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Early years the toughest for small businesses

For most small businesses to achieve longevity, they need to continually expect long-term growth. The first few years, however, are often the toughest.

John A. Young. Q.C. reflects on the early days as a pioneer with one of Atlantic Canada’s largest law firms, BOYNECLARKE.

“In professional services, on day one you open up an office and have no clients and no customers. It can be very frustrating. In the first couple of years we were operating, I think some of our staff made more money than we did.”

Tom Boyne opened BOYNECLARKE in 1972, and Young Came onboard in 1975. Young remembers, “We were at 46 Queen St.. above a tailor shop. In my first office, the desk was over a bathtub.”

Since then the firm has gone from employing three lawyers to over 60 — and not one of them is working near a bathtub.

BOYNECLARKE offers a diverse range of services, from Residential Real Estate Services, to Entertainment and Media Law, to Health Law. Lawyers and staff serve on boards and committees that make a difference in the community, including Metro Community Housing Association and the Mental Health Foundation Of Nova Scotia, as well as assisting with fundraising drives and local charitable organizations.

The key to small business growth, Young says, is to never expect to “peak”. “In our case, we’ve grown every year, so we have never peaked. And we continue to grow.. „ If you’re prepared to work and grow, there’s no limit.”

‘ Young admits, however, that the first few years of small business ownership often seem quite bleak.

“The really hard part is, the first few years you don’t seem to have anything — and then you hit a critical mass and it Starts to grow. Because you Will have accumulated enough customers or clients and enough people now know you’re in business.. But it is that first incubation period that’s often difficult for businesses of any kind.”

Contact BOYNECLARKE at:- 902-469-9500 or visit them online at

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