Did you know there are approx. 1.2 million small businesses in Canada and that they represent 98% of all the businesses in the country? These small businesses employ 70% of ALL Canadians — making us a very entrepreneurial country! Construction is one of the largest sectors, representing 6% of the GDP in 2010. It is also an accurate barometer of how the economy is performing overall.
Home service professionals, as we refer to them at HomeStars, represent a very important part of the economy. And many of those businesses are also small businesses. I can really relate to that because I myself was a small business owner for years, back when I started HomeStars in 2006.
As a small business owner with a couple employees you have to master all of the required skills to build your company. Starting my own small business was difficult because I could no longer focus on one part of my business — I had to learn everything — and not only that, I had to do it all well.
After you first serve the most important part of your business — your customers, the hardest part is prioritizing all the other things required to be successful. Setting priorities means juggling tasks and deadlines; in short, learning how to keep a lot of balls in the air, without dropping any!
That’s why, each year, we honour our top home service professionals with the ‘Best of HomeStars’ awards. The awards recognize excellence not only in service; but also customer reviews and ratings, getting verified and responding quickly to customer requests. Our best professionals know how to take full advantage of the service we offer, and how to use it to grow their small businesses.
And this year, we introduced a first. The ‘Best of the Best’ awards recognized the highest achieving businesses in each of the regions in which we operate — from one-person shops to large, national operations. We awarded this accolade to three companies; Aquatech Waterproofing in Ontario, 24/7 Electric in Alberta and Kitchen Makeovers in British Columbia. All three happened to be small businesses. They demonstrated the highest levels of customer service, an average review score of 10 out of 10, no negative customer reviews and they all took the time to respond to each and every customer.
Having been so totally invested in my own small business for so long — and for all those entrepreneurs out there– we know this is no easy feat. Keeping all those balls in air is tough. Being excellent takes effort. Being the best takes energy, determination and ambition. And for that reason, we celebrate small businesses, today and every day.