A Nanaimo-based company that specializes in pet waste removal is scheduled to be featured on CHEK TV on Nov. 2. Partners Arlene Whalen and Julie Vandenberg and their business "The Doggy Doo Wagon" is one of 12 Vancouver Island companies that will be featured on the The Hard Way program that will air this fall and winter.
The 13-episode series looks at different problems faced by these small companies as a panel of business mentors and technical experts try to help guide the entrepreneurs to better business practices.
Whalen said their business, which has been offering pick-up and yard service to their clients since 2000, is not struggling and has, in fact, grown approximately 15 per cent every year since it began.
But she said the partners felt they needed assistance with marketing and sales.
"We went to a two-day business boot camp in Victoria in January where we were interviewed by a panel of mentors and they decided to allow us to be in the program because we are a unique business and they were excited about us," she said.
"Chris Gillen, from Dial-a-Geek, was appointed our mentor and he met with us once a month until June to assist us. He really helped us hone our marketing skills and we're hoping to expand our business into Parksville and Qualicum."
The issues faced by each business chosen to participate play out over a 30-minute program that covers about half a year in the life of the company.
Company owners are questioned and held to account by a panel of mentors, with one mentor being assigned as an adviser to each firm.
Throughout, the companies are assigned tasks designed to get them to realize their internal issues and overcome them.
"The program hopes to look at different problems faced by these businesses and tell compelling stories," said producer Karen Davies of Cedarwood Productions, who helped develop the idea with Gillen.
Whalen said Gillen and the show's organizers helped upgrade the company's website, free of charge, and the partners are already seeing positive results.
The Hard Way premieres on Sept. 14 on CHEK TV at 6:30 p.m. with the program on The Doggy Doo Wagon airing on Nov. 2. For more information on The Doggy Doo Wagon, check out www.doggydoowagon.ca RBarron@nanaimodailynews.com 250-729-4234
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