If you’ve been keeping up with our “Meet the Advisor” blog series, you’ll notice that our export advisors all have unique backgrounds along with a passion for working with clients. When exporting, having a mentor who has both the experience and enthusiasm for guiding you towards your goals is greatly beneficial. Lilia Hansen is one of our advisors who demonstrates a strong commitment to helping out her community. She advises businesses located in the Northeast region. Keep reading to learn more about her!
Export Navigator: Can you please introduce yourself and your role as an export advisor? What kind of businesses do you mainly work with?
LiIia: I live and work in Northeast B.C. and am passionate about helping my neighbours succeed in business. In my region, I’m proud to work with a wide range of clients who all have the same drive to grow their market base and reach new customers. Some industries I work with include food, health & safety, and resource services.
I offer tailored services to different businesses, so a big part of being an export advisor is starting a conversation to help me gain insight into the client’s goals, motivations, and passions. Figuring out what makes a business tick helps me create a strategy that best utilizes their strengths to expand their market.
Export Navigator: Can you talk a bit more about your professional background and how it ties into your current role?
Lilia: My background in government, both provincial and municipal, helps me better understand the rules and regulations my clients must follow in order to export. I’m also very familiar with the programs and grants offered by the provincial and federal government. Export Navigator is a great starting point for businesses to branch into programs that support their exporting endeavours, whether it’s for funding or development in other business areas like marketing.
My previous work as the Executive Director of my community’s Chamber of Commerce also taught me the importance of making connections within B.C.’s business network and beyond. Having a strong network is essential for navigating new markets.
Export Navigator: How would you describe your advising style/approach to working with clients?
Lilia: Making strong connections with my clients is important to me. Sitting down for a cup of coffee and being a sounding board for my clients is how I’d describe my advising style. I’m always there to follow up with information they’ve requested and making suggestions to help clients avoid potential issues in advance. Lastly, they can always count on me being there to cheer them on or connect them to other advisors that specialize in their area of need.
Export Navigator: Aside from being an export advisor, what else do you like to do in your free time?
Lilia: I’m involved in Rotary projects, which is a fun way to build a community I’m proud to be a part of. My volunteer work is something that keeps me in touch with fellow community members that are passionate about helping others and growing our local economy. In addition to Rotary, I’m actively involved as a steering committee member with the annual Spark Women’s Leadership Conference, Library board, North Peace Senior Housing Society, and Save Our Northern Seniors. Family time, helping non-profit groups, and travelling are what I enjoy when time allows.
Export Navigator: What piece(s) of advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Lilia: You don’t have to do it all alone. Find a mentor and remember to lift others as you succeed. If you help those around you, it makes you and your network even stronger!
Thinking of exporting? Find an advisor in your region today and discover what opportunities are available to you.