Small Business Week 2015 / Growth Alberta Business Award

In 2015, Whitecourt Outdoor Ltd. won the Growth Alberta business award for Woodlands County… what a treat for us!  Lorne’s response was this:

We very much appreciate receiving this award and this recognition from Growth Alberta, and I know that there are lots of other great businesses in Woodlands County who would deserve recognition such as this as well.

Whitecourt Outdoor Ltd. is a small business that provides All Terrain Vehicle services to other businesses and industries in Northwestern Alberta, and our major focus is to conduct safety courses for people who use off-highway vehicles at work.  My partner Terry and I operate the business from our acreage in Woodlands County, and it is still going strong after twenty years.  The people who use our services are employed by lumber mills, oil and gas companies, environmental industries, search and rescue groups and survey companies.  They are tree planters, pipeliners, university students, law enforcement officers and archaeologists.  One of the keys to the success of Whitecourt Outdoor Ltd. Is that it’s home-based, which means it has a low overhead and flexible hours.   Working from our acreage in Woodlands County has been a perfect fit for us, and we love the freedom and independence that it brings.  Over the years, hundreds of people have come out to attend the safety courses, and for a few hours they are able to share that beautiful piece of land with us.

My father was a businessman, and fifty years ago I grew up in a house where the conversation around the supper table involved stories about customers, new product lines, profit margins, hired help and the competition down the street.  At an early age I learned about payroll deductions, customer service, accounts receivable and accounts payable.  All of the things that were true about business fifty years ago are true today, such as finding your niche, listening to your customers and providing a service that they need.  Being in business is certainly not for everyone, but for others it gets in the blood and becomes a very rewarding lifestyle.

Sometimes when people come out to the acreage for a safety course, they have as many questions about their surroundings as they do about the course itself.  There are questions about the big garden, the pond, the birds, the shop, the wood heaters.  People notice the array of solar panels on the roof, and it would be easy for me to talk for hours just about that.  I’ve told several people that if I didn’t enjoy doing the safety courses so much that I’d probably be in the business of helping people set up alternate energy systems.

It's an honour to be a member of the business community of Woodlands County.

Lorne Heibert