Having a strong support system is crucial to any entrepreneur’s success. Export Navigator fulfills that need with our team of trustworthy and experienced export advisors across B.C.
Get to know our advisors better through our “Meet the Advisor” blog series. We’ll be interviewing each advisor about their background in exporting, entrepreneurship, and more!
In this blog, we spoke to Brady, Export Navigator’s advisor for Vancouver Island North. Brady started becoming familiar with the exporting world right out of high school, where he worked at a robotics company. After being in the robotics business for 6 years, he started pursuing other entrepreneurial endeavours. Today, he’s helping other small business owners realize their potential.
Export Navigator: Can you please introduce yourself and what you do as an export advisor?
Brady: Hi, I’m Brady and I am the export advisor for Vancouver Island North. My region includes the Northern Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast from Saltery Bay to the north. I am based in Nanaimo, where I also run my consulting firm for entrepreneurs who want to grow their business.
As an export advisor, I work with rural B.C. businesses and teach them how to enter new markets. My clients range from those who already have some experience with exporting to those who are just starting out.
Export Navigator: How did you get into international business/exporting?
Brady: I started out working in robotics at a global company after graduating from high school. My position at the time was in shipping and receiving, so that was my first exposure to the exporting world. I eventually worked my way up the company and started its sister company called Crystal Cam Imaging. My responsibilities included overseeing the company’s expansion into international markets, where there was significantly higher demand.
I ran Crystal Cam Imaging for 6 years before selling it and then joined Export Navigator as an advisor. Being an export advisor really requires you to have familiarity with what small business owners do on a day-to-day basis. My experience with running a global robotics business and starting my own consulting firm allows me to easily relate to my Export Navigator clients. I know what the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur are like – that’s why I enjoy using my knowledge to help people through their journey.
Export Navigator: Is there a memorable/ successful client story that you can share with us?
Brady: I would say any client that expresses passion for what they do is memorable to me. It usually means they’re willing to put in the work in order to grow. Being able to go out of your comfort zone creates new opportunities, which is a large part of what exporting involves.
One example of a client that showed this willingness to grow is InWater Technologies in Campbell River. Throughout our time working together, they were always receptive to feedback and took initiative to improve their business. Their dedication to exporting paid off when they had successfully secured funding from multiple sources.
Export Navigator: What do you look for in a business to determine if they are ready to grow beyond B.C.?
Brady: The most important thing to look for, in my opinion, is whether they have the drive to achieve their goals. Of course, as an export advisor, we’re here to cheer you on and provide support every step of the way. At the same time, the business should be fully committed to exporting and all that comes with it.
A common misconception is that you need a lot of money to export, but with the right attitude and the right people in your corner, you will be surprised at how far you can go.
Export Navigator: What piece of advice do you have for aspiring small business owners?
Brady: Exporting can sound intimidating, but it is easier than it seems. Export Navigator takes a huge load off your shoulders because you don’t have to worry about whether you’re going in the right direction or not. We lead you to all the right resources and the right people, something that small businesses often have trouble finding.
Also, taking advantage of your network is extremely beneficial. I’ve found the small business community to always be helpful and welcoming.
Thank you to Brady for taking the time to speak with us and for his thoughtful answers. To learn more about all the export advisors on the Export Navigator team, look on our website.
Find an advisor in your region today and discover what opportunities are available to you.