Let’s talk about Kamloops, actually, let’s talk about the future of Kamloops. Our team is connecting with innovative entrepreneurs from the Thompson Valley who are paving the way for a diverse, inclusive and sustainable future to discuss the River City and what we need to tackle today to create the Kamloops of tomorrow. Welcome to Kamloops Tomorrow.
We had the opportunity to sit down and chat about SMEs with Boom Business Solutions’ Roxanne Kennedy (Founder and CEO) and Joanna McKamey-Martin (Director of Human Resources). Boom Business Solutions is proud to be located in Kamloops, where its team provides Digital Marketing, Human Resources Consulting (under the Boom People Solutions umbrella), Graphic Design, and customized Virtual Assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout BC.
Interview questions answered by Roxanne Kennedy and Joanna McKamey-Martin. Interview conducted by Nic Zudnich.
People that own small and medium-sized enterprises/businesses (SMEs) often wear many hats within the organization. How does Boom fit into the equation?
Roxanne: Boom is here to be an extension of your team. SME owners often don’t have the budget to hire someone full time to help with the tasks they need to complete, nor do they have the time or expertise to do it all themselves. That’s where we come in. The Boom team is here to help with your business needs when you need it and hang out on the proverbial back burner when you don’t. Our combined 25 years of experience in tourism, construction, municipalities and mining give us a wide range of knowledge and expertise to help any SME with all of its specific business needs.
When is it time for a business to reach out to Boom?
Roxanne: Whenever they have a project, problem, or monthly tasks they need a hand with. We customize service packages to meet each client’s specific needs. Boom requires no monthly retainer and instead charges an hourly rate. There is no commitment fee and no certain amount of spend per month—just call on us when you need a hand.
While being proactive is the best business approach, it’s inevitable that at some point, companies/managers will find themselves stuck in a situation that they don’t know how to get out of. That is just part of the entrepreneurial adventure. At those times, Boom is here to support you with your marketing, administrative, and Human Resource issues in a judgment-free and thoughtful way.
The way that we do business continues to evolve and change dramatically. What are some emerging trends that excite you?
Roxanne: Being your true authentic self. I love the path that brands and influencers are taking. Highlight reels that showcase a perfect life are being replaced with a more accurate, and sometimes messy, reflection of reality. Authenticity is one of the core values of Boom and we ensure we are our true, genuine selves with every client we work with.
Joanna: Diversity and inclusion! It’s exciting to finally see organizations promoting and celebrating a diverse workforce.
What is the one thing that all businesses should be doing, but no one is currently doing?
Roxanne: I wouldn’t say no one is doing it, but many more businesses could be : creating and posting a TON of content on TikTok and LinkedIn. These social platforms can build your audience and brand awareness with organic (posting without money behind the posts) reach, unlike Facebook and Instagram, which now require paid ads to reach a larger audience. Don’t get me wrong—it’s important to continue creating organic content for Meta platforms (Facebook and Instagram) as well, but your mindset should change about this content. Think of this organic content as a digital ‘business portfolio’ for the world to see. Current statistics show that approximately 1% of your followers see your content in their feed when you post organically because the Meta platforms have so many users and so much content worldwide. LinkedIn and TikTok are still ‘newer’ platforms, and their algorithms will reward you for posting often by showing your content to a wider audience.
You’ve recently expanded to offer HR services. What advice do you have for small businesses that are currently experiencing labour shortages? How do we not only recruit, but retain employees?
Joanna: Labour shortages are a nation-wide problem that is affecting every industry. Retention is critical. The solution is straightforward — invest as much in your employees as you want them to invest in you. Learn what motivates them, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and lead them based on those factors. There is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy when it comes to management. Everyone is unique and worthy of you discovering their uniqueness. Will it pay off every time? No. But it will create a great working environment and empower the majority of your team. Employee retention is based on your ability to celebrate each employee’s unique skill set and work style, not the other way around.
We often hear people talk about great corporate cultures. What is a great corporate culture? Does that have a role to play in retention?
Joanna: Some think that a great corporate culture is the company’s support to the community in which they operate. For example, food drives, donations, scholarships, etc. In my opinion, a great corporate culture is one that supports its employees so fiercely that they are motivated to give back to their community. It’s not about PR; it is about showing your genuine appreciation of the people that are part of your company. Appreciation from an employer is so powerful because it meets more than one level on a person’s hierarchy of needs and can make a person feel more fulfilled in their work life. This creates a great environment at work and plays a role in retention, because a happy employee is less likely to go in search of a new job.
When you have out-of-town clients visit, what MUST they see and do?
Roxanne: If it’s Saturday or Wednesday – a morning workout class at a local fitness studio or gym (I live for Freeze Fitness and KSPIN Indoor Cycling Studio), then to the Kamloops Farmers’ Market and brunch downtown. After brunch, hang out on the beach in Riverside Park and wrap the day up with an afternoon pint or cocktail at Red Collar Brewing / Gin Lane Distillery (there’s always cute dogs there, and great mocktails too!).
Joanna: Start with a caffeine-fueled stroll or bike ride through Riverside Park and then stop for lunch at a local food truck. Check out Privato, Harpers Trail or Monte Creek Winery in the afternoon (let DiVine tours guide the way!) and finish off with dinner at one of the downtown hot spots. For my thrill-seeking visitors, I tend to suggest they check out the Kamloops Bike Ranch and let Mostly Mental shuttle service do the uphill climbing.