Success Stories

On the road... Hi-Way Septic Service

First-time entrepreneur Chris Kent is travelling the highways and bi-ways in search of business. As the owner of Hi-way Septic Service, the Scanterbury resident is poised for success, by virtue of his location alone.

Scanterbury is just off Highway 59 and not far from some of Manitoba's busiest cottage communities, most equipped with septic tanks. "I'm working on breaking into the beaches. There are around 1,900 that need servicing in Grand Beach alone," he says.

The 25-year-old says he has wanted to start his own business for a long time. After noticing that most septic services in the area were using aging vehicles that spent a fair amount of time in repair shops, Kent figured with a new truck he might be able to make a go of it.

He did his research and approached Southeast CFDC. After assisting him with his business plan, the CFDC approved a loan.

"They were very helpful and supportive," he says of the service he received from staff at Southeast.

Soon Kent was behind the wheel of a 2000 GMC truck equipped with a 1,550 gallon holding tank.

While he acknowledges owning a business is a learning experience, Kent seems to be a natural when it comes to marketing his services. He's posted road signs, bought newspaper advertising and has had hundreds of business cards he placed in local shops pocketed by folks from around the area.

Business has been building and Kent says he is making customer service a priority. Like every successful businessman he knows that good word-of-mouth translates into new customers.

"If you treat someone nice, it comes back to you," he says.

Apart from handling residential waste, Kent is also pursuing neighbouring industries for their waste as well. There is a sizable market in non-hazardous industrial waste which is usually stored in holding pits.

While he is hard at work building up his septic service, the ambitious young man is looking well into the future, when he plans to create other businesses (maybe a motel and gas bar) that will keep his entrepreneurial muscles flexing.

"Nothing's going to stop me once I set my mind to something."