Valley First

Creating Small Business Success

Vision and partnership key to creating small business success, says Bad Tattoo

October 22, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—With its solid line-up of craft beers and creative rock-oven pizzas, Bad Tattoo has quickly established itself as one of Penticton’s busiest hotspots.

Bad Tattoo co-owner Martins Lewis says: “Our first summer was amazing. We’ve had great support from locals and tourists alike. We were far busier than we expected.”

This quick success is a good news story for Bad Tattoo and the local business scene. It also highlights the importance of small businesses as Canada recognizes Small Business week, Oct. 19 to 25. Accounting for more the 98 per cent of all business types, small businesses are often considered the backbone of the local economy as they are a critical source of employment and prosperity, particularly in B.C.’s smaller communities.

Lee Agur, Bad Tattoo’s manager believes the key to Bad Tattoo’s early success is its uniqueness.

“We have an eccentric name, amazing building, cool locally designed labels, rock-oven pizzas and, most importantly, excellent craft beer,” says Agur. “We love what we do and we’re excited and proud of what we have built. Our excitement is infectious. People immediately recognize this and it makes them excited and proud and turns them into natural ambassadors of Bad Tattoo Brewing.”

Although the success of Bad Tattoo’s first few months can make launching a new business sound simple, the reality is far from the truth. Lewis acknowledges how hard it is to establish a new business venture and says opening the doors at one of Penticton’s newest eateries was a collaborative effort made possible through the hard work of many people.

“With Bad Tattoo, we wanted to build a destination brewery that would give customers a place to come and try our craft beer and build brand recognition so that they could find them in the market,” says Lewis. “This could not have happened without strong partners like Valley First and the City of Penticton who recognized and supported our vision. Valley First was quick to support and help nurture this project. The people are down to earth and understand business, removing red tape and believing in the people behind the project, not just the numbers.”

On helping bring Bad Tattoo to life, the banking experts from Valley First say the Bad Tattoo had obviously done its homework.

“The team at Bad Tattoo are very savvy,” says Heather O’Coin, a business banker at Valley First. “They know Penticton. The know hospitality. They know the craft beer market is on the up. And, they were able to tie all that together into a super-cool business opportunity.

“An all too common mistake from an inexperienced business person is a lack of business planning,” says O’Coin. “The Bad Tattoo crew had a clear view of where they wanted to go and how they were going to get there. This makes our job as a financing partner much easier and it clearly shows our member had done their homework. Business planning is critical to the success of any business.”

For O’Coin and her colleagues, working with Bad Tattoo hasn’t been all toil: “There a great business with great products. Cheers to them.”

View more information on creating a business plan

About Valley First

Valley First is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union, which has 38 branches and 29 insurance offices throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Kitimat and Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. Led by Launi Skinner, First West has $7.7 billion in assets under administration, more than 177,000 members and close to 1,300 employees.

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