either in permanent or tempo- rary showrooms. It is the “fashion walk- about” trade show! ​For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @MetroShowVan Follow on Facebook: @MetroShowVan Follow on Instagram: @metroshowvan CANADIAN CONCRETE EXPO (CCE) February 6th – 7th, 2019 City Center The International Centre – Toronto, ON, Canada ​Canadian Concrete Expo (CCE) is an industry only trade show that features over 300 exhibiting companies, 26 edu- cational sessions, 6 large equipment demonstrations, 6 stage presentations on over 220,000 sq.ft of show space. The CCE creates commerce, partner- ships, education, face-to-face meetings with exhibitors and on-site product comparisons to an attending national audience representing Canada’s $8 billion per year concrete industry. Attending industry professionals are attracted to CCE knowing that every exhibiting company can provide equip- ment, products or services to a national or regional market in Canada. ​For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @CanConcreteExpo Follow on Facebook: @concreteexpo Follow on Instagram: @canadiancon- crete INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION & PROCESSING EXPO (IPPE) February 12th – 14th, 2019 Georgia World Congress Center – Atlantic, GA, USA

MONTREAL BOAT AND WATER SPORTS SHOW January 31st – February 3rd, 2019 Place Bonaventure – Montreal, QC, Canada Visit the largest boat show in Quebec and the first toenjoy 2019 season exclu- sives at the Place Bonaventure by the Quebec Marine Association (QMA), the 20th edition of the Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show offers you the opportunity to meet professionals of the boating sector, speakers, sailors and retailers from across the province. The Montreal Boat and Water sports Show is the place to shop the biggest boats’ selection and most specifically the brand new 2019 boats. So, visit Quebec’s largest boat sales event and enjoy the best prices and discounts of the boating market, with an exhibition area of 300,000 square feet, with over 250 exhibitors and more than 450 boats. There is some- thing for everyone’s boating and water sports needs. ​For more information of the event: ht tp:// index-en.php Follow on Twitter:

METRO SHOW February 5th – 9th, 2019City Center Multiple Venues – Vancouver, BC, Canada ​The METRO Show is a one-of-a-kind industry buying show held four times a year in Vancouver, British Columbia. If you are a Retailer, Buyer or Owner of a bricks & mortar shop or online store, then our show is for you.

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The International Production & Processing Expo is the world’s largest annual poultry, meat and feed industry event of its kind. A wide range of international decision-makers attend this annual event to network and become informed on the latest technological developments and issues facing the industry. The IPPE will bring together more than 1,200 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors from over 129 countries to Atlanta. The trade show focuses on; Innovation - bringing together buyers and sellers of the latest technology of products and services to make your business more success- ful. Education - learning from the experts and like business- es. Global Reach - attracting more than 8,000 International visitors from 129 countries, and Networking - meeting new and rekindling old relationships with leaders across the industries. ​For more information of the event: Follow on Twitter: @IPPEexpo Follow on Facebook: @IPPExpo Follow on Instagram: @ippexpo

event has been held in Toronto, Ontario since 1974 and draws an average of 300,000 visitors with last year seeing 358,842 people pass through the turnstiles at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The Canadian International AutoShow has over 650,000 square feet of exhibitors, displays and attractions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Canadian Interna- tional AutoShow is not only the largest automotive expo in Canada, it is also the country’s largest consumer show — a leader in lifestyle, technology and all things automotive. It boasts more than 1,000 cars, trucks, SUVs, concept cars, exotics, classics, muscle cars, fully electric and autonomous vehicles each year.

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AUTOSHOW February 15th – 21st, 2019 Metro Toronto Convention Centre – Toronto, ON, Canada

​For more information of the event: https://www.autoshow. ca/

Follow on Twitter: @autoshowcanada Follow on Facebook: @autoshowcanada Follow on Instagram: @cdnintlautoshow

​This is the 46th edition of Canada’s largest auto show. This

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Pouring Perfect Pints

Did you know that an estimated 10 million Canadians drink beer as their alcoholic beverage of choice? Draught beer is the freshest of these beers, as it does not go through the same distribution channels as canned or bottled beer. It is produced, kegged and delivered fresh to pubs and restaurants. As a draught system technologist, BeerTech’s number one goal is to ensure that draught beer be dispensed to consumers as the brewer intended. It all starts with system balance. Whether it is a short draw system (direct draw from a fridge below the towers) or a long draw (from a cooler located somewhere

in the building and driven to the tower and faucets at the bar), it is imperative that the system be balanced. Cooler temperature, beer temperature, gas pressure and calculations on the route the beer will travel (distance, any gravity or lift the lines will travel, restriction caused by hardware such as tubing size and hardware within the towers) must be correct. The result will be a perfectly poured pint; cold, properly carbonated and with a nice head on the beer. It is critical after a proper install that the BeerTech system is maintained regularly. Temperatures should be monitored and the lines, couplers and faucets should be kept clean. As well, the cooler in which the beer is stored should be kept clean.

Serving quality draught beer requires time and technique. Select the proper glassware for the style and brand of beer you are offering. When pouring draught, the glass should never contact with the faucet. Hold the glass at a 45 degree angle until reaching ¾ full, then straighten and lower slightly to allow for the head to form. Beer, much like wine, has a nose. The glass should be served with the logo or label facing the customer and, whenever possible, on a coaster from the respective brewery. Follow the steps above and you are ready to enjoy a fresh, perfectly poured pint every time! Please enjoy responsibly! Ken Greer Owner Technician BeerTech Draught Systems Technologies









CANADIAN ECONOMY CREATING JOBS, BUT WAGE GROWTH IS FALLING BELOW INFLATION RATE Stats Canada reported the unemployment rate reaches 40-year low while the Canadian economy created 94,100 jobs in November, its largest monthly increase since March 2012 when there was a gain of 94,000 jobs, but the spot- light should be that wage growth was just 1.7%, the worst increase since July of 2017. For permanent workers, wages were up just 1.5%, the worst in over 12 months. So, what does this mean? Well considering that Canada’s current inflation rate is 2.44%, far above the 1.7% wage growth, it means that everyone in Canada is becoming poorer with wages not growing at or above the inflation rate.

CANADIAN MANUFACTURING CEOS LESS OPTIMISTIC HEADING INTO 2019 A new survey shows business optimism for the year ahead among Canadian manufacturing executives is lower than it was a year ago as trade issues weigh. The survey by RK Insights showed 30 percent of the 501 respondents were optimistic about business prospects for 2019, down from 44 percent when asked the same ques- tions going into 2018. The survey found 18 per cent of the senior executives were concerned about business prospects for the year ahead, but 51 percent were cautiously optimistic in a similar level to last year.




The vacancy rate at regional and super regional malls was 9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, based on a survey released by real estate research firm Reis of 77 metropolitan areas across the United States.

That’s down from 9.1 percent — a seven-year high — in the third quarter, but up from 8.3 percent at the end of 2017. That’s also above a 10-year average vacancy rate for these malls of 8.4 percent during the fourth quarter.

The bad news is that going into 2019 retailers big and small are expected to shut a number of locations in the coming months. As these announcements tend to come during the first quarter, after the holiday season has finished and com- panies have a better grip on where they stand. The good news is that average mall rent increased 0.2 percent during the fourth quarter after dropping 0.3 percent during the prior quarter. This means that landlords were able to bring in higher-paying tenants replacing closing retailers more profitable businesses like hotels and co-working spaces.


Home sales in metro Vancouver continue to fall and are at their lowest level in nearly 20 years and as this once red-hot real estate market continues to show the signs that it is cooling off. The total number of homes sold in Metro Vancouver last year fell to 24,619, marking the lowest total since 2000, according to data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. That’s down 31.6 percent from approximately 36,000 in 2017 and 25 per cent below the region’s 10-year average. The composite benchmark price for a home, which includes detached properties, townhomes and condominiums, dropped 2.7 percent from December 2017 to finish the year at $1,032,400.

Detached homes led the fall as their benchmark price fell 7.8 per cent from December 2017 to $1,479,000.

Townhome and condominium prices saw small gains over the year. The benchmark price of a townhouse rose 1.3 percent year-over-year to $809,700, while the benchmark price of a condominium advanced 0.6 percent to $664,100.



Jody Euloth is the CEO of The Mesh Media Network and Founder of The Dynamic Soul of Selling. She helps entrepreneurs, business and sales professionals and creative visionaries get over their fear of selling so they can generate more revenue and make a bigger impact in business.



By Jody Euloth R ecently, I read a post on LinkedIn written by one of my colleagues about being ignored or getting the ‘silent treatment’ in business. He talked about how by not receiving a response to his email in the time he felt he should have turned into frustration. And, as a result, he was taking it personal and feeling ignored. This feeling can be daunting for a salesperson. It can make you not want to reach out again in fear that you are bother- ing the other person. It can make you leave opportunities on the table, if you don’t have a plan for continuous follow up and reach out. And it can play on your psyche, if you let it. What is important to remember is that, most often than not, it’s not personal. According to our Top Performance in Sales Prospecting research, ‘it takes an average of 8 touches to get an initial meeting (or other conversion) with a new prospect.’ But the initial meeting is just the beginning. It takes a lot more to make the sale. Depending on the product, idea, or service, closing sales takes time, and it takes time to gain trust and nurture the relationship. Sometimes it can be a quick decision, and other times, especially on high-ticket items, it can take a lot longer. Both the sales person and the sales manager need to under- stand this. When reaching out to a prospect, either via email or by phone, you are an interruption to your prospect’s day. Decision makers have lots of other things going on that make your call an interruption. They could be dealing with a deadline on one of their projects, or an HR issue with one of their employees, or a broken-down photocopier when they are rushing out the door to a meeting. Unless it’s planned, please understand that your email or phone call is an inter- ruption and may get buried in the chaos of a work day, week or even month. Understanding this perspective makes things a lot easier in your sales approach. Eventually, when it is convenient for your prospect, they will either get back to you, or you will catch them at the right time via phone. Often, I’ve had the

decision maker apologize for not being prompt in replying. It’s the salespersons job at that point to be understanding and show empathy for how busy they are. Saying something like ‘I understand how busy you are, it’s my job to follow up with you anyways’ can often warm up the conversation so you can quickly move past any perceived friction. On the flip side, you can have a prospect who will take your call every time, who will reply to every email and still have no intention of buying. But they don’t want to come out and tell a salesperson in fear of hurting their feelings. In sales, we call this ‘Lip Service’ and it is a huge waste of time for a salesperson. I’d rather hear no, than continue to chase an empty opportunity. Of course, qualifying leads and under- standing your prospect’s buying timelines will help make things clearer. Nonetheless, however the sales process pans out, sales people and sales managers who are trying to hit deadlines and budgets need to know that ‘Your Urgency, Is Not Your Prospect’s Urgency.’ And even though your prospect may not have returned your call, or your email or has not sched- uled a meeting with you, understand that ‘It’s not Personal, It’s Business.’ For more, sales tips and strategies, sign up for ‘The Dynamic Soul of Selling’ Newsletter at dynamic-soul- of-selling/ For a free 15-minute sales consul- tation to determine if you would benefit from ‘The Dynamic Soul of Selling 90-minute Strategy Session’ email jody@ Jody Euloth is the CEO of The Mesh Media Network and Founder of The Dynamic Soul of Selling. She helps entre- preneurs, business and sales professionals and creative visionaries get over their fear of selling so they can generate more revenue and make a bigger impact in business.

Social handles @jodyeuloth



Denise Alison empowers business owners to build relationships and connect with their potential customers on social media, and through live video.

By Denise Alison F or many entrepreneurs, creating content for social media has become a way of life. We create regular content to educate, enter- tain and connect with your audience. Creating great content can increase our visibility, build relationships, attract new customers and keep you engaged with the customers that you have. But every once in awhile, we get into a social media rut. You might not know what to say, you might feel like you’ve said it all before, or you might feel like the ideas you are coming up with aren’t going to serve your audience. Have you ever felt that way? I know I do from time to time. So, to help you get out of your social media rut, here are 5 Ways to Create Meaningful Social Media Content:

LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE One mistake I often see entrepreneurs make is creating entirely different content for each platform and for each day. Kudos to them for creating so much content, but it really isn’t an effective strategy. The goal should be to get more eyes on your content, not create as much content as possible. How do you do that? Look at the big picture of what’s going on in your business at the moment. ASK YOURSELF, WHAT ARE THE KEY INITIATIVES THIS QUARTER? The content that you create should be in line with those initiatives. For example, if I am about to do a launch of the Live Video Formula, my live video training, my anchor content (which for me is my live show) will be about live video. Taking that a step further, I would also repurpose some of the main points of that video into static social media content. I might also take one of the topics and go into further detail in an Instagram story.

The point is, you want a cohesive strategy, not 5 random posts about 5 different topics.



PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE ASKS The videos you create are for your audience. That means no one knows better what type of content you should share than your audience! But they aren’t going to outright call up and say, “Hey Denise, you should do a video on FB Stories” (unfortunate- ly). But if you keep your eyes out, it’s ALMOST that simple. If you ever do speaking gigs, pay attention to the questions that your audience asks, both during the official Q&A, and any questions that they may come up and ask afterwards. If part of your problem is that you haven’t done many speaking gigs so people are not asking you questions, then do some research! Look up questions that people ask in relevant Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Or look up influencers in the same industry as you, see what people are asking them. INFUSE YOUR PERSONALITY Why do your customers buy from you? I’m sure you can come up with all sorts of reasons, but the most important one is because you are you, you’ve built a relationship with them, they like you, and they want to support you. There- fore, who you are is a vital piece to your marketing. Yet, most content creators censor their personalities. Remember this isn’t High School. The goal isn’t to fit in, it’s to STAND OUT as much as possible, and that means being your unique self. Remember, if someone asks it, others are thinking it. It’s a clear sign that people want to know. You should also keep an eye on any questions that your audience asks on social media.

content that you create as it will connect with your target audience and help build engagement with your customers. MAKE IT ABOUT THEM

But, it’s not about you. It’s about your audience.

Whenever you are creating content, you need to do so with your audience in mind.

That means when you are sharing stories, you aren’t sharing them just because, you are sharing stories that are relatable, and can emotionally connect with your audience. Your goal is to be the guide. You are the expert in what you do, and its up to you to help your customers achieve their goals. You are the fairy godmother in the story, and they are the princess. You need to get them to the ball! DON’T POST JUST FOR THE SAKE OF IT If after doing all of this, you still have nothing meaningful to say. Don’t say anything. It is that simple!

It’s much more important to share quality posts than just posting to say you did.

Creating crappy just because posts that don’t get engage- ment will do you more harm than good in terms of the algo- rithm and the perspective of your audience. By posting things just for the sake of it you will get filtered out, and the algorithm will decide that users don’t want to see your posts.

So, if you have news to share or promote to your audience, don’t say anything at all.

I hope that you find these tips helpful and I look forward to sharing more tips on how to grow your business with social media.

Make sure you infuse your personality into every piece of



By Dan Monk D id you know that the residential construction industry is one of Canada’s largest employers? Our industry directly or indirectly employs over 1.23 Million people. This industry contributes a payroll of over $70 Billion per year and invests over $150 Billion per year in Canadian homes. On top of that, this leading industry is comprised predominately of small businesses. These numbers are staggering to say the least. Let’s use a simplified example of what a small renova- tion business would contribute annually to the Canadian economy in taxes alone. Assume the business, after owner compensation, makes a profit of $250K, which would typ- ically require sales of around $2.5M or more. Their direct contribution to the economy would be through tax col- lection amounting to approximately $375K in HST and the small business corporate income tax of $25K approximate- ly. From an employment perspective, the owner, when taking profit from the company as salary or dividends would pay income tax amounting to $70-100K. Additionally, the

company likely employs 10 or more workers and they each pay income tax, Canadian Pension Plan and Employment Insurance. Therefore, a small business, as described above, contributes $600K or more annually. Wow, I bet you did not know how much a successful small business contributes to the economy of Canada. On top of their contribution, small business owners take all the risks associated with self employment such as personal- ly guaranteeing all credit, financing their personal home to capitalize their business, and working day in and day out to ensure their business survives. They are also responsible for the livelihood of their employees, which most owners take very personally. Small business is the economic backbone of the Canadian economy, as we all now know, however the Federal Govern- ment needs money to pay for promises, expanding social programs and general expenses of running a government. With recent small business tax changes, they will raise these funds at the expense of small businesses. We do not mind paying their fair share, but the calculations above demon- strate we are paying well more than their share. Govern- ments need to make it easier for small businesses to start and remain profitable, not squeeze them for extra tax revenue. Now, small business owners are not complaining, we are simply upset by the recent injustice. We are the ones building the economy of the country and our government officials are portraying us as tax cheats, which we certainly are not! This is not an article looking for sympathy; as small business owners, we are hard working, risk taking, workaholics who enjoy self employment and thrive because we see every challenge as another opportunity to grow. Everyone should understand what it takes to maintain and grow the vibrant



and profitable Canadian economy, it simply takes one small business at a time. Often, we work 10 to 16 hours per day, many weekends, and rarely will ignore a business call regardless of the event! You all know who you are! We call home while on vacation to check on the projects and production. The same character traits apply to all business owners regardless of sex, religion, ethnicity, or language. I see small business owners as our own sub species; we are very protective of what we have created and will work continually to ensure it grows and stays safe. For most small business owners our company is our baby and we want to see it grow strong and healthy so one day it can stand alone without our help. This is the time when the owner becomes the advisor or the consultant or director of the board and has given operational control to others. Maybe, just maybe, we can retire at the young age of 80 because we loved our work so much, we just couldn’t stop. When your business is your passion, you never want to stop, and you could be hooked for life. Dan Monk is a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), Red Seal Carpenter and the Owner of Monk Renovations. Dan and the team at Monk Renovations can provide you with an outstanding home renova- tion experiences regardless of the size of your project. Twitter @monkrenovations Facebook & Instagram @monkreno


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By Jordan Parker I t was only six years ago that Jason Barrett was the “numbers guy” at an accounting firm in Washington, D.C. He was doing the checks and balances, but his home-brew- ing hobby landed him as the representative for some alcohol industry clients.

Jason Barrett’s family has provided some of the finest men’s suit buttons that have closed suits worn by Presidents, Popes, Kings, and Businessmen the world over since 1922. So why did Barrett leave his family’s fourth generations business, his answer is clear and simple, “I was meant for a different path.” So, he broke tradition and started to make whiskey. The lessons he had learned in his family’s factory as a kid still guide him to this day; work hard, work with your hands, make your product the best on the market, and you can’t cheat time. Although he is now in a completely different business, his distillery pays homage to his grandfather and the world he knew – where real men worked hard and drank real pot distilled whiskey. When we sat down with Jason Barrett and asked if it was a hard decision to start his own company. We learned that it was not just one decision, but a series of them along with a driving desire to strike out on his own; to make his mark on the world.

After enough time helping others’ brewing/distilling busi- nesses, Barrett couldn’t help but want to start his own.

Then began the events that would lead to the creation of Rochester, N.Y. business Black Button Distilling.

“One of my clients was Catochin Creek Distilling. They loved what they did every day. I had a tinge of jealousy and through this experience I now understood the business and production,” he said. Barrett’s initial interest in home brewing led him to learn more about the alcohol industry. He translated that knowl- edge to spirits and discovered a newfound passion for making Bourbon. “And it just so happened the laws in New York were also being re-written to make craft distilling more cost-effective.” The cost to get a license to distill went from $60,000 to $1,500 a year, allowing Barrett to open a business that just a few years ago would have been impossible. The universe had spoken.

“The state realized if they lowered the introductory license,



more money could be made by taxing every bottle,” he said.

“So, I quit my job, sold my house and moved back to Roch- ester. I had started home brewing in college due to an economic need. Distilling was going to be a way to make a living and love what I was doing.”

doors for one day and sold over 700 bottles of vodka; the only spirit available at the time. In January 2014, the Roch- ester location was open permanently and will celebrate their 5 year anniversary shortly. “The biggest thing I’ve learned since then is it’s the people who work here who make this company great. You can have a great product and idea, but it’s nothing without the blood, sweat and tears of those who work with you,” he said. “We have 88 people working right now, and we truly couldn’t do this without them.” Black Button Distilling has grown dramatically. They have gone from three products to 13 and have increased distri- bution throughout New York State plus 11 others and Japan.

He had always liked tinkering, and it seemed like the ideal job for Barrett.

“My family had always been involved in button manufactur- ing, hence the name of the business,” he said. “I wanted to make something tangible with my hands. Coding and apps seem like the way of the future, but I like getting my hands dirty. I’m more tactile.” “My family had always been involved in button manufacturing, hence the name of the business.”

On December 21, 2013, Black Button Distilling opened its

“We are on pace to make 250,000 bottles in 2019. We






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started as a two-man crew, and this has turned into a mon- strosity, in all the best ways,” Barrett said.

“We have seen industry changes too. We were the 21st dis- tillery to start in the state, and there are now 100. There’s been huge growth in the industry, and things are more competitive.” But a major differentiator is how Black Button Distilling has embraced supporting local farmers. Black Button Distill- ing is registered as a “Farm Distillery” which means they purchase all ingredients used in the process from local, New York State farms. Over 90% of the ingredients used by Black Button Distilling comes from New York, allowing them to be accredited as the first distillery in the New York State Grown and Certified Program. “We literally shake the hands of farmers who grow the crops we use for our spirts,” said Barrett. “They are some of my favourite people. They bring things to market every year, and we learn so much from them. It’s a pleasure knowing and working with them.” From a business standpoint, it is also a sustainable model and opens up so many avenues. With a farm distillery license, Black Button Distilling is able to have a tasting room, sell at farmer’s markets and county fairs and directly to liquor stores. Rochester and Western New York have embraced them like he never imagined, and they now have another tasting room in Buffalo.

“We expected we’d be bored, with 20-to-30 people in on a Saturday for the day. We see 50-to-60 an hour, and our



tours run back-to-back,” he said.

For the future, Barrett just hopes Black Button Distilling keeps growing and diversifying.

Black Button Distilling expects revenue to come in just shy of $4-million, and that’d be 65 percent growth from last year. “The company has doubled in size every 14-18 months, and we now have 88 employees, double what we had last year,” he said. “We have four buildings in Rochester, one in Buffalo, and rent 27,000 square feet.” “The company has doubled in size every 14-18 months, and we now have 88 employees, double what we had last year.” Black Button Distilling was also named to the Inc. 5,000 list. It ranks as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. “We were named the second-fastest growing craft distill- ery in the nation. We were also the 2020th fastest-growing company of any kind,” he said.

“We are trying to have more whiskey, and we make as much as we can. Our current growth rate is such that by the time we get new facilities in, it’s time to grow again,” he said. “We are always wishing we had more space or capacity, and that’s a very good thing. We are keeping busy and doing something we love. You cannot ask for anything more.”

“I hope you will try our small batch, grain to glass spirits and join me in raising a glass and Live Large in Small Batches.”

“To see that kind of hard work rewarded is amazing, and to be able to take that victory lap is something special.”

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By Jordan Parker J ill Linquist fell into the distilling business by chance, and found a love she didn’t know existed. She now runs Raging Crow Distillery in North River, N.S., but she would have never expected to end up in the industry. “My husband and I have a small hobby vineyard. We grow grapes and sell to Benjamin Bridge for their Nova7. We took wine tours each year, and in June 2016 we went on an Okanagan wine tour,” she said. “We stopped at Legends Distilling, and a young lady from Lunenburg gave our tour. We were pretty amazed at every- thing,” she said. “He taught small fruits, and he jumped at the chance. We looked at equipment and the costs, formulated a business plan, and incorporated in September 2017.” “I always had a great love and interest in fine food, and I’m a dietitian by trade. I had worked for food companies and had that business background. I knew that all distilleries were different, and we felt that there was room in the industry.” The Canada Revenue Agency granted them with a license in February, and Linquist and Pruski then went to a master distilling course in Kelowna, B.C. before opening. “I always had a great love and interest in fine food, and I’m a dietitian by trade. I had worked for food companies and had that business background. I knew that all distill- eries were different, and we felt that there was room in the industry,” she said. “We kept it small, had a building on the property that my husband and I own, and we went into it with manageable startup costs.” By July 2017, Linquist wanted to make a go of it, and called retiring Dal professor Kris Pruski to be a business partner.

In the hub of Nova Scotia just outside of Truro on Hwy 311 is a place called North River where you will find some of best small-batch, hand-crafted, artisanal distilled spirits in the province and after having the opportunity to sample some of their products, I would go as far to say in Canada. We had the opportunity to sit down with Jill Linquist, owner and operator of Raging Crow Distillery and learn about their focus on creating amazing products and their commitment to sourcing local Nova Scotia grown products, wherever possible. So that you know when tasting one of their hand- crafted spirits that you are getting honey from the local beekeeper, the rye from the local farmer, the coffee from the local coffee roaster, the maple syrup from the local maple shack and bacon smoked by the local butcher because at Raging Crow Distillery, Jill and her team is focused on quality versus quantity and it shows in the product that they produce.

She said the biggest trouble was her unfamiliarity with the regulatory aspects of selling a controlled substance.

“The NSLC and CRA were such a fabulous help. It was definitely a learning curve, but we got the hang of it pretty quickly. Other distilleries in Nova Scotia were also very helpful. They’ve been so supportive even though we are competitors in some ways,” she said.



“It’s the same for the wine and craft beer industry in Nova Scotia. They are all different, but try to help each other out.”

She can’t say ‘support’ without mentioning the community around her.

“We support other businesses and they support us. The coffee in their coffee liqueur comes from Aroma Maya in North River, and their grains fromHorton Ridge Malt and Grain Company. Our honey in the liqueur comes from our own beehives. The spruce in our spruce-tip gin comes from our cottage. The maple comes from the MacRae’s five minutes down the



road,” she said.

“By supporting each other, we make sure everyone around here benefits. We give credit to those around us who help make our product great, and we help grow other small busi- nesses in the area.” She said they mostly advertise through social media, and she’s thrilled with the support they have seen. “By supporting each other, we make sure everyone around here benefits. We give credit to those around us who help make our product great, and we help grow other small businesses in the area.” “We have had a number of events recently and we’re getting excellent exposure. We’re seeing repeat customers and restaurants are carrying us too. We are happy people are buying, trying, and telling their friends,” she said. She’s proud to say their products are also all natural and chemical-free, and she feels this is important with people focusing on clean eating.

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