Sooke PocketNews is pleased to present this first installment of Entrepreneur Feature, a detailed profile on a local business person and their path to entrepreneurship. The column is authored by Sooke PocketNews writer Phil N Rossner.
Sooke’s newest plumber is “flush” with excitement at starting her own business: Introducing Mary-Ann Bowcott of Westcom Plumbing & Heating
So you just got back to your Sooke hideaway from your business trip to Bali and found that your toilet had been running ever since you left a month ago. For the cost of the water wasted you could have purchased a new BMW and… you can’t make it stop! What’cha gonna do? You have heard tell from several of your friends that the young guy down the hall looks very impressive in his tool belt, but as an upstanding businesswoman, you don’t need to deal with a handyman wannabe – you need your toilet fixed… NOW! Who You Gonna Call?
Mary-Anne Bowcott left very promising and stable employment in order to jump feet first into the role of business owner/manager by opening Sooke’s newest plumbing endeavor, Westcom Plumbing & Heating.
Through networking in the community, she found the support she needed which has allowed her to keep moving forward with her business. She also considers networking the key to gaining confidence and ultimate success within the community. As she states, “Being a female, it is a little scary knowing that you are opening a woman-owned business in a male-dominated industry. But so far the support has been amazing – from local business women, other local plumbing companies and my amazing friends and family. Everyone has been fantastic and I have so much business already!”
Her two biggest challenges so far have been the cost of the tools she needs to do her job properly and, secondly, the paperwork – something she has never liked dealing with and one of the reasons she entered the trades in the first place – “Right now I am drowning in it! But once I figure out a good system, it’ll be better (I hope). It has gotten a lot better thanks to a friend of mine who gave me lessons in bookkeeping.”
As for giving her motivation, Mary-Anne considers the greatest reward is the fact that she is her my own boss – “I run off my own schedule and am able to come home at a reasonable hour every day which really puts a smile on my face! I truly have never been happier since I started this venture. I’ve even caught myself smiling to myself, thinking about how perfect everything has fallen into place.”
One key recommendation she would make to anybody who is interested in starting their own business would be to “start small and work your way up to as big as you want to be. Starting a business and spending tons of money to try and make your company big right off the bat can lead to disaster – definitely not in all cases, but I think that getting big too quick sinks ships.”
Mary-Anne also believes in philanthropy, which is evident in the financial support she gives to the Help Fill A Dream foundation. With her great attitude and ongoing support from her mentors, friends and family, Mary-Anne is undoubtedly well on her way to becoming a firmly established and trusted business person in our community!
– by Phil N Rossner