When Jack Johnson applied for a job at a local wellness studio, he was asked one critical question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
“I responded, ‘I see myself in your shoes,” recalls Jack. Little did he know that his response was just what the owner, Amanda, was looking for.
Within a few months of his hiring, Amanda discussed the opportunity of selling the studio and started to train Jack to manage the business she created.
“I’d stay late to work with Amanda and see what it took to own and operate the clinic,” says Jack. But with all the excitement of the transition came unknowns and anxiety about what ownership would really look like.
“Thankfully, Amanda connected me with the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC).”
Shortly after, Jack was enrolled in the Business Transition Matching Program – a service delivered through the CDC and Nottawasaga Futures. There, he was given what he considers the road map for business success: online resources and mentorship to spot potential roadblocks along the way.
The CDC team helped Jack consider small but important aspects: things like what equipment would be sold with the business, and what Amanda would take when she left.
“In some ways, its like a real estate deal and also an adoption,” says Jack. “You’re working out the details of how you’ll take care of this entity that was so carefully created.”
The CDC helped the duo manage those expectations and flesh out Jack’s expectations for where the business would go next.
Currently the CDC has met with over 130 buyers and sellers through this program, offering them in-person coaching, access to online resources and loans, and more depending on their needs.
For Jack, the online tools and one-on-one support were critical.
“When you first talk about buying a business, you encounter a lot of skepticism,” he says. “But CDC staff were always encouraging and confident in my success, urging me to take each day one at a time.”
While Jack knew Amanda prior to purchasing her business, he loves that access to a specialized web portal through the CDC can also be used to market your business to vetted buyers, locally and internationally.
“The fact that they can market your business with some anonymity is great.
That way you can find the right buyer without worrying your clients about what will happen next.”
While Jack always had the vision of becoming a business owner, he credits the CDC for giving buyers like him what they need to succeed.
“Transitioning your business is a big deal,” says Jack. “This program offers owners advice they otherwise wouldn’t get.”