Businessman Hay gives advice to business community
By Raissa Tetanish, Hub Now
TRURO: For his entire life, Bill Hay has been surrounded by business.
He knows things don’t always work out.
“But things that do work out are well worthwhile,” he told those gathered at a recent Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce luncheon following their annual general meeting.
“Thinking back about the things that make success, there are a bunch of things that made success 70 years ago that still do today,” said Hay, chairman of Trucorp Investments Ltd. and owner of Mastodon Ridge Developments Ltd. in Stewiacke. “Those things are hard work, integrity, persistence, giving value or quality, and most importantly having the right people to work for you. Those things never change. But when I look at things that is changing, is just the idea of change itself.”
Hay admits everyone knows there’s change, however the “extent is so pervasive, at so many different levels, it changes your world.”
When Hay was a child in the mid-1950s, he remembers having only one channel on the television. It was a time where stores in the town were going to be there forever, and the good guys always won.
“Life was simple,” he said. “But change has been rolling on, and quickly in the business community.”
One of the biggest areas of change over the decades has been the retail market, going through many different ways and manners of change. He brought up old staples – Margolians, Zellers, K-Mart, and the like.
“Who would have believe if you lived in Truro that Margolians, 30 years ago, was not going to be here?”
Those local stores, he said, have given way to the shopping malls, which have given way to big box stores.
“I think one thing anybody in business has to do is they have to figure out how to manage change,” he said.
The change in technology over the years has left a major impact, especially when it comes to media. In previous years, Hay would be able to reach the entire marketplace by putting their business message on three TV stations. But then came cable, which meant losing some of the audience.
“Well now, of course, the whole media world has changed completely. Statements of the market are using different media, so advertising is becoming one of the biggest challenges I see in our business,” he said.
Change was the first of three C’s Hay spoke about to the audience, bringing in clarity – having the knowledge and understanding of what’s going on – as his second topic.
“What’s happening in your business, how you’re communicating what you’re doing with your staff, and how you plan for the future,” he said, explaining clarity. “Understanding what’s going on around you in the marketplace.”
He said the first, obvious, thing to be knowledgeable about comes to the financial aspect.
“Anybody who doesn’t have a clear perspective of what their financial situation is, and circumstances are to stay on top of, obviously is asking for trouble. As a franchise owner, I’ve seen it. Too many times. It seems so obvious, but clarity also is looking at things realistically. Not putting on rose coloured glasses, not letting your ego stand in the way of what is the real situation,” he said.
The key to change and clarity, however, is connectivity.
“If you really want to have vision, if you want to see what’s going on, if you want to see where change is coming from, if you want to see where are the solutions to problems you have, it’s good to be connected,” he said, adding the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce does a marvelous job of connectivity.
“I could never say that participating in any community organization hasn’t paid back in dividends just from what you learn, who you learn to talk to, and the ability to work together to exercise influence on the governments and so on. If you’re going to be in business, you’ve got to be connected and stay connected.”
MAIN PHOTO: Bill Hay, owner of Mastodon Ridge Developments Ltd. in Stewiacke and chairman of Trucorp Investments Ltd., had some advice to members of the business community during a presentation at the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting’s luncheon. (Raissa Tetanish- Hub Now)