Staff Spotlight: Colleen Walmsley, Business Advisor & Coffee Connoisseur

As a one-time client of the Centre, you are in a unique position as a Business Advisor. How does that experience influence the advising work you do with clients?
I think clients appreciate the fact that I have walked in the shoes of an entrepreneur and can relate to what they may be going through. When I am advising, I am not just talking theory. My hope is that I provide a realistic yet optimistic perspective of the entrepreneurial journey. Entrepreneurship is an amazing roller coaster ride. I believe that once you are an entrepreneur, your DNA changes and your synapses fire differently on so many levels. Thanks to my journey, I now look at everything from a 360 degree perspective. My advising sessions are full of questions and playing out what if scenarios. I’ve learned that it is all about having a plan, being flexible and being able to adapt. I love working alongside entrepreneurs and offering my knowledge to help them perfect and polish their business concepts.

What is the one piece of advice that you give clients who are just starting out in their own businesses?”
Take the time to plan in advance and set up detailed systems for your business.
Before you even start your business, take time to understand every aspect of your business. Have others review your business plan and concept.  Be open to having people challenge you and ask questions. These inquisitive minds are actually assisting you in perfecting your plan. If you cannot answer the question, go on a quest for answers. You don’t know what you don’t know. The more great minds you have working with you on building a stronger business plan the better! Assuming, avoiding and ignoring can be costly in business.

As the former owner of a successful coffee shop on Corydon Avenue, what is your favourite hot drink?
There is a real art and science behind making an excellent cup of coffee. I like keeping it simple. In my world, there is nothing better than a perfectly steamed regular latte. No sugar, no sprinkles, no fluff. It’s an extra bonus if the baristas finishes it off with some foam art!