Week 13 – Blair Kaplan

Week 13 - Blair Kaplan

Week 13 I had the pleasure to meet with the founder of Living Free Canada and Blair Kaplan Communications, Blair Kaplan.

Once again this week I decided to step out from my normal circle of contacts to meet with Blair Kaplan. Blair is the owner and founder of a P.R company, Blair Kaplan Communications and she also owns Living Free Canada which is an amazing coupon site. It was a beautiful day inVancouver so we decided to meet at one of the Starbucks locations in beautiful West End Vancouver.

Who is Blair Kaplan?

“I was born in Winnipeg Manitoba. I grew up in a very friendly, tight knit community. I went to a private bilingual Hebrew school. I spent my summers going to summer camp. The summer camp that I went to was on an island in Lake Of The Woods in Manitoba called B’nai Brith Jewish Community Camp. I really looked forward to this. The day that I got home, I would start counting down the days until next year.”

“I’ve done a lot of traveling. I back packed through Europe, I’ve been to France. I lived in Greece for a summer, I went to Israel. Travel is one of my biggest passions. Winnipeg is a great place to be from but I love the ocean, and the mountains, and not being in -40. I knew at one point that I needed to move, possibly, to Vancouver.”

“I went to the University of Winnipeg College which is a university based high school. It’s really cool because you pick your courses. It really prepares you for university. I went to the University of Winnipeg where I graduated from Public Relations and Management.

On to the questions….

Raj Thandhi of Fronte and Sentre Communications asks.

What is the one must read book for someone just starting their business?

“There are a lot of books out there on how to build your business. One of my favourite books is The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It talks about different types of people. It helps you read people when you’re building your business. It’s taught me that I am a connector, which I already knew. Good to Great by Jim Collins is another good book on goal setting. I’ve never actually read it cover to cover. I’ve kind of read it in sections. That’s what my goal setting is based on.”

Sandra Parsons of REMAX MABRE REALTY asks

What is one of the greatest obstacles you’ve come up against and how did you overcome it to move your business forward?

“I went to school for public relations. I didn’t go to school for building a business so I’ve had a lot of trial and error. My biggest obstacle that I have come across in being a consultant, and I’ve definitely learned from this, is when a client doesn’t pay. You know, sometimes a client runs out of money. It’s just how you decide to proceed with it. Clients come to me. I look for clients but mostly they come to me. If they want to work with me, depending what it is, I either work with interval payments or they pay me first, and then I work. I’ve proved myself. I know that I can do what I can do.”

“If a start up comes to me with a big budget, I am more than happy to work with them but I am really careful about the clients I bring on because I need to get paid. You need to be compensated for your work. So generally I ask for payment up front, and then I work. Especially if it is on a retainer client.”

Rob Maar of REMAX SABRE REALTY asks:

How did you find your clients/prospects when you started?

“I did a lot of networking.” I met Blair through someone who I network with, Anne Stadnyk who in turn met Blair at a networking event and thought that she would be a great fit for this project. “I’m very, very present online. That has brought me a lot of clients. Living Free Canada is what I started networking about. People didn’t even know I had a PR company. I went around to BNIs, to meetings, to events. I’m in the beauty industry. The lifestyle, fitness, food, fashion industry so I just went to MeetUp.com and saw what events were going on. I keep my finger to the pulse of what’s happening in the city. I’m really forward. I’m blessed with a really outgoing personality so it’s easy for me to go to someone and say ‘you’re a good fit, let’s talk.’ When I was ready to take on PR clients, I just told a few people and they just fell into my lap.”

In Conclusion…

I really enjoyed my time getting to know Blair and her businesses. It is very impressive that at her young age, she was able to start not one but 2 successful businesses. What impresses me the most is that through her Living Free Canada web site, she is able to not only connect people with businesses that will enhance their lives but she has built into her business plan a way to support youth in sport and fitness. Thank you Blair.

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About KevenMcTaggart
I own a small business called Anything on a Clock. I started Anything on a Clock in 2007 when my son was about a year old.

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