From the innovative world of robotics to the sweet success of a hand-crafted ice cream, Brady Calancie, a Regional Business Advisor, is eager to help business owners gain a competitive advantage.
Along with Katharine Chernyak, Calancie has recently partnered with Community Futures Central Island to provide Regional Business Advisory Services. It is part of Island Coastal Economic Trust’s Regional Advisory Program, funded by the Province of British Columbia’s Rural Business and Community Recovery Initiative.
“Because of my previous work across the Island, I was able to tap into my network and get the word out about our work,” says Calancie. “But we welcome every chance to speak about it because we want to reach as many businesses as possible.”
An Entrepreneur’s Journey
As a lifelong entrepreneur, Calancie has helped build several successful companies. He started his career in robotics manufacturing, becoming the CEO and President of Crystal Cam Imaging Inc. This work took him all over the world, but he soon realized he preferred working with small businesses.
After selling Crystal Cam Imaging, he launched Not Brothers Co, a small batch, handcrafted ice cream company and food truck. The company took off and soon became a much larger endeavor than intended.
“The ice cream business started as a hobby,” says Calancie, “but quickly became a full-time job. I realized it was time to sell once it grew to a certain point.”
Alongside the ice cream business, he also started business consulting, taking on clients through the Export Navigator Program. His focus hasn’t wavered since. Through one-on-one consulting, he now helps businesses identify growth strategies and overcome common hurdles to flourish.
“Sometimes it can be helpful to have an unbiased outside perspective,” says Calancie, “especially when you’re too busy with day-to-day operations to think about the future.”
Just like in his previous roles, Calancie continued to learn as he built his consulting business. He prefers to work through various business programs because they lower – or eliminate – the cost for businesses.
“Hiring a business consultant can feel prohibitively expensive,” says Calancie, “but it can bring a huge sense of relief. These funded programs are so impactful because they allow nearly anybody to get assistance.”
Rural Business Advisor with Community Future Central Island
Community Futures Central Island designed the initiative to provide non-profits, small and medium-sized business owners coaching, support, and guidance tailored specifically for their needs. It is available to rural communities within the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s region.
“Based on the way this is structured,” says Calancie, “I am allowed to work with all these different businesses from almost any industry.”
Over the first half of the initiative, a big emphasis was on community outreach. They’ve recently reached the midpoint and they’ve seen an increase in the number of businesses inquiring about their services.
Community Futures Central Island’s Regional Business Advisory Services are available until August 24, 2024, and the only criteria is that you’re a willing and highly participatory applicant.
“I want anybody who feels they could use business support to reach out,” says Calancie. “you don’t need to do self-assessments or get caught up if you are a good business. If you feel like you need some help, just reach out.”
Learn more about the Community Futures Central Island’s Regional Business Advisory Services project.