Homeroom’s first field trip!

The fearless team braved the rough waters

Homeroom Bookkeeping goes paddle boarding in Deep Cove, North VancouverWe escaped Vancouver’s crazy heat wave last weekend to travel the open waters of North Van for Homeroom’s first company field trip. Unfortunately, just as the sun was rising on the Saturday morning of our long-anticipated paddle boarding adventure, the temperature was dropping and some foreboding rain clouds were working their way across the sky.

But that didn’t stop this team of excited bookkeepers from rocking out in Deep Cove and having a great time — one of us (read: Mike) even decided to take a dip in the water (read: unintentionally).

We then headed over to the hopping Raven Pub to see how those rowdy North Vancouverites party on a Saturday night. It did not disappoint. We had some beers, a massive (and delicious) plate of nachos, and a deconstructed raspberry crumble.

Homeroom bookkeeping goes paddle boarding in Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Homeroom bookkeeping goes paddle boarding in Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Ready to go!

Homeroom bookkeeping goes paddle boarding in Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Homeroom bookkeeping goes paddle boarding in Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Intrepid explorers forging new territories

Homeroom bookkeeping goes paddle boarding in Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Too cool for school

Homeroom bookkeeping goes paddle boarding in Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Anja and Mike’s rivalry reached new heights during a sneak attack on an unsuspecting Mike. The two no longer speak, dividing the office into Team Anja and Team Mike.

Homeroom bookkeeping goes paddle boarding in Deep Cove, North Vancouver

We then ran into Homeroom’s youngest member Jules, hanging at Raven Pub, throwing back beers (read: apple juices).

Homeroom New Client: Green Earth Organics

Banner JPEGEvery month we’re going to be featuring a new Homeroom client, so that you can get to know some of our newest members.

This month’s New Client is Green Earth Organics. Green Earth Organics brings organic food right to your doorstep, making healthy eating convenient. The team at Green Earth brings in the best certified organic fruits and vegetables available, focusing on seasonal and local items. They post the new produce every Thursday at 6 p.m. on their website.

Green Earth’s president, Daniel Henry, talked to Homeroom about the origins of his business, finding that elusive work/life balance, and more.

When did you open your business?

I started Green Earth Organics out of my home in June 1998. With $200 and a credit card, I knocked on my neighbours’ doors to see if there was any interest in an organic grocery delivery service. The following week I had seven deliveries, the next week 19. Now, here I am 17 years later, delivering to hundreds of homes throughout the Lower Mainland.


What do you enjoy most about being a business owner?

I enjoy the challenge that being a business owner brings. I also enjoy being able to watch ideas I have for my business come to life.


What motivated you to start your own business?

Before starting GEO, I worked for an environmental group. I have always had an entrepreneurial side to my personality so I wanted to start a business that fed these two aspects of who I am.


How did you come up with the idea for your business?

I heard of a company in England doing something like this. I did a little homework and thought this is something I could get behind and a business that, at the end of the day, I’d be proud of. I’d like to see several Green Earth Organic locations throughout B.C. and possibly across Canada.


Why is promoting healthy eating important to you?

Eating healthy is one of the more important choices we can make in our life to live a long, healthy, and hopefully happy life. There are a lot of things in life that we can’t control, but we can control the food we put into our bodies.


What advice do you have for future business owners?

I think you need to be comfortable with a certain amount of risk. Hopefully you have done your homework and you have a viable business idea which will reduce this risk, but the reality is that it takes a lot of grit and hard work.


How do you achieve a work/life balance?

I spend as much time with my family as I can and I take at least two vacations with them every year. I make a point of having a coffee with my wife every morning before I head off to work and I make sure I spend quality time with my son every day. I also coach my son’s soccer team and play twice a week.


Who could benefit from your services?

Green Earth Organics is great for people who are busy, but want to eat healthy. On average, it only takes about seven minutes for our customers to do all of their shopping from the comforts of their home. That time saved is worth something and could be used to do something other than driving through traffic, finding parking, lining up in stores, and carrying heavy grocery items out to the car.

Connect with Green Earth on Twitter or Facebook.

Are lower taxes for small businesses a good idea or bad idea?

Why small businesses and economists differ in opinion

small business, entrepreneurs, taxes, tax breaks, budget 2015, federal budget, Tories, CanadaAlthough the federal budget was largely praised by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and by small businesses themselves, not everyone is on board with what the Tories are proposing. Lowering the small business tax rate is great for owners and entrepreneurs, but remains a sticky point amongst economists.

So, why the difference in opinion?

The reduction of the tax rate is something the CFIB and independent businesses have been lobbying for for several years. The reasoning behind the government’s decision is to help small business owners retain more earnings that can in turn be used to reinvest and create jobs. Over the four-year period, owners are expected to save about $2.7 billion in taxes. Almost 700,000 small businesses will benefit.

However, economists looking at the bigger picture and the greater Canadian economy have a problem with this reasoning. According to UBC economics professor Kevin Milligan, many people set up small businesses to avoid taxation on a personal level, meaning not many jobs will actually be created.

The new tax rate also increases the tax gap between large and small companies, providing an incentive for businesses to stay under the $500,000 profit threshold, which is bad for the overall economy, says Jock Finlayson, chief economist with the Business Council of British Columbia.

Regardless, small businesses still need support, but Milligan would rather see a simplification of their administrative burden, and imports and exports, or a reduction of tariffs.

The next post in the series looks at how the budget affects female entrepreneurs.