Archadeck of Nova Scotia creates a winning ambience - Maurice Meagher wins BDC's Young Entrepreneur Award for Nova Scotia



    HALIFAX, Oct. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Maurice Meagher's Archadeck of Nova
Scotia franchise has attracted growing interest among homeowners and others by
adding unique style and elegance to custom-designed outdoor living spaces.
Since opening the first Archadeck of Nova Scotia business in Nova Scotia in
2003, Maurice and his team have established a solid presence and steady
year-over-year growth by offering homeowners and builders a turnkey solution.
In recognition of his success, Maurice, 34, has been named BDC's Entrepreneur
of the Year for Nova Scotia and will receive the honour tonight at a ceremony
in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    Archadeck of Nova Scotia designs and builds environments for outdoor
living, including decks, screened porches, sunrooms and outdoor kitchens, as
well as specialized exterior lighting. While renovation or construction work
can often involve dealing with multiple providers, Archadeck of Nova Scotia
offers a turnkey solution, handling everything from the permit process to
design and construction tailored to specific needs and budgets. "With our
software, we can also show customers full-colour, three-dimensional
renderings, including a number of alternatives. Within our industry, none of
our competitors can offer the scope of services or level of detail that we
do," Maurice explains.
    With experience in both small and large companies, Maurice, who has a
background in information technology, realized early on that that he would
prefer to be doing something that would provide more challenge, responsibility
and control. Both he and his wife, Wendy, who co-owns the franchise, were also
looking to achieve some balance in their lives. "I came across Archadeck while
working in St. Louis, Missouri. We took the time to research the business, as
well as a few others, and over the course of about a year, made our decision,"
he says. Wendy, who now handles the bookkeeping part time with two young
children at home, worked full time at Archadeck of Nova Scotia for the first
few years.

    Designed for growth

    Today, with an office team of five, the company also has a skilled trades
staff that can range from 15 to 20 people a year, depending on the season and
volume. "Our suppliers are also a key component. Some of them work as closely
with us as full-time staff," says Maurice. To find skilled trades personnel,
Archadeck of Nova Scotia offers incentives to crews or contractors who refer
people. The company also tries to keep production going through the winter. As
one avenue to growth, Maurice plans to bring more custom home builders on
board so that Archadeck is included in the design process. "As our presence
grows, we're getting more requests from builders. By boosting our sales
capability, we'll be able to be more proactive." Maurice sees screened porches
and sunrooms, which have accounted for roughly 35 to 40 percent of Archadeck
of Nova Scotia's annual growth over the last five years, as a huge
opportunity. He's also exploring growth potential in the market for exterior
lighting.
    In the community, Archadeck of Nova Scotia has been involved in a variety
of initiatives, including projects with the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for
Life and a local Korean association.
    Maurice encourages potential entrepreneurs to pursue something they feel
passionate about and to determine how they would differentiate themselves in
the marketplace. "It's important to remember that it doesn't happen overnight.
You have to have a clear plan in place and continue to readjust it."
    "Maurice has used his entrepreneurial drive and determination to create a
solid local presence and build recognition for his business, while leveraging
the advantages of a franchise operation," says BDC President and CEO Jean-René
Halde.
    "Like any small business, everybody here works very hard," Maurice adds.
"It's exciting for the team to get this outside validation of what we've
accomplished."

    Highlighting young leaders

    BDC's Young Entrepreneur Awards are a highlight of Small Business Week.
They recognize the entrepreneurial spirit, and the business and leadership
accomplishments, of Canadians between the ages of 19 and 35. Winners from each
province and territory are selected by a panel based on the originality of
their business concept, success, growth potential and social involvement. The
panel also considers the entrepreneur's age when the business was started and
any special challenges that were overcome.

    Small Business Week partners

    Contributing to the success of this year's Small Business Week and Young
Entrepreneur Awards are the following national sponsors: Rogers, Western
Economic Diversification Canada and Export Development Canada. Privileged
partners are the Pan Canadian Community Futures Group and the Canadian Chamber
of Commerce, which has been a privileged partner of the event since 1981.

    About BDC

    BDC is Canada's business development bank. From 94 branches across the
country, BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing,
venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs. BDC works with
entrepreneurs in all industries, through all economic cycles and focuses on
helping small and medium sized businesses in their development projects, local
and global. BDC manages a $10.6 billion loan and investment portfolio and
serves over 28,000 clients. Small and medium sized businesses make up 99.7% of
all employer businesses in Canada. Visit www.bdc.ca for more information.

    Small Business Week is a registered trademark of BDC.




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange for an interview on October 21:
BDC Media Room: (604) 893-7343, 1-877-232-9321; After October 21: Johanne
Bissonnette, Media Relations Manager, (514) 283-7929


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