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Linda Duford dreamed for years of owning her own music studio, and now she is nearing the first-year anniversary of living that dream.

On Nov. 1, it will be one year since she opened The Purple Pick Studio.

And she says she loves operating her own small business.

Duford also has some advice for people who may be considering launching businesses of their own.

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Linda Duford is nearing the one-year anniversary of her new business – The Purple Pick Studio.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

“I would say the number one thing is: what is the need in the community?” she said, noting that, when she was involved in her family’s Back Eddy restaurant, she saw many other restaurants come and go in Hay River.

Duford said a person starting a new small business must know the market and be realistic.

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She had a good sense of the demand for her fiddle, guitar and keyboard lessons because she offered lessons for years at The Back Eddy – mostly in the afternoons when the restaurant was closed – before that business was sold last year.

“So really I’ve been doing this, gathering up momentum, for 10 years now,” she said.

Not that she was actively planning to open a studio for all that time.

“I guess it was kind of a little seed in my head, like kind a dream I had,” she said. “But it was nothing I ever thought would really come to fruition.”

One piece of advice she has for others planning to start a small business is to have a back-up source of income.

“My own personal belief is that, when you’re starting your own business, it is a good idea to have a separate income stream coming in,” she said.

Duford actually still works part-time at The Back Eddy.

“And a lot of people find that hard to believe,” she said.

Duford noted she works pretty much full-time at The Purple Pick, but looks at her part-time job as insurance for her income.

She believes she could only work at The Purple Pick and probably have enough income.

“If I was to be brave and totally take the plunge, I think I’m at the point where I could,” she said, adding that will eventually be the plan. “But I just don’t feel comfortable right now.”

Duford said opening a new business is nerve-wracking, but also offers many rewards.

As a business owner, the buck stops with you, she noted. “And that is always at the back of your mind.”

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