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Lac La Biche Business News
- Plamondon Entrepreneur Still Going Strong￼
Tracy Lord has packed several careers into a relatively short timeframe. Born and raised in Plamondon, at 21 years old, she opened the Rendez-Vous Bakery in her home community, employing 14 people by the time it was sold. In 1996, Tracy moved on from the hospitality industry to start a new career with Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries, spending more than 15 years in both the finance and corporate affairs departments. While she enjoyed her time with ALPAC, she was anxious to spend more time with her young family. With that in mind, and with a precedent set by her parents, she invested in local properties to rent or to fix up and sell as a new source of income. Today, while Tracy is still involved in her real estate investments, she has also found success as a real estate agent for Seller Direct Northern Homes Realty, based out of Fort McMurray. Focused on the Lac La Biche region, Tracy’s reach extends to St. Paul, Boyle, Grassland, and Athabasca, depending on the needs of her clients. While the economic downturn and Covid-19 may have hampered many businesses in the region, the real estate business was not one of them. Locally, the market has remained strong, with more buyers than sellers. Tracy Lord, Seller Direct Northern Homes Realty Let Your Real Estate Agent Work For You The biggest misconception by the public about the real estate business, according to Tracy, is the notion that you must call the real estate agent listed on the for-sale sign to view a property. This is not the case. Tracy points out that you can use any real estate agent to gain access to a listing. “As a buyer, you are always better off with an agent working for you rather than one working for the seller.” Although it’s very apparent that Tracy works hard at her profession, one of the things that she finds attractive about her job is that she can set her own hours and work as hard as she likes. At the same time, she emphasizes that you need to be very motivated and flexible to be a successful real estate agent. Tracy points out that it’s not a nine to five job. Your phone is ringing all the time. Today’s buyers have 24-hour access to information and listings online. Conversely, agents have a greater responsibility to ensure that their listings are posted on various social media and websites. You must be prepared to connect with clients using a variety of technology that wasn’t available a few years ago. Girlz With Guitarz And if you think that Tracy is busy enough, guess again. She is also a professional musician. Music has always been a big part of her life. If you follow the local music scene, you have probably heard of the bilingual girl band, Girlz With Guitarz which includes Tracy along with her aunt and sister. Check them out for yourself on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cas_EFshhYI If you would like to discuss your real estate needs or find out more information about Girlz With Guitarz, contact Tracy at 780-404-6009.
- Digital Service Squad To The Rescue
For many small business owners in rural Alberta, the idea of hosting a website or creating a social media presence can be a bit intimidating. Because of this, a good percentage of these businesses choose to do without a digital media presence, putting themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to connecting with customers locally and beyond. Recently, a new government program was created to reduce the digital divide between businesses that are online and those that are not. Through the Digital Economy Program and the Digital Mainstreet initiative, Digital Service Squads (DDS) were established to provide 1-on-1 FREE local assistance to small businesses in any region of the province. Helping Get Small Businesses Online The DDS program is offered through a partnership between Business Link and Digital Main Street with support from local Community Futures offices, helping small businesses in Alberta undergo digital transformations and adopt eCommerce practices. DSS is open to home-based or commercial small businesses registered in Alberta with less than 50 employees. Small businesses can apply to participate in the program free of charge. Services include training and advisory support towards digital strategy development, Google My Business assistance, social media posts, assistance with websites, creating videos, photography, and more. While the cost of getting a website or social media program up and running may have been previously perceived as cost-prohibitive by many small business owners, DDS provides these services for free. Local Assistance Available Portage College graduate Mel Broadbent is helping businesses with their digital needs in the Lac La Biche area. Armed with a toolkit that includes both business savvy and digital expertise, she has already assisted more than 15 local businesses with their online presence. Mel Broadbent Digital Service Squad Member, Lac La Biche Region According to Mel, 97% of new clients find out about any particular business through Google, and each business has a different need when it comes to having an effective digital presence. In a few cases where established businesses simply rely on a regular clientele, a digital presence may not be as critical, but that is becoming the exception to the rule. Mel suggests that your business could use the services of the Digital Service Squad if you simply feel that there is a lack of awareness or confusion about your services, products, or contact information. “There is no pressure, and our services are free.” To find out more about the Digital Service Squad or connect with Mel to discuss your business needs, visit https://digitalmainstreet.ca/business-account/registration/ or call Mel direct at 780-623-2662 ext. 5.
- Grow Your Business Online – Grant Available
As part of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, the Government of Canada has partnered with Business Link and Digital Main Street to deliver the Grow Your Business Online grant to small businesses across the country. Eligible businesses will receive a micro-grant of up to $2,400 to help with the costs related to adopting e-commerce and supported by a network of e-commerce advisors. We are currently putting in place the final touches on the program – in the meantime, start your application process by leaving us your name and contact information, and we will follow up with you directly. Sign up for email updates. If you have any questions about Grow Your Business Online, please contact us.