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Thursday, November 02, 2006

I arrived at my office today to experience the moment only a few months ago that I dreaded. I was alone. No administrative support person; no salesperson, no editor, no-one but me. Quite a change from the time just a few years ago when we had five or six administrative employees in the home office, along with branches in three cities in the U.S. and Canada -- altogether, approximately 20 people on the payroll.

Yet, as the day progressed, I knew we had turned an important corner. There were some phone calls; returning calls from an excellent sales representative who had been in the office for a 'test day' of work yesterday. And a second representative was working from home, fielding her own calls. She said she would report in at the end of the day.

She did. She told me she had fun -- she certainly made some money for herself (and the company). We are arranging a weekend interview and we will offer her employment. I expect I will make an offer as well to the sales representative who worked so well yesterday.


Of course we still need to find an administrative support person -- the work is starting to pile up. And ultimately, I will need to hire an editor again; but right now I am enjoying my editorial responsibilities -- after all, my training, and passion, are in journalism and I enjoy digging out good stories and writing about them.

For example, we have been exploring issues and problems with the City of Ottawa's building permit department in Ottawa Construction News. This is not national news; it isn't even news for the daily newspaper, but it really matters to our readers. The feedback is incredible.

As the fall progresses, we'll tidy up our websites, build the potential for the many other regional markets in our scope, and build the business back to its fullest potential. Maybe we'll have 20 or even 50 employees in a year or two -- it doesn't matter, really, if the business is profitable and everyone is enjoying their work.

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