Recently, I went to the Key Business Awards Gala organized by the Greater Westside Board of Trade in West Kelowna. Awesome speeches, but on...

Another perspective... can we talk about business?

Recently, I went to the Key Business Awards Gala organized by the Greater Westside Board of Trade in West Kelowna. Awesome speeches, but one of the speakers mentioned that all together, as a business community, we can take The Okanagan to the next level: working side by side, and collaborating each other. Definitely is a great idea, and it's what this area really needs. Unfortunately is not practical. The lack of knowledge of some of our local leaders, the regionalism, the favoritism, the absence of common sense, and the nepotism which leads to making wrong decisions are some of the bad habits deep-rooted in The Okanagan.

Few weeks ago, I contacted a company, part of the recruitment industry, to know more about their services, specifically to find out if they could help with my problem: I've been seeking for the right people to create a sales team without success. After a long conversation over the phone, and due to the high fee they usually charge, the owner of the company promised to send me more information by email hoping that we will be able to work together adjusting their service to my budget. I am still waiting for that email.

The moral of the story: it doesn't really matter how much you want to do for this community, it doesn't really matter the quality of your services, at the end of the day the money, together with the connections, will make the final decision. People around here want to keep their jobs, want to stay doing whatever they are doing, they don't want to invest time to learn something new and innovative, and they want to keep their paycheck every 2 weeks without doing anything else. So, if you are planning to open a business in The Okanagan, take it slowly... remember the two magical words: connections and money. You need both of them if you want to be successful.

A message to business associations: YOU exist to help local businesses, and YOU exist thanks to our support. So, ask around, improve yourself, take the risk, and make us feel that you are actually doing something for us and the local economy. The same applies to government institutions.

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  1. Gee, your experience echos of the one I am contemplating at this very moment. A SIGN COMPANY who will remain un-mentioned dropped the ball for me in the last few days. I emailed them for a quote on a banner 2 weeks ago. Took 2 days for a reply. I then spoke to them twice over the following 2 days. The owner seemed really busy. I knew I had a deadline so I said, "You seem really busy. Are you going to be able to do this?" He replied, "Yes, we're just finishing up a pile of work for the Rock Creek Fair and I can get on it next week. Only takes 2 or 3 days." Four days later I dropped in and we made a plan for business cards, rack cards and the banner. I told him my deadlines. He seemed confident. My deadline hasn't changed. It is this coming Wednesday. The baner proof was approved by me on this past Thursday. Friday I contacted him and asked how the business cards and rack cards were coming. He said, "I haven't started them. It takes 10 days for the cards to come in. Translation: It wasn't going to happen. I contacted my usual haunt for small-volume printing and gave them a heads up that I need rack cards and business cards by Wednesday (which would equate to 5 days - 3 business days' - notice. To ease their burden I had the original sign company promise to do the artwork on the business cards and rack cards. That was supposed to happen yesterday. 3 emails and 2 phone calls from me to the SIGN COMPANY yesterday and there is nothing in my email inbox. Looks like the little guy will end up coming through. Apparently some business people don't have a clue about repeat customers (not going to happen) and referrals (also not going to happen). Seems the fellow I have been dealing with bought said SIGN COMPANY a year ago. One wonders if he will last. I agree that the some businesses in the Okanagan don't know how to do business.

  2. Arlene, I know the feeling, but no all local companies are in that way. I always have a backup plan, and even a 3rd option just in case something is going wrong.