The Small Business Advice Contest Winner Announced!

Alberta Venture
, in partnership with ATB Financial, is proud to announce the winner of the Small Business Advice contest. Douglas Parsons, of Parsons Developments, submitted the following winning tip:


Douglas Parsons of Parsons Developments



Don’t forget to ‘pay yourself’ at some point and that doesn’t just mean money. It can mean taking the time to spend with loved ones. Work will always be there, time with family will not.



Parsons’ tip struck a c hord with other small business owners who recognized the difficulty o f balancing business and personal life.  “As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve always valued the opportunity to learn from other entrepreneurs through the pages of Alberta Venture,” says Ruth Kelly, founder and publisher of Alberta Venture. “Douglas’ message about valuing every aspect of your life is such a striking and important tip. I’m sure that’s why it garnered the support it did.”

ATB Financial, as the official program partner, had this to say in relation to the winning tip: “There were so many great tips that came from business owners across the province but Parsons’ tip resonated with all of us”, says Judy Duncan, Director of Marketing for ATB Independent Business.

Parsons Development

Parsons Development  is a H.R. consultancy that specializes in helping companies and employees reconcile cultural difference. They regularly run English in the Workplace and Intercultural Awareness programs for companies and individuals experiencing change/challenge at their workplace. In addition they also provide interview and resume consulting services for job seekers. The business, founded by Parsons, recently celebrated their one year anniversary.

As the most popular tip, Parsons Developments has won $10,000 worth of advertising space within Alberta Venture and a $5,000 cash prize from ATB Financial to be deposited in an ATB Financial Business Account.  The other nine runners up received 10 complimentary subscriptions of Alberta Venture to distribute as gifts to clients or friends.

The Final Rankings

  1. Don’t forget to ‘pay yourself’ at some point and that doesn’t just mean money. It can mean taking the time to spend with loved ones. Work will always be there, time with family will not. (Douglas Parsons, Owner, Parsons Development)
  2. Relationships. Whether or not you have business savvy or marketing savvy, whether or not you have the necessary work-life balance to stay sane, and whether or not you’re amazing at what you do, you will not succeed without establishing great relationships with all those that keep your business running. This includes clients, potential clients, employees, mentors, advisors and friends. They are essential to your success! (Margarita de Guzman, Principal Archaeologist, Circle CRM Group Inc.)
  3. Put your ego aside and let go of being the smartest person in the room – truly successful business owners will always put the business first and surround themselves with people who in fact, know more than they do. (Jan Jolly, VP-Operations, HPCI)
  4. Give back to the community in a meaningful way. This means more than donating money once a year. Allow staff time to spend volunteering and make sure you get involved. Not only will you attract great people, make new business contacts and enhance your brand, you’ll be making the community you work in a better place. (Lionel Carriere, President, XEA Services)
  5. Never forget that cash is the lifeblood of business: without it, operations come to a grinding halt. That grand vision of the future, the flashy mission statement, and your value chain mean nothing if you can’t afford to operate. Draw up monthly and annual cash flow projections. Remember to update them based on actual results. (Cameron Ferbey, Chartered Accountant, Cameron J. Ferbey Prof. Corp.)
  6. A business is simply a group of people searching for inspiration. Focus on your strengths, delegate your weaknesses, and inspire the ones who are strengthening your weaknesses. That’s how a great organization is built. (Michael Newton, Co-Founder, iGlobal Canada Immigration Services and Consulting)
  7. When partnering your company with other people or companies, due diligence goes beyond just checking their financial statements. Know who they are and their business values. Your reputation is all you have – protect it. (Stephanie Benay, Director, Bendex Safety Specialists)
  8. Having a clear and defined plan that highlights what you want and were you want to be. For me I went as far as envisioning products, and services offered based on a time line. I guess to sum this up Dreaming in great detail right down to the offices and the scope of what you want. (Cameron Evenson Owner, 3R Automation Inc)
  9. Always look outside of the box, be different and excellent in all you do and be prepared to change your direction as needed. (Mary Ellen Grueneberg, Co-owner Greens Eggs & Ham)
  10. Don’t give up when you think you have come to the end. Find it within yourself to keep going. (Sandy Kapeller, Agent, Remax)

Alberta Venture and ATB financial would like to thank everyone who participated, voted, and followed the Small Business contest. Small business owners like the ones above are the reason why Alberta’s the entrepreneurial  spirit is so renowned.

Are you a runner up?

If you submitted one the Top 10 Business tips, we’ll be in contact soon to organize your complimentary magazine subscriptions

Contest background
Throughout October, over 100 small business owners from around the province submitted their best advice for running a business. From those submissions, a panel of Alberta Venture’s editors and ATB executives selected the top 10 for the final round of the contest. Throughout November, online readers voted to decide which tip should be crowned the “Best Small Business Advice.”

The Small Business Advice contest was the final phase of a massive, multi-month small business initiative produced by Alberta Venture in partnership with ATB Financial. The program kicked off in June 2011 with an in-depth survey of over 400 small business owners. From the responses, Alberta Venture created a comprehensive “Guide to Small Business” which was released in October. In addition to the print feature and survey, Alberta Venture launched this website that delivers relevant and actionable advice and content related to small business.

Contest Terms & Conditions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *