This is the sixth part in a blog series that follows Oscar, an AMA member who’s opened his own barbershop in Alberta. As Oscar runs and grows his business, we’ll explore the steps entrepreneurs in Alberta must follow to start, grow, and protect their own businesses. In this chapter, we’ll see how Oscar uses the profits of his success to invest in and grow his barbershop.

Oscar expanded 2 Bits Barbershop with new locations across the province. With these new locations came increased profits but also the need to increase his workforce. He consulted with a Business Link Strategist who informed him that reinvesting his profits back into 2 Bits Barbershop would help Oscar expand his service offerings, find new clients, and motivate employees to join the business and give their best work.

Oscar once again got in touch with an AMA Certified Business Expert to find out how his AMA membership could help him get the highest possible returns on his investments into 2 Bits Barbershop. Together they talked about finding the best possible insurance plan, employee benefit packages, fleet options, setting up travel incentives, and using AMA Rewards to reduce business expenses.

Updating Insurance

Having expanded 2 Bits Barbershop, Oscar needed to update his business property and liability insurance to match the scope of his operation. With the help of an AMA Insurance Advisor, Oscar reviewed his existing insurance policy, which included Commercial General Liability. His policy covered contents at new locations for 60 days, but Oscar was nearing the end of this grace period and he needed coverage for his new locations and their contents. After a quick review of his assets and daily operations, Oscar’s AMA Insurance Advisor helped him find the best coverage for his unique needs as a business owner.

Employee Benefits

As Oscar’s business grew, so did his team. He’d managed to hire some dedicated, hard-working employees, but he needed to find a way to retain them while still attracting new talent. Oscar spoke with a Life and Living Benefits Advisor from AMA Insurance who informed him that not only do employee benefit plans attract and retain employees, they can also give employees peace of mind and inspire them to do their best work.

Oscar chose to invest in his business by providing his employees with dental, eye care, and prescription drug coverage to keep them motivated and in top health. His advisor also talked to him about optional coverage for short and long-term disability, life insurance, critical illness insurance, and health care spending accounts. Oscar opted to add short and long-term disability and critical illness insurance to the employee plans so his staff could have financial support if they needed time to recover from an illness or injury that kept them from working.

Travel Incentives

Along with health coverage and insurance, Oscar learned that AMA could help motivate his team with custom travel packages, tailored to his budget and requests. He met with an AMA Corporate Rewards and Incentives Group Specialist to discuss using group travel packages for team-building, networking, and rewarding employees. To inspire some friendly competition between the new locations of 2 Bits Barbershop, Oscar set up a group trip to Banff as a reward for the year’s top-performing location.

Commercial Vehicles

Oscar laughed when his AMA Certified Business Expert asked if he needed fleet management services—he’d never seen a fleet of barbers before—until he learned that Commercial Auto Insurance was required for using a vehicle to transport equipment between shops. He didn’t need any training or fleet vehicle registration, but he made sure that his equipment was covered in transit with Commercial Auto Insurance.

Savings & Rewards

After talking with a Business Link Strategist, Oscar learned that maximizing his return on investment during this growth period wasn’t just about increasing his investment, but it was also essential for Oscar to find ways he could reduce his expenses. He knew that as an AMA member he could get exclusive discounts and savings through AMA Rewards, Canada’s largest rewards program, but what he didn’t realize was how that same membership could remarkably lower the cost of doing business.

By saving and earning reward dollars through partners like Home Depot, Dulux Paints, Just Junk, and F2 Furnishings, Oscar reduced the cost of renovations for his new locations and accumulated reward dollars he could spend on anything AMA sells. Then he saved on digital print services from Staples to produce promotional materials and got a discount on Dell computers for his administrative team. The more he saved, the more he could invest back into 2 Bits Barbershop.

The Next Step

In the next entry of Oscar’s story, we’ll cover the importance of filing annual returns and walk through the process with Oscar, step-by-step. It’s one of the last things he needs to learn to become an expert at running his own business, and it’s necessary for anyone running an incorporated business.