Here’s my next installment in Silicon Halton’s conversation series. I’m reaching out to people within the SH community and beyond. The topics and reasons vary but what is common that drives interviews is Silicon Halton’s continued goal of helping our members grow.
For us growth is a core part of what keeps the heart of the Silicon Halton community beating. We want you to grow through learning, grow your networks, grow professionally, grow your company and do everything possible to help the hi-tech industry grow in Halton region.
SB Partners has been a partner and sponsor of Silicon Halton since the community started in 2009. Their contributions have been important to the growth of SH.
In addition to the financial contributions they’ve made, many of the Partners have presented at SH meetups on a variety of topics, have been guests at our peer to peer events, and made themselves available as subject matter experts. It’s an amazing community focused partnership!
Something Wonderful Happened This Year at SB Partners
This February, CEO John Chisholm announced the rebranding of SB Partners which included a new brand, tagline and website. But it was much more than a “new look and feel”. It was more strategic and launched SB Partners on their newest journey with their clients and within Halton community.
Call me curious (or maybe nosey) I wanted to learn more and get the backstory! Why did SB Partners feel the need to rebrand? How did they do it? Should other companies rebrand, if so when and why? What was the experience of re-creating the SB Partners brand like?
So, I reached out to Elaine Holding, Director Client Services and Business Development at SB Partners to ask these questions and others. Below is our full interview.
You can fast forward/rewind by clicking on the play button. Mouseover the waveform chart above and/or use the > key on your keyboard .
00:00 | Introduction and conversation starter
01:06 | Elaine gives us a bit of an overview of SB Partners and some of the key leaders important for Silicon Halton members to get to know. She talks about the value SB Partners offers to the local community and delivers to private tech businesses and entrepreneurs
03:32 | We talk about how SB Partners have been involved in the Silicon Halton and broader business community to date and the importance of "doing the right thing"
05:36 | SB Partners focus and role in providing thought leadership and informing the community on key matters that can impact their business
07:15 | Elaine and I discuss:
- How Silicon Halton members can engage and get value from engaging with SB Partners
- How SB Partners is helping technology companies of various sizes, stages of growth and development
- How it's important to establish the right corporate and accounting structure at the outset
10:28 | Elaine outlines ways to engage with SB Partners:
- When your business model is in place and you need to ask about the corporate and financial structure
- When you're starting to earn revenue and you need to ask about CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) compliance
- How to pay yourself as an owner. Understanding what your options are
- Understanding how the tax system is going to work for you in the best way, and as the company matures
- Getting advice on succession planning, valuation of your company and others for mergers and acquisitions AND setting up family trusts to fully capitalize on being an entrepreneur
13:15 | I ask Elaine how SB Partners is designed to help growth oriented technology entrepreneurs and their companies. And, the importance of choosing an accounting firm that can scale with your growth
15:06 | Elaine explains how SB Partners has being getting value from their partnership and sponsorship with Silicon Halton. Also, she offers her perspective on how Silicon Halton is delivering value to tech companies in Halton region
17:30 | I talk briefly about a new Silicon Halton program being launched with SB Partners designed for CEOs of local tech entrepreneurs aspiring to grow. Stay tuned!
18:22 | Really cool discussion with Elaine about SB Partners new branding and why they did it. Key areas covered:
- Why did SB Partners rebrand? A very important change in the accounting industry was a contributing factor
- Firm has evolved and current branding was becoming a bit disjointed and inconsistent. It was time to refresh the brand to reflect where it is today and where SB Partners is heading
- Why new hires chose SB Partners recently and the role the new brand played in this decision
- The role "archetypes" play in branding a company. For example an example of an Outlaw archetype would be Harley Davidson. It's important that your brand represents who you are not what you want it to be. The archetype that SB Partners chose was the Hero
- Elaine talks about the meaning behind the brand, the logo and their tagline: "Accounting for Our Community"
26:51 | Elaine shares the story about the internal launch of the rebranding and the role the movie: "It's a Wonderful Life" played. We talk about how other companies should think about branding over the longer term in order to stay relevant and in SB Partner's case independent. Here’s a key moment in the the movie that resonates with me that I want to share with you:
31:47 | Chris asks Elaine "what are the keys to success for today's tech companies and tech entrepreneurs". Hint: it boils down to leadership and humility. We wrap up the interview
Thank You SB Partners!
Thanks to Elaine and the SB Partners team for all you do for our community and Silicon Halton. Check these presentations delivered by members of the SB Partners team at past Silicon Halton events and you’ll see why they’re a great community partner!
- Build Your Startup to Sell
- Selling into the U.S. IP and Taxes
- Cooler than Cool - Your Chart of Accounts
More About “It’s a Wonderful Life”
It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my favourite movies and the meaning behind it strikes a deep chord with me. Below is a music video that I found and wanted to share. It demonstrates how each one of us, in our community, can be intertwined and positively impact other people’s lives.
Chris Herbert is the founder of Mi6 Agency. Mi6 is a B2B (Business to Business) marketing and business development agency dedicated to helping companies build their brands and develop commercial relationships. He is the founder of ProductCamp Toronto and the Hi-tech community Silicon Halton. He tweets under the handle @B2Bspecialist.
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