Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Harris, CEO of Safety Dawg Inc., located in Hamilton, ON, Canada.

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

My customers are usually a trucking company that has 30 or fewer trucks. They are often a family organization. They could be a long haul, regional, or landscaping company. I help the small company to be compliant with the regulations and to have fewer crash events. This results in the best insurance rates.

Tell us about yourself

I first got the idea for my business when I was working for a major trucking insurance company. I would visit with clients and see the money that they were wasting paying safety consultants for terrible work and advice. It made me sick. Many of these companies were worse because of the advice that they were given and following.

I started Safety Dawg vowing to give value to every one of my clients. I wanted to be of service to each company. I wanted them to get the very best insurance rates that were possible.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a solo entrepreneur is surviving the downturn of COVID. Most of my business was conducted face-to-face and on my client's site. When COVID struck, revenues dropped by 80%. I'm also happy to say that I have serviced hundreds of clients and made them better. I have improved safety on the highway through my clients' actions. This results in lives saved and better insurance rates for my customer.

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

I think the hardest thing as a business owner is firing a client. Because I have a great relationship and reputation with trucking insurance providers, some companies will hire me with the thought of doing nothing but still getting better insurance rates when I realize that I am just being used for my reputation. I step away from that client. The money is often perfect for my client like this. But working with them is not worth my reputation. We only have one reputation, and you must do whatever you can to keep it the absolute best. Money is not the primary motivator. Being of service, making my clients better, having trucks crash less on the highway resulting in life, saving actions, and making my clients' insurance rates go down or my motivation.

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

Three tips for starting growing your business.

  1. If you have a passion for being of service to people, then go for it. Money should only be a by-product of giving your clients the best of yourself. They will happily pay you, and the rewards are fantastic when you put your client first.
  2. You don't have to have everything perfect to start your business. When I started my business nine years ago, I could not have predicted what I am doing today. You start your business with one vision, and over time you allow it to change so that you can better be of service to your clients. There is that word again, "service." Always put your clients first. It doesn't matter the type of business you are in. If you are here to serve, then you and your business will be successful.
  3. As corny as this sounds, and you have heard it before, Enjoy and have fun. Make the world a better place. Start every day with a smile on your face. We are put on the earth to be of service. We must try to leave our little piece of the world a happier place.

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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