After working as a Yellowknife paramedic in the North since 2005, Matt Vincent decided to try his hand at running a business in the industry he’s come to know so well.
“I really wanted to do my own thing,” he said. “I wanted to achieve that dream of being your own boss. The more I chatted about it, the more I realized that I really wanted this.”
A first aid course in 2000 sparked Vincent’s interest in providing first aid and medical services training as a career choice.
In addition to maintaining his registration as a first aid trainer once he was certified, he also became a certified paramedic in 2005 and began doing rotations at mines in the NWT.
Vincent said starting his own business has been “eye-opening” and he’s had to learn how to maintain accounting programs, how to run a website, and other aspects of business management while on the go.
“It is a bit different when you own your own business,” he said. “You have an enthusiasm for it. It’s your name on it and you need to be accountable for what you provide.”
Vincent said one of the keys to getting started in the city was using the Yellowknife support network he’s developed over the years.
For instance, an architect he knows designed 62 Degrees North’s logo and a past colleague was able to design his website.
Vincent said it’s the small size of 62 Degrees North that gives the company a competitive edge over other businesses which provide first aid courses or supplies to the North.
An example he used was the fact that most first aid classes can be held in boardrooms or other spacious rooms that clients may have available. As a result, the added cost of a fixed 62 Degrees North classroom isn’t passe don to the customer.
Flexibility is another key aspect to keeping his services competitively priced and effective, because he can tailor programs to meet the needs of his clients, while meeting required standards, he added.
“Unlike most competitors, I don’t have a minimum course participant,” he said. “I won’t say ‘no,’ even if there are two people.
We can find a solution that will be beneficial to both my company and their company.”
62 Degrees North was incorporated in December and Vincent launched the website earlier this month. I provides Canada Red Cross standard medical services and courses as well as medical supplies such as NWT standard first aid kids.
Written by Lyndsay Herman at Northern News Services
Published in the Yellowknifer newspaper on January 30, 2013