When I interviewed Kylik Kisoun Taylor of Tundra North Tours this week, he told me that his best advice for up-and-coming youth entrepreneurs would be to foster as many partnerships as possible.
He says that when you have lots of people on your side promoting you and spreading the word about your business, it makes things much easier.
Collaboration, networking and participating in the community are huge pieces of the puzzle, too, he said, but the core of the message is clear: it takes a village to run a successful business.
This is something Kisoun says isn’t always obvious to aspiring business owners.
“People like to be islands, and that doesn’t work too well when you’re running a business,” he said.
Given the many honours and laudable success of Tundra North Tours, I’m inclined to trust Kisoun’s word on this.
The importance of having strong connections to other businesses cannot be overstated, especially in a town the size of Inuvik.
Having those connections could reap benefits as simple as the ability to coordinate event dates so nothing overlaps between businesses.
Or, it could be as complex as creating a whole new association of businesses, like the Inuit Development Corporation Association (IDCA), which is a collaborative effort of the six development corporations in Inuit Nunangat.
IDCA chair Patrick Gruben said the association is important and useful because “unity brings power” – another great example of the “it takes a village” mentality.
The six development corporations involved with the IDCA have an annual combined revenue of $500 million.
On their own, they are clearly prosperous, but in this new collaborative endeavour, I think we can only imagine the benefits they could bring to the North.
There is power in unity, as Gruben said, and there is potential in partnerships, as Kisoun said. So, when it comes to any kind of business endeavour, remember: it takes a village.