Atlantic Canada’s Leading Resource for Women Entrepreneurs Since 1992, located at the RBC Centre for Women in Business, MSVU.

Member Spotlight

Lisa Poole

May 2017

Lisa Poole: Spotting Flaws & Starting a Business

By Sarah Jackson

“I'll answer the phone and be asked for the ‘fellow in charge’.  I tell them, ‘I am the fellow in charge’."  - Lisa Poole

Lisa Poole worked as an office administrator and account manager for a large moving company. Each day when the phone rang, it was often someone with a complaint.

Not all moving companies are known to be trustworthy and reliable.  After listening to many horror stories from customers, Lisa discovered that bad experiences were far too common.

“It wasn’t fair, the way customers were treated,” Lisa recalled. “I began to see the need for a moving company people could feel good about.”

Lisa envisioned a company she would want moving her belongings; polite employees, with respect for customers and their possessions.

One day, this vision started to come to life.  Lisa and her husband owned a pickup truck and put it to use by helping people move in the evening. They began with a Kijiji ad, and by January of 2010, they registered their business: Short Notice Movers.

Lisa and her husband became a great business team; he did the physical labour, while she did managed the business side.

“I knew we could change peoples’ opinions when it came to the moving industry. We could be both ethical and reasonably priced.”

After just three months of being a registered business, Lisa stopped working for the other moving company.

“Everyone told me I was nuts for leaving a stable job, but I believed in our vision.”

Lisa Poole is proof that believing in yourself is a key to success. She did what everyone must do to achieve a dream or vision: ignore the negative comments and continue believing.

Short Notice Movers has been in business for eight years now, receives positive feedback from customers, and has been recognized by The Coast’s Best of Halifax Readers’ Choice Awards with several silver and bronze distinctions.

When asked what she finds the most personally satisfying about her business, she said, “Changing the opinion of the moving industry.”

“It makes me so happy when people refer us to their friends, or reach out to tell us their positive experience.”

According to Lisa, her phone is still ringing, only now it’s compliments waiting for her on the other line.

The moving and storage industry remains a male dominated field, and Lisa has valuable advice on how to succeed. 

“Develop good eye contact and a firm handshake,” she said. “You will immediately gain respect with these, whereas avoiding eye contact and a limp handshake says you are unsure of yourself.”

Lisa said she experiences sexism frequently.

“I’ll answer the phone and be asked for the ‘fellow in charge’,” she said. “I tell them, ‘I am the fellow in charge’.  Sometimes they don’t like that I’m a woman, but I don’t let it bother me. That’s a customer I don’t need. It’s very important to keep a thick skin.”

She points out the importance of employee morale within a business.

 “We are all about customer service, and I like to keep my employees motivated. For each compliment they receive, I award them with a small bonus in their pay envelope.”

Lisa attributes the success of Short Notice Movers to communication.

“We always call to confirm an appointment,” she said. “It’s important to take the initiative to keep in touch with customers. Communication is key, which is great because I’m a natural talker!”

When asked how the Centre for Women in Business helped her along the way, Lisa talked about the power of support from other women.

“I wish I had known about the Centre sooner,” she said. “I didn’t realize how proud I should be of my accomplishments. Being a single mom, I am just used to doing what needs to be done; I take my hard work for granted. Networking with other women made me see how proud we should all be.”

Connect with Lisa & Short Notice Movers:

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