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Cake & Loaf Bakery in Hamilton Ontario.

Janice Pinto/The Globe and Mail

What should this year's Challenge contest winners do to drive their business to the next level? Two judges offer suggestions.

Stay the course

Cake & Loaf has achieved success by staying focused on its original vision. Suzanne Trusdale at Telus Corp. encourages Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller to continue on this path. "What they're doing is working for them," she says. "No matter how quickly they choose to grow, it's important for them to not veer from their vision."

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But watch for crossroads

With their $100,000 cash prize, Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller are poised for even more dramatic growth in the near term. Mandy Rennehan at Freshco advises the pair to proceed with care as they make decisions to expand their operations. "Keep your eyes open to all the crossroads that lie ahead," she says. "This is a stage where many small businesses make choices that don't pan out and end up costing them a lot of money."

Make the most of the spotlight

The Challenge contest shines a bright media spotlight on semi-finalists and winners. Ms. Trusdale urges Cake & Loaf to make the most of this valuable exposure. As successful Challenge contenders, Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller also have access to a large network of business experts and entrepreneurs. "Take advantage of the expertise that's now available to you," says Ms. Trusdale.

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