The Modern Mississauga team has made it through our first year in business, giving our well-deserving city a premier lifestyle magazine that’s distributed city-wide.
We aren’t ones to draw attention to ourselves, preferring to let the quality of the magazine speak for itself. However, we did want to give our valued readers and supporters some insight as to how our first year went and what we’ve learned along the way.
WE’VE BEEN OVERWHELMED WITH THE TREMENDOUS SUPPORT
Starting a magazine from scratch is certainly no easy task, which we fully realized as the business plan was being put together. We realized that it would be an uphill battle breaking into the competitive Mississauga market and were prepared for that. What we weren’t prepared for (in a great way) was the amount of support we received throughout the past 12 months.
From small and medium sized business owners investing long-term in a community magazine to a few larger ones, they shared our vision for a Mississauga-centric magazine that celebrates our city and its people.
To the Port Credit BIA, Visual Arts Mississauga, Whiteoak Ford, Enersource, and Closing The Gap Healthcare, who nearly immediately signed on for the full year when first introduced to the concept of Modern Mississauga, we couldn’t have done it without you…thank you!
We’re thankful for not only them but to the City of Mississauga, who has supported us with providing us a distribution network within their 18 branch library system, along with investing with multiple advertisements.
Our writers are equally wonderful by providing stellar content and also sharing our vision. Our online community has been especially supportive. In a world where content creators are vying for clicks and likes, we’ve been fortunate to have well-received, well-read, solid content that’s not baited with leading headlines courtesy of our writing team. We have tremendous respect for our readers and wouldn’t think to dive into the click-bait world.
Our testimonials page on our media kit is full of wonderful words that we’re humbled by. To everyone who’s believed in us, partnered with us and supported us, we thoroughly thank you and look forward to furthering our relationship.
IT’S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
Fully realizing that year one came with its own set of challenges, Bil and I planned for sustainable growth as opposed to making a large splash and then fading away. We have a great deal of respect for and awareness of our competitors and knew from day 1 that if we were to be successful, we would have to abide by a steady growth strategy that was realistic and sustainable. Sure, we could’ve burst out of the proverbial gates at full gallop, but didn’t want to mirror the “Tortoise and the Hare” story with us playing the role of the ill-prepared hare.
We’d set specific growth objectives for year one and I’m happy to say that we exceeded all of them. Like a chess game, we realized in the planning phase that we needed to always be forward thinking and ensure that our goals were specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time based, the good ol’ SMART system. Our advice to anyone who’s looking to enter the entrepreneurial world is - regardless of how enticing the “race out of the gates” strategy appears - to ensure that you plan for the long haul.
WE LEARNED TO NOT OVERTHINK THINGS
That's not to say that each decision is taken lightly. Rather, we're cognizant of each decision we make and are constantly determining how our time is most productively spent. Some decisions are worth extensive deliberation. As an example, we went through several revisions of the font choice and font size for the print magazine before making a final decision because we knew that it would have a direct impact on readability, but we didn't agonize over whether to use 10-point or 12-point paper stock for our business cards.
We've kept sight and focus on our overall goals, both long and short term, and frequently asked ourselves, "Is this a hill worth dying on?" Time is your most valuable finite resource as an entrepreneur, and spending it wisely is one of the most important skills you can learn.
OUR TEAM IS SMALL YET MIGHTY
Some say there's power in numbers and to a certain point, that can be true. In the case of Modern Mississauga, we opted to have a smaller team that is tremendously talented, hardworking and dedicated. We’re a small business ourselves and as such, all of us wear different hats, and “that’s not my job” is never said. Yes, there are different skill sets within the team, but thanks to our team’s dedication and support, we’re happy to be writing our year in review for you. Everyone on board is committed to helping Modern Mississauga strengthen its place and presence in the market.
Having the right people on board is paramount for the success of any business…we have some of the best talents in the GTA supporting us from our remarkable designer, Elizabeth Wise, to our smart writers, to our reliable printer, Doug, to the distribution team, and everyone else who’s helped along the way.
ACCEPT ALL TYPES OF FEEDBACK
This is easy to say and hard to do but it’s an important aspect to owning your own business.
You don’t have to agree with everything that’s said about you but in our opinion, you have to at the very least listen to what others have to say.
Modern Mississauga welcomes what everyone’s thoughts are on us, regardless of what they are. We’ve been fortunate to receive a tremendous amount of positive feedback as well as some that wasn’t as encouraging. You can’t please everyone and the sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be. Sure, we were upset at our first less than favourable comments, but knowing that everyone is entitled to their own opinion helped us realize that we need to accept everyone’s comments at the very least.
WE’VE EXPERIENCED OUR SHARE OF HARDSHIPS AND PERSEVERED THROUGH THEM
For all the great moments we’ve experienced, we’ve also had setbacks, as all successful growing businesses do. The most important part of a setback is how you react and move forward. We strive to not make the same mistake twice and learn from all of our missteps, regardless of how large or small they are.
There have been several long days and what seemed like endless nights. There have been rejections. There have been promises broken to us. There have been days where we second guessed ourselves, if only for a fleeting moment. Despite this, we know that anything worth earning is worth fighting for, regardless of how many bumps are on the road.
We’re not saying we’re better than anyone else out there, far from it. We’re saying it as an inspirational note to those who have moments of uncertainty in their professional ventures to persevere through it.