Janice Fogarty is a communication specialist who has launched a podcast to help small businesses integrate digital marketing and networking. (Photo by 6Hearts Creative Studio)

Janice Fogarty is a communication specialist who has launched a podcast to help small businesses integrate digital marketing and networking. (Photo by 6Hearts Creative Studio)

Sylvan Lake entrepreneur shifts business with new online model

Janice Fogarty launched a podcast to help small businesses integrate digital marketing, networking

While the broader economy and many businesses have taken a hit through this pandemic, smaller businesses have pivoted, expanded or begun across the country and Sylvan Lake is no exception.

In this three part series we will look at three local entrepreneurs who have changed how they do business during the global pandemic. Kelly McMillan, Sacha Bojda and Janice Fogarty are the three women who will be spotlighted during this series, but there are many other female business owners in Sylvan Lake who have pivoted, expanded or begun a business in town.

According to StatsCan, small businesses make up 98 per cent of employer businesses across Canada. While small businesses have been more likely to experience a decrease in revenue and have less liquidity, and are more likely to be considering bankruptcy in the current economic environment, these women provide a glimpse of an entrepreneurial spirit that continues to grow. Despite the extra struggles, these women are striving to look at the bright side of things.

Janice Fogarty, a communications strategist, says she has struggled to move back into the workforce after the pandemic closed down a lot of traditional opportunities.

Fogarty looked for new opportunities in a sphere she was unfamiliar with; online business. She began a communications consultancy and podcast, Connections, Coffee & Confidence Podcast, in the spring of 2020.

“COVID really spurred me on to stop wasting time thinking about something I’ve wanted to do for ages, to just do it,” Fogarty said. “I’m surprised at how much I enjoy podcasting but I knew I really wanted to get back to working with people, helping them meet their goals. When COVID hit and the world went online, I had already dipped my toes in. Now I’m pretty much all in!”

Fogarty said the new set up was a “perfect marriage” at what she was good at and what she wanted to accomplish.

“I’ve always preferred to work with small business owners, getting them the exposure they need or helping them use communications to meet their business goals, and this seemed to be a time when I could really help.”

The communications consultancy was developed after the listeners of her podcast said they were looking for a professional who is experienced with entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“I do this work because too many smart, savvy women pour their heart and soul into creating a wonderful business but struggle with how to talk about it effectively,” said Fogarty. “I help them find clarity in their goals and messaging, and develop and confidently implement strategic communications plans so they can regain their time, make more impact with less effort and be known – and paid – for their work.”

The shift to a digital company and working from home has been difficult, especially with five people living, working and learning at home.

A small home office with a closing door has helped her family learn when it is work time and when it is family time, she says.

She said this has been a difficult time for many, and in her house temporary wage cuts have had their affect. During this tumultuous time, Fogarty has worked to find a better understanding of what is important versus what just feels like it is has been critical to helping everyone get through the last number of months.

“My own experiences have very much reinforced my belief in having a strategy and sticking to it in terms of when you are on social media and for what purpose,” said Fogarty.

“It’s so easy to get drawn down the rabbit hole of escape or ‘learning’ when really, there is an integration of digital marketing, networking and staying abreast of trends, doing the actual work of your business, and having a life outside of work that we all have to achieve. Some strategic planning goes a long way.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

The Town of Sylvan Lake has launched a new contest to attract a new business. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Alberta premier Jason Kenney, right and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide details about Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act., in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday June 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Minister Doug Schweitzer talks on Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Provincial government rolling out new benefit this April to better help small businesses.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Minister Rick Wilson poses with Katie at the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, both wearing her Pink Shirt Day design. Facebook/ Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin Boys and Girls club Pink Shirt day design focuses on kindness

Katie with the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin created this year’s Pink Shirt Day design.

Most Read