VIDEO: Xanatos Marine, Best International Trade Winner, Share Their Tips for Success

Xanatos Marine believes that there is no problem that cannot be solved. They provide unique and customized marine security and monitoring equipment for clients including the Indonesian Marine Police, World Bank, US Department of State, the International Maritime Organization, Transport Canada and the United Nations.

Working in these countries, Xanatos Marine’s founder, Bill English, biggest lesson has been to make sure that he understands his client’s way of doing business. For this, he depends on the Canadian Trade Commissioners in each country, who provide invaluable insight on how to be successful internationally.

When asked what inspires him, Bill simply answers, “Our clients.” He explains, “When you look at the selfless acts organizations like the coast Guard take on it’s quite inspiring. Heading into 10 meter swells and heavy winds to rescue, risking their own well being, inspires me to develop technologies to assist them.”

Bill’s advice to other entrepreneurs? To have an honest discussion with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. You can then use this understanding to hire the people who are strong, where you are weak, and work as a team to grow the business. But his biggest advice is one of acceptance. “You’re going to make mistakes… learn from them, adjust your strategy and move on.
Don’t give up!”

Find out more tips and advice from Xanatos Marine Business Development Manager, Kris English, in his video below.


How Customer Nominations Can Empower Your Business

We all know that awards can benefit your business. They create opportunities for making connections, generate awareness, and help build your reputation and market position. The benefits can be worth so much more than just the title and trophy you receive. But, the thought of nominating your business can be daunting. You may have that little voice in your head asking “are you really the best?”

So, what greater compliment can there be than when your business is nominated for an award by an employee, customer or community member? They are telling you that they believe in you. That your business makes a positive impact.

We asked two of our nominees from the 2014 Small Business BC Awards how they felt when they found out they had been nominated by a third party. And, here’s what they had to say:

BikeHike Adventures Inc., Top 5 Finalist for Best Employer Award

Trish Sare, Founder and Director of BikeHike Adventures, says she felt truly humbled to be nominated for the Best Employer Award. “Our business is all about people, both employees and clients and I’ve always strived to create a dynamic, supportive, stimulating environment for my employees while giving them as many opportunities for growth as feasible.” At the same time, she says, she has always questioned whether she’s successful in every realm, so to be recognized externally, felt empowering.

i-Worx, Best Workplace Award Winner

Andre Coetzee, Director and Co-Founder of i-Worx, describes how he was delighted when he found out that he and Jose Gavina had been nominated for the Best Workplace Award. “Jose and I are not the kind of people to nominate ourselves for awards,” he says. “I was super excited because it meant that we were being recognized for something that we worked hard to achieve since day one.” Once Andre found out who had nominated them, he immediately found them and thanked them for their nomination, telling them how much it meant to them. They have used the positivity and momentum of the awards to push their business forward and make their workplace “even more awesome” to be part of.

So, what are you waiting for? Nominate your favourite business for a Small Business BC Award today and empower a business that you think makes a positive impact to your community.

VIDEO: Best Online Marketer Winner, Jenna Herbut, Shares Her Tips for Success

Jenna wanted to give traditional craft fairs a makeover and appeal to a whole new generation. She started Make It Productions.

Once a year she gathers 250 exhibitors to the PNE Forum in Vancouver and The Enjoy Centre in Alberta to sell all things craft to well over 15,000 socially conscious shoppers.

What’s Jenna’s secret? “I’m naturally creative, so coming up with lots of ideas was always very easy for me.” Her love of being able to get people excited about Make It! is also key. “I’m good at connecting people and generating a lot of PR for our designers.” One of the contributing factors to her winning the Best Online Marketer Award in 2014.

Jenna puts her quick rise to success down to her determination. “There isn’t anything you can’t do if you put your mind to it and believe in yourself. “ She explains, “One thing I think people do too much is quitting too soon. It can be really tough, but if you just stick with it you’ll be amazing at what you can accomplish. It’s little steps forward every day that gets you to your dream.”

Find out about her three tips of success.

Video: Christina Platt Shares Her 3 Success Tips for Small Businesses

For Christina Platt, Bamboletta Dolls is about community and the positive local impact it creates; something that the judges of the Small Business BC Awards recognized when they awarded her the Best Community Impact Award in February 2014.

However, Christina has been expanding her business’ reach outside of her immediate community too. Through Bamboletta Dolls’ online presence, she’s been able to develop a solid rapport with her customers. As a result, she’s been able to rally Bamboletta’s Dolls online fans to make a difference in her local community through online auctions.

Christina has spent the last 12 years building Bamboletta Dolls exactly as she envisioned it, and is quite content with the state of her business is right now. It’s an event when new dolls are posted for sale on the Bamboletta website, and they sell out almost instantly.

Find out about her three tips for small business success on managing teams, social media strategy and evolving business plans:

Two New Award Categories for 2015

Every year we strive to increase the impact of the SBBC Awards, so we can better support and celebrate BC small business owners. This year, we’re pleased to add two new award categories and significantly increased the prizing with the support of our sponsors.

“Our small business community is driven by hard working committed individuals from diverse backgrounds who understand both the value of community and the opportunity to live and work in our wonderful province. That’s why we felt it important to add the categories Best Emerging Entrepreneur Award and Best Immigrant Entrepreneur Award to the contest,” says George Hunter, CEO at Small Business BC.

Best Emerging Entrepreneur Award

The Best Emerging Entrepreneur Award recognizes a young individual who contributes to the social, cultural and economic well-being of their communities. This individual has demonstrated community leadership and entrepreneurial initiative, and has a strong vision for change.

Find out more about the Best Emerging Entrepreneur Award.

Best Immigrant Entrepreneur Award

The Best Immigrant Entrepreneur Award, recognizes an outstanding new Canadian who has started a successful business in BC. This individual has overcome adversity, exhibits leadership both in their community and within their business, and has strong track record of business growth.

Find out more about the Best Immigrant Entrepreneur Award.

VIDEO: MNP’s Mackenzie Kyle Explains What it Means to Him to Sponsor the SBBC Awards

Since its inception in 2003, the awards have attracted over 2,600 entrepreneurs and those numbers continue to increase, as does the attendance at the awards ceremony at the end of February each year. This year’s ceremony was completely sold out with over 500 attendees and the #SBBCawards hashtag trending nationally throughout the event.

It is the growth in awareness, interest and participation in the awards, which attracted MNP, a new sponsor to this year’s Best Concept Award. Regional Managing Partner for Advisory Services, Mackenzie Kyle, tells us “We’re very excited to be a part of it.” He explains how being a judge in one of the award categories also allowed him to witness the inspiration and creativity of the nominees, which contributed to his experience as sponsor.

Hear more about his experience below:

VIDEO: IBC’s Bill Adams Describes the Inspiration and Energy He Experienced at the SBBC Awards

Over the last 11 years, the Small Business BC Awards have expanded from a simple business planning contest to a large-scale provincial awards contest and ceremony that has built a reputation of excellence and prestige amongst the small business community. But, all of this would not have been possible without the outstanding support of our sponsors, which allows us to promote the entrepreneurial excellence in BC.

However, sponsoring the awards is not just a one-way street. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has been the Title Sponsor for the awards for the last five years. Their contribution is part of their corporate social responsibility pledge, to give back to the community which provides business for their members, but as Bill Adams, Vice President Western & Pacific Region describes, “I leave here feeling much more invigorated, personally, than I do from most events that I do.” He tells us that when you get into an environment like the Small Business BC Awards, where you are surrounded by entrepreneurs who are taking risks every day to grow the economy of our province, you can’t help but come away enthused. Which is why he promises, “We’ll be back!”

Find out more about his experience below:

Photos from the SBBC Awards Ceremony

Did you attend the SBBC Awards ceremony on February 27th? Relive some of the best moments from the event below. And if you didn’t attend, get a sneak peek at what the SBBC Awards are all about!

[flickr-album id=”72157642007238794″ size=”large”]

You can check out and comment on this photo set on Flickr too.

Photography for the SBBC Awards ceremony was provided by Butter Studios Photographers.

Presenting the 11th Annual SBBC Awards Winners

The top small businesses in BC were announced last night as the winners of the 11th Annual SBBC Awards, hosted by Small Business BC.

The competition was fierce and the winners had to prove their excellence among a group of 417 nominated businesses in nine different award categories. The winners were selected after at the conclusion of an intense five-month process that involved online voting, applications and live pitches to a judging panel.

This year’s winners are:

Best Community Impact
Bamboletta Dolls Ltd.

Best Company
Everybody Loves Rewards Inc. (Save Everyday)

Best Concept
Medeo Corporation

Best Employer
Fully Managed Inc.

Best Green Business
Eclipse Awards International Inc.

Best International Trade
Xanatos Marine Ltd.

Best Online Marketer
Make It Productions Inc.

Best Workplace
i-worx Enterprises Inc.

The first-ever Premier’s People’s Choice Award was also handed out last night to Fruiticana Produce from Surrey, B.C. This award went to the company that proved they had the support of their community by receiving the most online votes.

“We created the Premier’s People’s Choice Award to recognize small businesses at the heart of their communities,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Congratulations to Fruiticana Produce and to all the nominees. By expanding your businesses and spurring innovation, you are all contributing to the growing culture of entrepreneurship in British Columbia.”

Premier Christy Clark and the Province of British Columbia are also sponsoring the Premier’s Prize of $1500 cash to the winners of all nine award categories.

“The selection process was extremely tough with such strong, smart and innovative entrepreneurs representing our province,” said CEO of Small Business BC, George Hunter. “We are extremely proud to help showcase the diverse talent and tremendous determination that exists amongst B.C.’s entrepreneurs. We congratulate the winners of the Small Business BC Awards and hope to see even more businesses recognized for their success next year.”

In order to be named among the best in BC, the winners had to gain votes from the public to be shortlisted to the Top 10, then submit an extended application detailing why they deserved to win. Once selected as a Top 5 finalist, they went on to face our panel of judge to prove why they should be named BC’s best.

We’d Love your Feedback!

If you were at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony last night, let us know what you thought! We’d love your feedback to help us make the event even bigger and better for next year.

Take survey now!

SBBC Awards Door Prize Winners – Claim your Prizes Now!

Click here to find out if you’re the lucky winner of one our many door prizes at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony.

Congratulations to the 11th Annual SBBC Awards Top 5 Finalists!

After two intense weeks of deliberation, our judging panel has narrowed down the SBBC Awards Top 5 Finalists.

From Campbell River to Kamloops, this year’s finalists have demonstrated the impact they’ve had on their communities and the contributions they make to the economy.

This year’s finalists include:

Best Company

  • AZ World Translation & Interpretation, North Vancouver
  • burger55, Penticton
  • Fitness on the Go, Vancouver
  • Save Everyday, Vancouver
  • ToursByLocals, Vancouver

Best Community Impact

  • Bamboletta Dolls, Cowichan Bay
  • The Green Kiss, Victoria
  • On the Farm Country Market, Squamish
  • Save Everyday, Vancouver
  • Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery, Vancouver

Best Concept

  • Float House, Vancouver
  • Medeo, Vancouver
  • Roam Mobility, Vancouver
  • Thank You Products, Campbell River
  • Vancouver Tumblebus, Port Coquitlam

Best Green Business

  • Aspenware Inc., Vernon
  • Eclipse Awards, Vancouver
  • Green Chair Recycling, Vancouver
  • Natural Pod, Vancouver
  • Watertiger, Vancouver

Best Employer

  • BikeHike Adventures, Vancouver
  • Coastal Trademark Services Ltd., Vancouver
  • Fully Managed, Vancouver
  • Neutron Factory Works, Delta
  • Williams and White, Burnaby

Best International Trade Business

  • Fruiticana Produce Ltd., Surrey
  • Herbaland Naturals Inc., Richmond
  • Kahuna Paddle Boards, Whistler
  • Williams and White Equipment, Burnaby
  • Xanatos Marine Ltd., North Vancouver

Best Online Marketer

  • The Bench, Kamloops
  • Main Street Communications, Maple Ridge
  • Make it Productions, Vancouver
  • Mason Industries, Surrey
  • West Coast Thrift, Nanaimo

Best Workplace

  • CCN Bikes, North Vancouver
  • Cucumber Marketing, Vancouver
  • i-worx, North Vancouver
  • The Oracle, Whistler
  • Homeroom Small Business Solutions, Vancouver

All of the finalists will face a panel of judges in early February to convince them why they should be named the top businesses in B.C.

The winners – including the winnner of the Premier’s People’s Choice Award – will be announced on February 27, 2014 at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver. Tickets are going fast, so be sure to get yours now.