An interview with Small Business Expert, Roger Pierce, Co-founder of

By Donna Marrin

Tell us about your business. 

[caption id="attachment_2123" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Roger Pierce and his daughter Kaitlyn"]Roger Pierce and his daughter[/caption]

BizLaunch trains entrepreneurs running businesses less than five years old. We know how exciting, challenging, scary and frustrating those start-up years can be, so BizLaunch exists to give small business owners answers to their business questions, through our webinars, seminars, how-to articles, guidebooks, videos, tools and website. Every bit of advice we offer comes from our own experiences running many small businesses, or from the 20,000 entrepreneurs we’ve already trained. BizLaunch advice is free to entrepreneurs, thanks to our corporate partners such as STAPLES.

At what point did you reach the ‘fork in the road’ that led you to the path you’re on today?  

I’ve always been an advocate for entrepreneurship, but about a decade ago, one of my companies landed a contract with the government to go out and promote self-employment as a career option for youth. We developed a program called BizBound. When we went out to deliver presentations, that’s when I started to fully grasp just how many people had a business idea but didn’t know how to go about launching it. A good idea without skills and training and execution won’t succeed, and that’s how BizLaunch can help.

Did you have any doubts, and if so, how did you overcome them?

Every entrepreneur has doubts about succeeding – that’s natural and healthy. I’ve always found it helpful to partner with people who complement my talents and compensate for my weaknesses.

What has your biggest learning curve been in terms of building your business?

It was learning how to work with really big corporations. We’re a small business yet we earn our revenue from large businesses. I’ve had to learn how to modify the way I sell because big companies have very different buying criteria and very lengthy purchase timelines. I’ve learned to be more patient.

Describe a day in the life…

My role at BizLaunch spans Marketing and Sales, so I’m responsible for connecting our company with more entrepreneurs and more corporate customers. Thankfully, we’ve grown to a point were we now employ people and vendors to do much of what I used to do in those areas, so my typical day involves meeting with those key people to support their work. That may include proofing a Media Release written by our publicists, brainstorming ways to overcome a sticky sales objection encountered by a salesperson, or discussing future blog topics with our Community Manager.

You’re also a dad—how do you balance your business and family?

My wife and I are both self-employed so we enjoy the good fortune of command over our schedules. That makes it much easier to be there for Kaitlyn, our three-year-old daughter. Tina and I review the week’s activities to figure out who can pick up Kaitlyn from daycare, drop her off, take her to lessons or appointments. It works out pretty well, but I’ll admit, my wife does way more of those things than I do! She is a terrific partner who makes the balance between business and family life possible.
Being able to participate in our child’s life the way we do is one of the best benefits to being an entrepreneur. We can choose to work when we want, based on what we want to do with Kaitlyn. It’s fantastic freedom that I wish on everyone.

Do you have a favorite business tool or resource?

The Chapters around the corner! I love to read the latest business book to learn something new.

What is the key to your success? 

I think I bring a certain amount of confidence to our corporate customers. People with jobs always have someone else to report to, so it’s natural for them to want to work with an individual or a company you can trust. My confidence comes from knowing our talented business team can fulfill promises and overcome any challenges.

What or who inspires you?  

While growing up, I was inspired to become an entrepreneur by my grandfather, John Pierce, who owned a successful land surveying firm. Today, I am inspired by my daughter, Kaitlyn, because I want to spend more time with her… and I can only do that by building a more efficient business.

What is the one piece of advice you would like to give to others thinking about starting a business?

Write a business plan! Too many entrepreneurs jump in without doing their homework. A business plan forces one to get organized, document thoughts and do research. It’s essential for anyone starting up. It doesn’t have to be complicated or lengthy… a simple ten-page and two-year plan will help steer the business owner in the right direction.

ROGER PIERCE is passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve success. Co-founder of Canada’s largest small business training company,, he’s launched eleven small businesses of his own and personally experienced what he calls “the good, the bad and the ugly” sides of entrepreneurship. BizLaunch advises thousands of Canadian startups through its popular how-to seminars and webinars delivered with partners such as STAPLES.

By Adam

June 28, 2010