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WendyHave you ever dreaded the thought of getting glasses? Or found the process to be painful and cumbersome? Glasses shopping may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

That’s why Wendy Buchanan created Perceptions Eyewear Inc., a Toronto-based, one-of-a-kind eyewear service offering boutique frames from around the world (including Canada, Italy and Denmark). As the Eyewear Image Expert, Wendy is passionate about helping people find frames that complement facial features, wardrobe style and personality — and she’s committed to making the search a simple and fun experience. In fact, her personal service goes so far as to bring a selection of eyewear to your home or office to help you find the perfect pair (does it get any easier than that?!).

BMO and Your Financial Life sat down with Wendy to pick her brain about what drives her business. Here’s what she had to say…

On starting a business

Many business owners have had a moment when they knew they had to mix things up and strike out on their own.

In Wendy’s case, she was tired of doing the same thing day in and day out: “That scared me more than going out on my own,” she admits, and it gave her the push she needed to start Perceptions Eyewear.

“I knew it was the right time to start my business when I became totally bored with the optical profession,” Wendy explains. “I realized that if I didn’t change something, I was going to be doing the same thing for the next 20 years.”

On challenges

Starting a business is often rife with challenges. As the boss, you often need to juggle various projects, put in long hours, and learn to manage different aspects of your business.

Wendy admits one of her daily challenges is staying on task. Another challenge that often comes up? “Finding good people to delegate all the back-end work that I need done,” she says.

Though it’s a challenge, Wendy is committed to working through it so she can support her clients. “Focusing on my clients is where I want to be,” she says, reaffirming her passion for helping people find great eyewear.

wendy-b-quoteAdvice for other small business owners

Have you ever thought about starting your own business, but felt unsure about your idea? It’s easy to get trapped in analysis paralysis and be influenced by others’ opinions of your business.

Wendy’s advice for aspiring business owners is to “really believe in yourself and trust your ideas ― even if others don’t believe ― and just get started.” Having a healthy dose of confidence can help you ride out any storms, and action can help propel your vision forward.

On BMO supporting her business

As a small business owner, it’s key to find a bank that supports your unique needs. Wendy credits BMO with keeping her on track and supporting her financial journey as a small business owner.

“BMO has really helped me get organized with my business accounts,” she says. Not only that, but as Wendy expands her business to the U.S. market, BMO is helping her along the journey.

“As I move forward into the U.S. market, [BMO is] helping me understand that market, and set up my U.S. accounts and my U.S. credit cards,” she says.

On feeling successful

There comes a time for every business owner when something shifts and they get their first taste of success.

“I knew I was successful in my business when my clients started to refer me to their network, to their business colleagues, and to their friends and family,” she says.

After all, word-of-mouth marketing can be a powerful tool in business. Those people came back to get their next pair of glasses, and that’s when she knew she “had a business model that would work.”

If you’re looking for your next pair of glasses, check out Perceptions Eyewear Inc. online or call Wendy at 905-916-9494 to schedule your eyewear consultation.

Are you interested in starting your own business? Find out how BMO can help you get started.

Looking for more business inspiration? Meet more entrepreneurs in our Small Business Spotlight series.

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