We Can’t Change the Wind, But We Can Adjust the Sails

November 24, 2014 by  Howard Chang

We so often hear the old adage “the market is down” or “competition is heating up” to account for a drop in market share. The truth is that almost all companies can benefit from tough market conditions. How? By thinking and acting with innovation and purpose.

How did the Rockefeller family make their fortune? By finding opportunities during the Great Depression. How did Google survive the dot.com bust that blew the majority of tech start-ups away? By adjusting their sails.

When I was just a lad in my 20s, I had a specialty retail business I founded with $500 of borrowed cash from my mom. Within a year, I managed to eke out a meagre profit, until an established competitor moved a location within two blocks of my store. They had a longstanding reputation in the market and had more dollars to throw at marketing. I realized that this “crisis” had two sides. One was certainly danger, but the other was opportunity. I decided to face the challenge and try and find a way to win.

I had to take a hard look at my fledgling business and find ways to improve. I hired better people. I brought in inventory control. I created innovative marketing campaigns that focused on my niche in the the category. I attended community events and met with local media to tell my story. I worked all the angles a young entrepreneur could work to build a better business and fame for my brand.

The result? In year two, I doubled my revenue and continued on a steep upward trajectory to eventually build a multi-million dollar retail chain, all based on the founding principles created through facing adversity head-on. As leaders, our job is to face challenges and solve tough problems. Without these there would be no need for skippers like us who earn our keep by knowing how to get our ship and crew safely to port. So relish the winds of outrageous fortune…and trim the sails.

Upward & Westward!

November 21, 2014 by  Top Drawer Creative

We’re moving westwards and upwards! While our Toronto office expands in height and size, we’re also spreading across North America with the launch of our new Vancouver office.

“The launch of a Vancouver office is an inevitable step in the agency’s growth,” explains our CEO, Howard Chang. “We already work with several Western Canadian brands and clients that maintain a presence on both sides of the continent, and our standards of environmental performance and focus on active, healthy living are highly aligned with a West Coast mindset.”

TDC’s Vancouver operations will be led by Nicole Pointon, who has rejoined the agency as communications director after a two-year absence from the company.

“Nicole has been focused on staff recruitment these past few months,” says Howard. “We’ve just made our second West Coast hire, where prospective candidates are naturally drawn to our AHAA ethos and practices.”

Nicole will oversee West Coast business development as well as expand the agency’s public relations and social media capabilities from the Vancouver office.

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