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Diving into a family business

BCAA Small Business Spotlight | SeaSide Swim & Sports, Langley

Our BCAA Small Business Insurance customer, Luke Jang, is a recent entrepreneur who pivoted from his career plans to take over his family’s business. In the fall of 2021, Luke took the helm of SeaSide Swim & Sport in Langley. Conveniently located by the pool and gym within the Walnut Grove Community Centre, Luke sells swimming, fitness gear, and athletic clothing for swimmers and active British Columbians.

As a new small business owner and running a community-focused business, we asked Luke what it was like to re-launch the business as his own, plus his tips for success during challenging times.

Tell us how you got into swimwear…

“I’d just finished my forestry degree…and it turns out I’m extremely allergic to everything I was planting. My career was suddenly over before it started. So, I was looking for a fresh new business opportunity. When I heard my aunt and uncle were retiring from their swim shop, they owned for 11 years, I jumped at the opportunity to buy the business.”

Luke noticed a trend of people leaving the city to move out to the suburbs and Fraser Valley. “You can see the population moving east out of Vancouver. New things are getting built in Langley, so my business felt like a good opportunity. Everything is growing around here,” he says

Luke saw the shift as an opportunity to keep British Columbians in shape with fitness gear/clothing. Plus, he already had the ideal location. “There’s a pool and gym beside my shop inside the Walnut Grove Community Centre so I have lots of walk-in customers,” he says.

Luke of Seaside Swim & Sport, BCAA Small Business Insurance customer Luke of Seaside Swim & Sport, BCAA Small Business Insurance customer

Luke’s secret to success: his relentless focus on his customers

One excellent reason to visit SeaSide Swim & Sport is the personal attention you’ll get from Luke.

“I’m running the whole thing, so I’m 100% the face of the business. I love this responsibility and my mantra is ‘I’m here to serve my customers and get them any specialty items they need’,” says Luke.

What’s your favourite thing about being a small business owner?

“I love the freedom and variety of being an entrepreneur. It’s been very enjoyable and exciting; every day is awesome and different. Every day, different people come in and every single day, the things my customers and I talk about are always different and dynamic,” says Luke.

Luke’s advice for new small business owners:

“You must find that motivation or inspiration that really drives you to open a business. It’s a huge thing—it’s not like going for a job interview and you get the job. Small business owners put in a lot of time and money. You need to make the right decision and find the right motivation to start a small business.”

He says what’s important is self-discipline. “Discipline is nearly everything. Start your day ready to work and ready to tackle issues that come up. You’ll open an email that says your shipment is cancelled due to an emergency, so you’ll need to think of ways to correct the error. Don’t fall on your knees when things go wrong, and you’ll be fine.”

Thinking of getting insurance for your small business

Do you need insurance for your new business (or are thinking of switching insurance providers)? We’d love to help! BCAA Small Business Insurance offers you customized coverage with online convenience, so you can get a quote and buy online whenever it suits you. Get your quote today by visiting bcaa.com/smallbusiness.

Want to learn more about small business insurance? Check out our blog. Here’s why you need small business insurance, why your clients want you to have small business, and the benefits of BCAA Small Business Insurance for your BC business.

Want us to feature you next? If you own a small BC business or have a favourite that everyone should know about, we’d love to hear about it! Share your small business story on our Twitter or Facebook or email us at smallbusiness@bcaa.com.