Happy Small Business Week

This week marks Small Business Week here in Canada. For us in British Columbia, we’re also halfway through Small Business Month, which makes it the perfect time to give a shout-out to the entrepreneurs, employees and consumers who start, serve and frequent small businesses across the country.

Around 98% of businesses in Canada are small ones. Despite their size, their impact is big – their work adds up to a more than 30% share of the country’s gross domestic product. (For more impressive statistics, visit Startup Canada.)

Most independent optometrists will find themselves in this small business category. Some may even be running “micro-enterprises” – companies that employ one to four staff members.

As ODs who have established their own practices will know, it takes courage, savvy and flexibility to start something new. It involves taking risks, learning new skills and working late. It’s exciting, and stressful. Some owner-optometrists acquire their business knowledge from shadowing others, through mentors, on the job or through formal education. They figure it out, and I have had the pleasure of meeting with and reading about a number of Canadian ODs who, through building their own businesses, have been able to better, and care for, the eye health of those in their communities.

Like ODs who have branched into the business side of optometry, I too have had the pleasure of starting something of my own. I founded Pauline Blachford Consulting after nearly two decades working as an employee at an optometry practice in B.C. Before that, much of my time was dedicated to my family: my husband Jack and our four children (and today, three grandchildren).

It has been a joy to work with and coach optometrists, their staff and their recallers, at practices big and small.

As bestselling author Seth Godin puts it: “You are not your resume, you are your work.” Congratulations to all of the small optometry practices doing important, meaningful work. This week in Canada, we celebrate you.