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Four key takeaways from The Globe & Mail’s Small Business Summit

Every year, hundreds of business owners gather for The Globe & Mail’s Small Business Summit. The one-day, jam-packed agenda features panel discussions and key notes from leading entrepreneurs and top business experts.

Richter was proud to lend its support to the 2nd annual, and very successful edition as a platinum sponsor of the event aimed at helping businesses grow in what is an increasingly-complex environment. Our David Hogan, Partner and Chief Economist at Richter, lent his knowledge to the attendees during “From Local to Global”, a panel discussion which offered insights into the logistics, marketing and financing opportunities for expanding one’s business.

Joining David on the panel was: Mohamad Fakih, Founder of Paramount Fine Foods; Shamira Jaffer, Founder and CEO of Signifi Solutions Inc.; and Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation. The panel was moderated by The Globe & Mail columnist, Andrew Willis.

The group shared stories of their own lessons learned, and gave some very insightful advice to attendees on how to grow globally, successfully.

Here we share the four key takeaways from their discussion:

  1. “We’re all faced with opportunities. Be courageous enough to take that opportunity.”Mohamad Fakih is the dynamic and enthusiastic founder of Paramount Fine Foods. He encouraged the session’s attendees to seize moments, whenever they may arise. In follow up to those opportunities, work hard. After opening almost 40 restaurants across Canada and with major expansion planned worldwide, Mohamad is adamant on maintaining frequent contact with his teams around the world, and still cleans tables in his restaurants to show his commitment to his teams and their customers’ experiences.
  2. “Hire people that aren’t afraid to argue with you.”This was an intriguing point from Signifi Solutions’ Founder & CEO, Shamira Jaffer. The automated retail entrepreneur cautioned the audience about surrounding oneself with “yes people”. Instead, take the time to have rational discussions with experts you trust, take time to digest their opinions and points of view, and then come back to the table to make decisions; which can lead to a much more balanced judgement, in the end.
  3. “Never ask me what will happen if we push the button. Just push the button!” Canopy Growth’s Bruce Linton knows a thing or two about being fearless in pursuing endeavors. The serial entrepreneur started out in various industries and now leads one of the most prominent companies in a very contentious industry: marijuana production. Yet with its up-coming legalization, Mr. Linton saw the opportunity and acted, without much fear or hesitation. Fearful entrepreneurs, take note of his tenacity in order to forge ahead.
  4. “To be successful, be adaptive to the reality of new markets.” Our Chief Economist and Tax Partner David Hogan lent some critical expertise to the panel. Advising the attendees that seeking guidance before entering new markets is crucial. He cautioned that for many businesses, what works in Canada in terms of your tax structure or supply chain, may actually work against you in a new market. To avoid paying heavy penalties or being taxed in multiple jurisdictions (which could mean paying up to 82% in tax!), ensure that your organization’s structures are set up to work for and with you as you expand.