Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rob McGregor, CEO of Approvalwise Inc., located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
In early 2020 my regular engineering business, Titanresearch.ca, came to a bit of a halt due to COVID. Then the government came out with wage subsidies. I'd always wanted to get into software development, and so we hired a bunch of folks under the wage subsidy program and started building. In the end, we came up with Approvalwise, an approval record management database that links approvals to product details and helps shorten the pre-sale lead time for an approved product. Ever look at a light bulb's markings? It has a CSA or ETL mark on it (if you live in Canada). Manufacturers have to keep these marks up to date, and Approvalwise makes sure that they do! In the end, product safety is enhanced by better approval record management using Approvalwise.
Tell us about yourself
I have always seen opportunity in crisis. For example, I started a company called Buggybubble.com in 2006 whilst stuck on a long commute. Like a prisoner in solitary confinement, I occupied my brain during the long drives, and after a year, I had a fully patented product ready for production. We've sold over a million units to date! I guess motivation has never been a problem.. reigning in my ideas and focusing on what is worth the time has always been a challenge. I think we all have our unique limitations, and the key is to work with them the best we can for the betterment of society.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a serial entrepreneur, there have been many accomplishments and many failures in my life. Picking myself up every day and getting to the tasks at hand, whether pleasant or otherwise, has always been to be an accomplishment. As a business owner, the first business I started in Canada as an adult was buggybubble.com. My biggest accomplishment was successfully working with the right people to get the products into Walmart, Target, Canadian Tire, Babies R Us, etc. Finding the right people to work with who are trustworthy and capable is both a blessing and an art.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing as a business owner is finding downtime that I enjoy. The best times I have had are with my family on vacation and just hanging out.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
To start, run and grow a business takes grit, consistent, systematic effort, strategy, and most of all, the aid of multiple perspectives. I have always shopped around any new business with my friends and family before jumping into the fray.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.