Patrice Brodeur has been an entrepreneur for 25 years. Today, as the proud owner of three Videotron stores, he reflects on his successful journey and the challenges he’s faced as an entrepreneur.
According to him, his intuition is what has guided him throughout his career. "I tried a couple of things that made me progress professionally each time," explains Brodeur, who started in retail before moving on to restaurants, and then taking on the role of manager at a large grocery store. "One thing has always been clear to me: you have to make every square foot profitable,” continues the hands-on businessman. “Every step of my career was a teaching moment, especially when I worked in the food industry.”
After seven years in the food industry, this business enthusiast continued to expand his activities by becoming a franchisee of a Videotron SuperClub banner, quickly ending up with a total of ten stores and a hundred or so employees.
"Looking to the future, I understood that the success of my stores would involve transforming them into spaces dedicated to the sale of Videotron products and services."
"Your business instinct just takes over, you want to win," states Brodeur. “And for that, I need to be a team player.”
Transforming to progress
"My priority was to concentrate my stores on the North Shore of Montreal and in my hometown of Joliette. I then took the risk of keeping three flagship shops open.”
"I met with my employees and told them that this was also an opportunity for them to reinvent themselves, knowing, deep down, that the experience would call for a period of adapatation; going from a Club vidéo to a telecommunications shop is quite the transition. Fortunately, many of my exceptional employees followed me in my adventure and continue to develop their potential in the new stores.”
However, hiring staff in this context is, in his opinion, the greatest challenge he has faced. "It's easy to advise someone who wants to rent a movie," says Brodeur. “On the other hand, you’re not looking for the same kind of candidate when it comes to selling essential services that are part of a family’s monthly budget.”
Surrounding yourself with the best
"In-store representatives now need to be attentive to identify the needs of the customer. There is an important supporting role to play.”
He also explains how important customer service is: “Technology is rapidly evolving; people need to understand the product they’re buying, which means you need to be able to provide them with clear explanations.”
While he readily admits that he is more of a generalist than a specialist, Brodeur is undoubtedly an outstanding unifier. "I'm not good at everything, but I do know how to surround myself with the right people. For example, I found the best saleperson, with a great smile!”
“Technology is rapidly evolving; people need to understand the product they’re buying, which means you need to be able to provide them with clear explanations.”
- Patrice Brodeur
The importance of being present
Above all, Brodeur remains very close to his employees. Every week, he keeps to the same routine by visiting his three stores, located in Joliette, Mascouche, and Saint-Eustache. "I'm the one who heats up the bus, so to speak; it's important to be present, to know what’s going on," he explains.
He also pays particular attention to the availability of his products. "I want to have a solid inventory, so that my Residential and Business customers always have access to the products and services they want.”
In conclusion, for Brodeur, the key to a successful business is to not to be afraid to make difficult decisions, to surround yourself with the right people, to know how to seize the opportunities that arise, and to always be attentive to the needs of customers.
“Above all, he remains very close to his employees. Every week, he keeps to the same routine by visiting his three stores, located in Joliette, Mascouche, and Saint-Eustache. "I'm the one who heats up the bus, so to speak; it's important to be present, to know what’s going on ". - Patrice Brodeur
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