Meet Robert Trottier, a motorcycle enthusiast for 40 years. From riding to repairing/rebuilding, he knows motorcycles and skidoos.
He recently opened his own motorcycle shop with the help of Community Futures so we asked Robert a few questions about his experience in starting a new business.
If you were to give advice to a budding entrepreneur, what would you tell them?
My advice, for what it’s worth, to a new entrepreneur would be to not wait. You have the idea, you have the drive and with Community Future’s help, you will have the knowledge to go forward and make your dream a reality. The second would be not to be too rigid in your business plan. If your clients keep asking you for something that is very close to what you do but something you hadn’t accounted for, adapt. Be flexible and open to people’s wants and needs. Keep networking with other people in and outside of your industry. They want to help and are only looking for the opportunity.
What has been the biggest highlight in this first year of operation?
My biggest highlight would be the overwhelming response I had to my dealership. I was not expecting the response I have enjoyed. I am sure it is in great part to the preparations I had done with Community Futures and the friends I have helping me. The new people I have met and friends I have been lucky enough to create from the shop has made all the work worthwhile. I do what I love, and now I am being paid for it.
What has been your biggest struggle that you had to overcome so far in your business?
There have been lots of struggles and always will be. This is not easy; if it were, everyone would do it. My biggest struggle is cash flow management. Making sure everything is accounted for is a large part of what you will be doing as an entrepreneur. It sucks, but must be done. If you stay on top of it from day one, you will always have time to do what you love, which is why you are doing this in the first place. My other struggle has been learning to ask for help. There is a great support network within Community Futures, all you need to do is use it. They want to help you.