When I ran this year’s Tales from the 2.9, one of the more unexpected responses was from Ann Asher, who proposed writing a piece on a local entrepreneur to profile! There’re so many people living in this country of ours, and Stan Grey is but an example of everything Canada has to offer!
Please enjoy today’s piece and we’ll see you tomorrow for the next instalment of #Chronicle150!
Game-Changer: How The Internet is shaping the 21st Century Entrepreneur
Raise your hand if you had ever wanted to start your own business? Was starting this year one of your New Years resolutions? There are literally thousands of businesses that get registered in Canada every year, and according to a June 2016 Key Small Business Statistics report, of the 11.6 million Canadians currently employed as of 2015 approximately 70.5% (8.2 million Canadians) work for companies with less than 500 employees. Needless to say, small/medium enterprises (SMEs) continue to make up a significant portion of employment for many in this country. And when you factor in the variety of businesses operating exclusively online, the impact of SMEs grows considerably.
As Stan Grey would put it, the Internet has become a game-changer in its breakdown of multiple barriers-to-entry in virtually (pun intended) every industry – which, unfortunately in the past, deterred many people from exploring a career in entrepreneurship.
As a sci-fi loving, Apple product enthusiast, Stan Grey took the time to examine some of these new resources for today’s entrepreneur, and coupled his futuristic thinking with his passion for graphic design and technology to create Build & Evolve; an online business that he runs from his “corner office” literally next to his living room couch. Providing services such as web and logo designs, social media marketing, and SEO expertise, Build & Evolve works closely with SMEs to establish and/or improve their professional appeal to their consumer base, and the rest of the world.
Sitting in my living room, armed with my MacBook and voice recorder app ready on my iPhone, I wait less than five seconds for Stan Grey to answer FaceTime on his end. We see each other without any audio-visual interference or delays that would remind us that he’s all the way in Scarborough and I’m a 90-minute bus ride in Brampton conducting this interview. What does come to mind, however, is how far the Internet has come in changing the way we interact with one another in the last 25 years.
So tell us, what inspired you to start Build & Evolve?
SG: I’ve always had the mentality of running my own business, and Build & Evolve was an idea that I had come up with a year or so ago after I noticed a former classmate using his personal cell phone for his small IT consulting business, [and] didn’t have any business cards. From the outside world, the whole thing did not look professional. When he wanted my take on all of it, I was like, “Yeah, I can help you with that”. So I did some graphic designing for him, [I] did his business cards, and I just did a website for him. He was good at IT; he just didn’t know anything about making his business look professional.
In comparison to things like “Wix” and other do-it-yourself-style of online businesses where the customer can build their own platforms, how is Build & Evolve different?
SG: A lot of people don’t have the patience, the time [or] the know-how [to do it themselves] because that’s not what they do. Like, they’re into baking and [they want to] make money but they don’t know anything about how to set up their services to look good, how to create invoicing… so [that’s where] I would come in.