Marion Ziller began the entrepreneurial adventure in 2019. Specialized in the field of immigration, Marion shares her first steps as a young woman entrepreneur in British Columbia in this interview.
How did you get the idea of starting your business?
While doing my permanent residence procedures, I discovered the complexity of the immigration system. I spent countless hours on the IRCC website only to end up more confused than when I started my research. I told myself that if I found it difficult and discouraging, I shouldn’t be the only one! Being by nature very organized (and sometimes stubborn), I was curious to learn more and to see how I could make the process easier for people who set out on the adventure after me.
What’s your biggest accomplishment?
I am proud to have resumed my studies while keeping a full-time job and to have had the courage to go into business by myself.
What does it take to succeed?
You truly have to want it. Succeeding in business is more than just making a sale. You must constantly juggle different hats and surround yourself with other professionals to find the perfect balance for your business. There is the side seen by the customer: your window displays, your website, your social networks, and the direct exchange. And there is also the more hidden side, but no less important, such as all the administrative tasks, compliance, everything related to financing and bookkeeping, marketing, networking, and the investment in the entrepreneur and the team. If you have a regulated job like immigration consultants, there are still other steps to add to your daily life as an entrepreneur.
Did you have a mentor?
I don’t have a single mentor, but I try to surround myself with experts in various categories: immigration experts, people who have been in business for many years, and I attend many workshops with dedicated themes to entrepreneurs.
How do you view your competitors?
I view my competitors as colleagues. There are so many immigration programs and so many more people wanting to settle in Canada! Canadian immigration is a big topic and each candidate’s profile is different. We have a lot to learn from each other to make things easier for our clients and give them the best possible chance for success.
Have you encountered any obstacles?
Obstacles are a natural part of the everyday life of an entrepreneur! Some examples can be managing emergencies and changing plans quickly, doing your accounting and not finding the same result, trying to move your business forward while reducing costs, and finding a balance between personal and professional life.
What are your plans for the future of your business?
I hope to specialize in immigration of “economic” profiles. I want to support applications from entrepreneurs and skilled workers, as well as work directly with companies to facilitate immigration procedures and allow them to hire talent internationally.
What advice would you give to people who want to start their own business?
Take all available opportunities to become better at what you do (whether you’re selling a product or a service). Let those around you know what interests you (the start of networking!). Don’t hesitate to ask for help – no one is perfect, and no human has an answer for everything. Recognize that at one point or another, it will be necessary to make concessions – this is the price you pay to reach your goals and success. Slow down the pace if necessary, to start afresh. Stay strong in what you believe in and stick to your values.
What was the role of the SDECB in the creation or development of your business? Would you recommend the services of the SDECB and why?
The SDECB has been undeniable support in the success of my entrepreneurial adventure. There are regular themed workshops to familiarize yourself with certain aspects of business and to discover tools that can help you daily. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other French-speaking entrepreneurs!
If time allows, you can also take part in business mentoring groups for several weeks and grow your business surrounded by people at the same stage as you and with the support of professionals dedicated to helping you.
You can also make free appointments in person or online with Frédérique Niel, a business advisor. You will be able to interact with Frédérique and benefit from her experience as an entrepreneur. She will listen to you and guide you to achieve your goals step by step.
And finally, for entrepreneurial women, there are additional workshops and a Facebook group that allows you to talk with confidence and support each other. Search for “Femmes d’Affaires en Mouvement” (FAM).
I recommend the SDECB blindly and hope to see you at the next workshop! 😉
What should we wish you for the future?
To continue to be referred by satisfied clients and to help other future immigrants settle in British Columbia.