This Alberta entrepreneur is building a stronger

Our client, Wade McLean, knows it takes ingenuity, planning and teamwork to build a business with the strength to grow even when times are situs slot online tough

Every year, McLean sits down with his team at Strongfield Environmental Solutions to review how the past year has gone and brainstorm growth opportunities for the future.

Two years ago, one of his employees shared how he’d heard about drones being used for aerial vegetation spraying in Asia. After some research, McLean quickly realized drones could complement his Lacombe, Alberta company’s traditional business of land spraying to control weeds for clients.

Using drones to fly and spray in remote locations would not only save time and money, but also increase safety for employees. Just as importantly, adding drones to Strongfield’s line-up of services would further diversify the business, making it more resilient in the face of economic turbulence.

Always looking for new opportunities

“We’re always looking for new ways to grow and evolve,” McLean says. “It’s massively important for me to diversify the business. So, I’m always challenging the team to look for new sectors that could complement what we’re already doing.”

It was a collapse in oil prices in 2008 that convinced McLean his company was too exposed to the oil and gas industry. Successive downturns for the sector in 2014 and 2020 only served to make him more determined to diversify Strongfield in a variety of ways.

That’s smart business, according to a new survey of 500 business owners and decision-makers in Alberta and Saskatchewan conducted by our team at BDC. The survey found that diversified companies were twice as likely to have experienced high revenue growth (over 10%) during the previous year compared to non-diversified ones.

Overall, 16% of businesses that were diversified—by expanding into new markets, launching new products and services, or growing their customer base—achieved high growth, despite a difficult year in western Canada.