Homeroom Client of the Month: Bird on a Wire Creations

Kate Nagel This months Homeroom client of the month is Kate Nagel owner of Bird on a Wire Creations.

Bird on a Wire Creations is a store and a community of people who support artists, artisans, and the buy local movement. Located at 2535 Main Street, Vancouver, Bird on a Wire Creations provides shoppers with the ability to purchase one of a kind creations for themselves or as gifts. 


How many years have you been in business?

Bird on a Wire Creations has been in business since 2010 and we can hardly believe how fast the time has gone by. Everyday we marvel at all of the pieces the wonderful artists we support have created in that short period of time.


What do you enjoy the most about being a business owner?

The thing I enjoy most about being the owner of Bird on a Wire Creations is the satisfaction I have knowing that I am supporting our artists/crafters in the best way I know how. I love what I do and am inspired by all of the amazing artists/crafters I am able to meet on a daily basis.

I also really enjoy connecting people who are looking for extraordinary, one-of-a-kind gifts for someone special, with the perfect gift. That is so much fun!


What motivated you to start your own business?Bird on a Wire Creations

I was motivated by the financial changes and cutbacks in grants to festivals and artist run not-for-profits that occurred around the end of 2009.

I was listening to the radio and found that I was experiencing frustration by what I was hearing, and I thought I need to use this angry energy and create something good. A short while later I came across a magazine called Where Women Create and the moment I opened the magazine I knew that I wanted to work in the arts, with artists, and create a space for them to sell their work all year long.

I knew then that I wanted to change the paradigm of ‘starving artist’ to ‘thriving artist’ – for all artists, so that they were no longer dependent on grants and/or handouts. I knew that if I was able to change the perception of artists, even if it was just by asking a question to start a dialogue around how we view artists in general, then I was honoring what I feel I was called to do.


What advice do you have for other people who would like to start their own business?

First and foremost, listen to your passion and discover what is calling you to create. Once you have that figured out the next step is to make sure that you are in the right place to start a business. All career choices are important, valid and significant.

Secondly, make sure you know all aspects of your business. You do not need to be an expert at everything, but it is really important to know the business side of your career choice to ensure your success.

For example, if your strength is in  the creative side of your business, you need to make sure you learn about how your finances work. It is the single most important aspect of your success. Now, I am not saying that you will not be successful without it, I am simply saying that by having that knowledge you will be better equipped to hire a bookkeeper, social media expert, branding consultant, coach, or lawyer.

The more aware you are of the whole picture,  the better equipped you will be to make conscious decisions that will help you become successful.

How do you achieve a work life balance?

I recently heard (and then read) that the work/life balance is a myth, and then I thought about it. I think we set ourselves up for failure when we set unrealistic goals or perfection. My ‘to do’ list is never ending, but instead of feeling like a hamster in its wheel I have found these few things have helped.

  1. I acknowledged the fact I cannot do everything, and so I have an awesome team to work with and we achieve the store’s goals together.
  2. It is very important to create:
    1. A daily schedule based on when I am not effective which includes thinking time (e.g. answering emails in the afternoon when I am not as fresh)
    2. Make choices ahead of time
    3. Have clear boundaries
    4. Build in one week down time every quarter (you will still find me doing work during this week though)
  3. Communicate boundaries and be willing to say “no” to a request if it doesn’t align to your vision and goals.


And finally who could benefit from your services?

Bird on a Wire CreationsGood question. First, the Artists can benefit because we are here to bring as much awareness as we can to the artists we represent in the store, whether it is in our store, on Social Media, or on our website (www.birdonawirecreations.com). We also participate in Private Views where we Spotlight 3 artists for 2 months and open the event with a party, First Thursday Vancouver which is a self-guided art walk taking place on the first Thursday of each month, Rove which is also a self-guided art walk), Car Free Day on Main Street, Autumn Shift on Main Street, as well as partake in the craft/gift show hosted by Make It at the PNE.

Secondly, the customer will benefit because we carry one of a kind, handmade and locally made gifts for that one of a kind person.

Finally, the Executive can benefit because we also carry unique fine art items that are a perfect solution and change from the usual corporate gift ideas.


Connect with Bird on a Wire Creations via Facebook and Twitter 


If you would like to be featured as our client of the month please let us know by contacting us.



Top 5 Business Banking Tips

business banking

Keeping with our expert advice series we spoke to Alex Lau, business & personal banker at RBC to find out his top 5 business banking tips.

1) Keep Cash Flowing

As a business grows, so does its need for cash — to build inventory, buy equipment and pay additional employees or suppliers. In most cases, the cash is needed long before the business sees higher revenues.

To keep the cash flowing freely as your business grows, consider cash-flow strategies that bridge the gap between when expenses must be paid and when money from clients and customers is received.

2) Improve access to financing

As your business assets grow, you may be in a better position to borrow against them, leveraging your success to access funds you need to finance growth. While lenders won’t ignore the risks involved, a growing business may open doors to financing.

3) Your support team

Ensure that you have a team of professionals: lawyer, accountant, banker, book keeper to assist you in the management and operation of your business.  Stick to what you are good at and let the professionals do their job.  Make sure you put your team in contact with each other so there is an ongoing dialogue to ensure that all the parts of your business are working towards the same goal.

4) Go online!

Take advantage of mobile and Internet banking to keep track of your transactions and manage your day to day.  Leverage technology to send funds electronically to suppliers or pay employees.  Use online banking to pay CRA to avoid late fees.  If you leverage online banking channels you can also minimize your banking fees by signing up or switching to an “eAccount”

5) Always pay CRA

So many times clients have become successful but have kept poor control over their tax remittance situation.  A third party demand from the government is the quickest way to torpedo a successful business.  A great best practice is to open a savings account and use it save for quarterly/annual tax remittances.

If you want to know more about your business or personal banking contact Alex today | T. 604.678-5221 F. 604-665-0473  

Why hire a business coach?


Homeroom Small Business Solutions have been in business for over 10 years and throughout that time we have had business coaches helping us every step of the way.

We spoke to Kyle Oberndorf also known as Coach Kyle to find out what type of coaches are out there and the benefit hiring a coach can have on your business and life.

What does a business coach offer?

This totally depends on the coach, but it can range from planning to implementation to accountability to a friend that can help with your life and business issues and give you an outside set of eyes or different perspective.

What are the different types of coaches you can hire?

Life coach, Accountability coach, Human Resources coach, Financial coach, Marketing coach, Sales coach… of course, if you find a GREAT coach they will do all this for you in ONE package!

Coaches can bring you increased PROFIT, increased sales, increases in freedom of time and money, increased control over your TEAM, increased happiness, and less stress!

How to find the right one for you?

You will recognize a great coach from the first time you meet them. They are organized, detailed, congruent (they practice what they preach), they are motivating, inspiring, calming but most of all they will call you out on YOUR Bullshit! They are not afraid to tell you what is wrong and provide you with some guidance on how to make it better.

When should you start working with a coach?

When I started my coaching business over 6 years ago, after hiring a great bookkeeper, I hired a fabulous business coach to help me start and maintain the right path. I worked with him for 3 years before finding a different business coach as well as a life coach. As my business grew I found that I needed 2 different people to hold me accountable and to task in both my business and my life. Now 6 years into my coaching business I still have a business and life coach, as I believe that I must have coaches in my life to guide, mentor, lead, and be my sounding board. As a business owner, I found it stressful talking to my wife and friends because they didn’t have the experience or expertise that I truly needed and in many cases they allowed me to make excuses (which of course could hold me back).

Cost of a coach?

You get what you pay for! I have heard of coaches that charge as little as $50 per week for 1 hour, and as much at $1000/hour per week.

What to expect?

You get what pay for again, but you can expect things to take time to change for the better. If you have been in business for 5+ years you have 5+ years of crap to untangle and make right. This does NOT happen overnight.

You can also expect to be uncomfortable with the questions you are asked as you may not have the answers that you know you should.

Expect to see change and profit that you didn’t think was possible.

In MOST cases it’s the small details and changes that lead to MASSIVE wins for you and your business.

If you would like more information on business coaching  contact Coach Kyle today.

How to manage your finances

As bookkeepers and tax professionals we are in a position to help business owners and individuals understand their income and expenditures. However, we cannot provide you with investment advice. So we spoke to Ron Pavon previous owner of LBI Financial Services and Regional Director of RBC Insurance to help us bridge the gap.

Ron has been in the sales profession for over 20 years, with the last 11 years being in the Financial Services Industry. 

Why is it important for people to manage their finances and know where their money is going?

Money is a big part of people’s lives today.  It’s the tool we use to acquire life’s necessities such as food,  shelter, clothing and other luxuries such as phones,  cars, etc.

Managing money and more importantly,  cash flow is critical to anyone who has a goal that they want to achieve.

If someone is self-employed and they need to save money to pay their tax bill what kind of account should they use to park this money?

It depends on their risk tolerance.  As an advisor, we always have to take that into account before advising a client any investment solution.   The good news is, there are many solutions available in the marketplace to solve these issues.

Do you need to have a lot of extra money to invest?

No.  The key thing is to start.  If you don’t start,  your money cannot compound.  Setting up monthly contributions go a long way.

Why is investing in the future important?

People are living longer and our economy is making it harder to afford basic life needs,  and this is for people who are working now.  Someone retiring 10+ years, with no significant retirement savings will have to keep working to earn a living at a time when their bodies will start breaking down due to age and potential health problems.

Combine that with the fact that government programs are continually being cut, then it becomes a situation you don’t really want to be in.

What is the minimum amount of money someone should invest to make a real financial difference in their

They should invest what they can afford while maintaining the type of lifestyle they want to live.

What financial advice do you have for small business owners? and for employees?

Every business is different and will have different needs.  They key is to work with a professional Advisor who has access to many products in the marketplace and will take the time to sit down to get to know your situation.   You want to avoid “product pushers” who sell you products without getting to know you.

Business Owners need to focus on what they do best which is to work on their business.  They need to hire professionals to do all the other things for them, such as matters relating to money, Investments,  and insurance.

Homeroom Client of the Month: Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga Commercial DriveThis month’s client of the month is Andreas Juan and Christian Betancor Leon from Bikram Yoga Commercial Drive.

Bikram Yoga consists of a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises designed to help you realign your body. The postures are adapted from the original 84 Hatha Yoga postures and completed in a specific order that is suitable for all levels.

The studio at Commercial Drive is  heated to 104°F (40°C) to help loosen your joints and improve the elasticity of your muscles, allowing for safer and deeper stretching. It also promotes sweating, for an amazing detoxification process. On average, a Bikram Yoga class will burn 945 calories.

How many years have you been in business?

We were established in 2003 so over 10 years.

What do you enjoy the most about being a business owner?

I really enjoy being my own boss and building something greater than myself.

What motivated you to start your own business?

My desire to build a thriving community that gives back to, and benefits the neighborhood.  I also dreamed of being successful.

What advice do you have for other people who would like to start their own business?

Find something you believe in, be bold, work hard, remain patient. 

How do you achieve a work life balance?bikrams Yoga pose

Time = money, you can choose which one motivates you, but it will be a sacrifice of one or the other until you achieve success, even then you’ll need to decide which is relevant for your lifestyle. Find something you love.
My favorite words on this and how I try to align myself are; “
The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.” ~ James Michener

And finally who could benefit from your services?

Any living human! Bikram Yoga is an effective therapeutic yoga for all body types. Old, young, tall, thin, stiff, sore, broken, scared, worried, sad; bring it in with you, we’ll help you fix your ailments.

The most important thing about Bikram Yoga (and also the simplest thing) but the one most people neglect, is the fact that all you have to do is show up and let the yoga take care of the rest.


Connect with Bikram Yoga Commercial Drive on Facebook and Twitter 


If you would like to be featured as our client of the month please let us know by contacting us.