A born entrepreneur, Garnet McBurney always dreamed of owning his own business. He wasn’t sure what it would be, but he knew that he wanted to be his own boss.
“I grew up on a farm, so I saw my dad do it for years and always imagined myself doing the same thing. Though it wasn’t possible to earn a living on the farm, I also knew it wasn’t my life’s work and that my interests and talents lay elsewhere.”
In what ended up being a testament to his work ethic and skill, Garnet began working as his own boss while still employed in a company as a Comptroller, when a co-worker in the organization and asked if he wanted to do some bookkeeping on the side. One request led to another and another until three-and-a-half years later, his bedroom-based bookkeeping business took on a life of its own, leaving him wondering how many of these opportunities he could take on and remain as an employee.
“The day I resigned from the organization was the day that I retained my first client, said McBurney. They accepted my resignation, retained my services and became my first client and a cornerstone of my business.”
That was July 2010, and more than eight years later, Venture Accounting Group has grown to a team of seven including McBurney. That’s not to say that growth was always smooth. Since opening, the firm has moved four times, and has now settled in at their permanent space. “Over the years we’ve grown and moved, and grown and moved, and always worked to fit the team into space,” he recalls. “This last move was different because it was the first time that we looked for a space to fit us and not the other way around.”
His relationship with Westoba grew from the need for the business to expand. It turned out that the space they wanted was in a building owned by Westoba Credit Union. “I sat down with the business rep from Westoba, and he made it very easy for me. The whole process was easy. We provided the financial information, a budget moving forward and they provided the funding to renovate the space and support the move. I decided based on that; if Westoba was willing to take a chance on me, then we were going to move all of our business banking over to Westoba, which is what we’ve done.”
Now settled in their newly renovated space, McBurney feels a real sense of pride and defines success as the satisfaction of knowing that for the last decade he’s earned a living and employed a growing team of people who rely on their job to provide for their family. But his and his team’s greatest success is seeing as he calls it, “people living under a cloud” turnaround and smile because of the way their businesses are now running as a result of our work. “It turns into a partnership, and the satisfaction comes from helping businesses thrive,” he says. “I’ve got a great team here, and I’m so impressed with how much they care for clients and how our clients feel about them. “
Never one to rest on his success, McBurney and two team members have recently branched out into software development after experiencing frustration with existing pre-packaged programs. After many long days and much testing, in 2018 the team released its first cloud-based program for Fixed Assets called faManager under a newly created software solutions company, Cloudtric Inc. Simply put —the best strategy a business can have is a satisfied customer.
Westoba salutes Garnet McBurney and Manitoba’s 38,000 small business owners during 2018 BDC Small Business Week.