Opportunity doesn’t always knock at the most opportune time. When young entrepreneur Aric Martin recently got word that his Futurpreneur application was approved, he knew he was on the verge of realizing his lifelong dream of starting up his own renovation company. However, the news coincided with the COVID-19 crisis, and all the challenges it poses for small business owners. Undeterred, Martin was still keen to launch his business.
Before the public health edict about social distancing was issued, he had arranged to sign his loan documents in Calgary, about 30 minutes away from his home in Cochrane. But it soon became clear that life in Canada was about to change and his window of opportunity was closing fast, so he and his Futurpreneur Business Development Manager Tiffany Matson, based in Calgary, hatched a plan.
They jumped in their cars and within 45 minutes, both arrived at a coffee shop half-way between their locations, Matson with the documents in hand. They decided that entering a busy coffee shop was not the best idea, so Martin suggested signing the papers on the tailgate of his truck. To be extra cautious, Matson donned medical gloves, and they each used their own pens to sign all the paperwork. And so, Tartin Wood Corporation was launched.
“Signing a contract in the cold, wearing medical gloves, and using the back of a tailgate in a parking lot is a very innovative way to start a business!” says Matson. [Ed. – Futurpreneur can now process new applications digitally – one of several process updates to accommodate entrepreneurs while supporting social distancing.]
Starting a business at any time is intimidating, so why is Martin so eager to go ahead now, when there is so much uncertainty? The Futurpreneur mentor factor helped. “I know how many businesses fail frequently, and I thought having some guidance through this would increase my chances of succeeding,” he says.
Martin’s mentor has helped him focus on things that are within his control at this time. “I’m doing my best to take advantage of this situation by focusing on the marketing strategy for my business. working on my branding and building out my social media presence,” he says. “I’ve done a lot of research on the importance of having a social media presence and the credibility it can establish.”
Tenacious and a natural problem-solver, Martin has chosen to take a calculated risk. He recognizes that while the building sector may have slowed down in his province, reliable contractors are in constant demand. But he also knows these are challenging times. “Honestly, I was feeling a little unmotivated last week,” he admits. “But I spoke to my mentor and that changed everything for me. My goal with this business is to ultimately be able to spend more time with my family and that is keeping me motivated to move forward.”
You can find out more about Aric’s new company, Tartin Wood Corporation, at tartinwood.com.