5 Pin-up Rules for Growing Your Business and Your Life
Betty Thomas: Thomas Special Effects Ltd.
When Betty's husband and partner, Thomas,
died suddenly in 1994, she found herself running their Vancouver-based
special effects company alone, without the in-house technical
expertise he provided. She was tempted to let the business
go, but decided to keep it. And she's never looked back, renting
special effects equipment and production services to clients
like MGM, Disney and Warner Bros., directing television episodics,
and now venturing into producing with several projects in
the works. Yet she also believes it's important to find balance
- the time to live a rich, personal life.
Here are five suggestions from Betty
for managing a growing business and living a rich life.
1. Expand your business carefully.
Ensure you understand what and how much the market needs,
pick what you can afford to provide financially and put the
two together with rigid time limits on development, especially
if you're treading new territory.
2. Be careful how you finance
growth. Ensure you have
the financial wherewithal to grow, including a six-month contingency.
3. Make sure you have good advisors.
You need an accountant, lawyer, insurance agent and a financial
advisor (for both business and personal investments).
4. Build a great relationship
with your banker. Betty says her RBC Royal Bank account
manager is "constantly there to encourage and facilitate" (e.g. when she needed a good credit rating
to build the company's 20,000 square-foot production studio
opened in 1998.)
5. Learn how to put balance in
your life. Betty works out every morning, leaves the
office by 6 p.m. most evenings and seldom works on weekends.
("I know when to turn off my cell phone. I work smarter and my productivity hasn't suffered.") She enjoys her two dogs,
loves decorating, renovated the house and bought herself a
new car as soon as she could afford it.