Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ryan Ivy, franchise-owner of Lou Dawg's Southern BBQ, located in North Bay, Ontario, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a restaurant that specializes in Southern Cuisine, specifically BBQ, as the primary focus. This is a watering hole type of establishment that serves everyone in our community.

Tell us about yourself

I decided to open up a BBQ restaurant because I've always loved coming together with friends and family to celebrate and to enjoy each other's company. The meat was generally the focus.

I am motivated by the people around me, whether it be staff or customers. I love having an impact on their daily lives, I love hearing their stories, and I love the fact that we are a vehicle for socialization, congregation, and entertainment.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being able to provide a stable and positive working environment for all of my employees.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

That's a loaded question -- obviously, the ever-changing landscape in our industry and the constantly changing barriers due to the pandemic. On a personal level, the hardest thing is managing a personal life outside of your business.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. You have to be willing to put in the work.
  2. Your employees are going to be your greatest asset -- invest in them.
  3. Stay ahead of your competitors, Outwork them, keep your foot on the pedal and have them constantly chasing your dragon.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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