Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business service but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Noah Maislin, President and CEO of Minutes Solutions, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Minutes Solutions is a very niche business that serves multiple clients and industries. We create professional sets of minutes for company board meetings and work with clients across the globe, but our largest cohort is in North America. We take minutes for non-profits, charities, condo boards, municipalities, school boards, public and private companies -- essentially any organization that needs official board meeting minutes.
Tell us about yourself
Entrepreneurship is in my blood. My father's side of the family once ran one of the largest trucking companies in North America, and my grandfather, on my mother's side, ran one of the largest plus-size women's clothing chains in Canada.
When I was younger, I always had some type of business to make money. In grade school, I'd sell magazines and toys to kids, and at summer camp, I ran a head shaving service and food delivery business for my fellow teens. I always knew that one day, I would make a living working for myself and be in charge of my destiny.
The idea for my current venture came to me from a cousin. We ran a very small-scale professional minute-taking business as a side hustle after I graduated from university (I studied business management at Dalhousie University and majored in entrepreneurship and innovation). After running that business for a short time, I expanded my vision for its development because I knew there was a strong market for the service we provide.
I decided to leave my full-time job in the transportation and logistics world and focused 100% of my attention on building Minutes Solutions into the company it is today.
I’m motivated every day to be better and do better, so that my staff and clients will see the full potential that Minutes Solutions has to offer.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is that I've built a business that people are proud to say they work for, or with. My staff and clients drive me, though there is still so much more to achieve.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Making the hard decisions. For example, I started Minutes Solutions with my best friend, Marko Lindhe. Over the last couple of months, I realized he was no longer serving our organization, and I had to make the tough decision to buy out my friend and business partner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just start! Analysis paralysis is a very real thing. You don't need a clear path and an end to your journey before you begin. Most people won't start because they think they need to have all the answers. The truth is the answers will come to you; though your ideas, thoughts, and processes will likely change along the way.
- You don't need money to start a business. Many people say, “Well, I don't have any money to start that idea.” Start small, be creative, be smart, and work around the issues to find the solutions. Money is not the only answer.
- The business you are today is not the business you were yesterday, and it is not the business you will be tomorrow. This is one of my favourite sayings, and I believe it to be true at any stage -- even before you start. It is more of a mindset and encourages you to remember that businesses are always evolving. Remember to be nimble, flexible, and adaptable. You never know what is around the corner.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Your business journey should be fun. You should feel motivated every day to be better and do better. If you aren't excited to wake up every day and tackle your business, then maybe you are not in the right business.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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