5 tips to take your business to the next level

When he launched his business in 2011, Wendyam M. Drabo got support from Créavenir, a solidarity-based financing program offered by Desjardins. 4 years later, his sales had quadrupled.

Wendyam is the founder of Pivot Santé, a Longueuil-based kinesiology clinic for clients 50 and over. He shares the 5 main principles that have helped him grow his business.

Ask and you will receive

“Seek and you will find.” Even if the money doesn’t fall from the sky, it’s there! Find financially stable partners. Meet with your caisse financial advisor or knock on the door of community organizations like CLDs1, SADCs2, PME Montréal3, Futurpreneur, Filaction and so on. There are many programs geared towards young entrepreneurs, and advisors at these organizations will be able to point you in the right direction.

After I finished my masters, I knew that developing my full potential as a kinesiologist would be no small feat. That’s when I came up with the idea of launching my own business. Once I had my business plan in hand, the Longueuil CLD told me about Créavenir - This link will open in a new window., a program that offers support and financing for young entrepreneurs.

And that’s exactly what I needed: I got a loan with a good rate and capital repayment holiday for the first year. This financial support opened doors for me and gave me access to other financing products at Desjardins, including a line of credit, a Visa card and Accord D financing.

Be different!

There are fitness facilities and sports clinics on every corner. To stand out, we decided to be the first to target clients 50 and up, who are more at risk of developing chronic illnesses and age-related issues like diabetes, heart disease, back pain, high blood pressure, and so on. At Pivot Santé, getting older is a privilege, and we should make the most of it every day.

Surround yourself with the best

It’s critical to build your network. Be professionally and socially engaged. Surround yourself with people who believe in your venture. Achieving business success is about much more than finding a niche market; it’s about personality and attitude. Building relationships with skilled professionals and taking advantage of their expertise instead of going it alone is a winning growth strategy.

That’s why we work with hospitals, CLSCs and medical clinics who refer us to clients who want to be healthier.

Don’t hesitate to get advice from financial experts. At Desjardins, advisors have the tools to help young entrepreneurs like me. Chantal Charron [an advisor at Desjardins Business-Rive-Sud] has been familiar with my business from the start. Whenever I have a question, I contact her and right away, she offers me a solution that’s tailored to my needs. You can’t put a price tag on that.

Finally, to get financing or just to find a professional, like a notary or lawyer, the Longueil CLD knows where to refer me to. That’s a major asset.

Value your employees

It’s not that hard to find talent, but hiring people who will share their expertise and passion, now that’s the challenge! Even though job prospects in this field are improving, many graduates need up to 4 part-time jobs to pay the bills.

Pivot santé is committed to developing and promoting human capital: my employees quickly land a full-time job, they’re motivated and they share my business vision. That’s a huge return on investment!

Most importantly, go for it!

To get ahead, be bold and determined. Learn project management, whether that’s through training or workshops offered by educational institutions or community organizations. Management skills will help you achieve your dream. Take initiative instead of waiting for opportunities to arise, and turn your constraints into possibilities. And finally, believe in your project and never give up. You’ll have to overcome many obstacles, but you’ll get there.

Business profile

Owner: Wendyam M. Drabo, M.Sc., President
Type of business: Adapted exercise treatments
Location: Saint-Hubert
Year established: 2011
1. CLD: Centre local de développement (local development centres)
2. SADC: Société d’aide au développement des collectivités
3. With 6 economic development hubs, PME Montréal is the new model of local economic development for Montreal.

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