This is the latest entry in a new series from Report on Small Business called Who Owns That. We've asked readers to identify their favourite small businesses from across Canada, and we'll track down the owners so they can tell us their stories. The answers will be edited for style and flow.
Introducing Rebecca Page, the founder and CEO of Ottawa-based Concierge Home Services.
Question: Can you briefly describe your business, and tell us when was founded?
Answer: Since 2001, Concierge Home Services has helped thousands of busy families and professionals gain more time by providing them with a one-stop solution for many household tasks, including housecleaning, pet sitting, and home checks. The focus is quality over quantity. The concept is building a trusting relationship with our clients, and meeting their changing needs over time. Instead of a call centre, we provide personal service. No pre-set templates with us – we customize to meet the needs and budget of the homeowner.
Q:What inspired you to be an entrepreneur, and to enter this industry?
A: I had a short HR career in the high-tech sector where I encountered many overextended professionals struggling to balance it all. In three cities, I heard complaints about not being able to find good, reliable help with the house. I saw the opportunity to develop a different business model that would provide homeowners with a higher level of quality, consistency, value.
Q:How many employees do you have, and what is your role in the business?
A: There are 30-plus staff in three franchises and one corporate location. And we just opened a new franchise in Toronto. My role as founder and CEO is marketing strategy and franchise development. We have the structure and support in place to open another three franchises this year.
Q:Who are your typical customers, and how do they find you?
A: Our typical clients are busy homeowners, boomers, and zoomers who value quality and consistency. In the service industry there are always people willing to work for less, but our clients understand the importance of insurance and staff training, and appreciate our personal attention. People find us online and through social media, and they love that our website provides such clarity about who we are and what we do. Much of our growth also comes from referrals.
Q:You've been identified by one of our readers as a standout business. What do you consider the key element of your success?
A: I think it comes down to our core brand values of integrity and respect. In the home services sector there are many fly-by-nighters and people wanting to earn a quick buck. I'm proud that our ethical approach with a personal touch was recognized by the Better Business Bureau with two Torch Awards. We don't promise what we can't deliver. We treat our staff well. And we truly value the trust our clients give us to care for their homes and pets.
Here is a fun video made at our 10-year anniversary event, which raised funds for the Children's Wish Foundation.
Do you have a favourite small business you'd like to learn more about? Make suggestions and join the conversation on the Globe'sSmall Business LinkedIn group, use the comments field, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow the serieson our Pinterest page.