Interviewing Toronto Entrepreneur: Katherine Jensen
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
Welcome to our Friday Feature: Toronto Entrepreneurs segment, where we bring you insights, experiences, inspiration, and advice from prominent entrepreneurs in the Greater Toronto Area!
We’ve interviewed business leaders who have been kind enough to take the time to share their experiences with us on what it’s like starting their very own business (and nurturing it as well)!
We believe that these stories would be valuable to other aspiring or established business leaders. On behalf of TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca, we hope that you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed creating it! Feel free to share this story with your networks.
Introducing Toronto Entrepreneur: Katherine Jensen, Principal of Jensen Consulting
Company name: Jensen Consulting What does your company do? Write and audit commercial leases Year launched: 2013 Number of employees: 1 Website: www.jensenconsulting.co
1. How did you get the idea to start your business?
a. I was working in-house for big Landlords and saw first hand how independent Tenants were under represented. I wanted to help arm them with the same experts the Landlords had on their teams.
2. What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started your business?
a. We’ve secured some pretty large clients with National portfolios including Innovative Food Brands, more commonly know as The Chopped Leaf & Teriyaki Experience, as well as consulting for several of the large REITs based out of Toronto.
3. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?
a. Having to manage the administrative side of the business has been a huge struggle. Accounting, marketing, developing a brand strategy and securing new clients has been the hardest part of developing the business. I know how to read and write leases in complicated legalize, not develop a brand or marketing campaign.
4. What are some lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
a. It’s important to have the right team support you, and know when to outsource a task. My time is better spent on my client files than struggling with website updates or bookkeeping tasks.
5. What are the best parts about entrepreneurship?
a. Having the flexibility to work on projects with clients that excite me is the best part of running my own businesses. There have been a number of unique and interesting opportunities I have presented themselves that I am so grateful to be able to work on.
6. What has been your most effective form of advertising?
a. Networking at events and developing relationships with the other key players in the industry has produced the best leads for me.
7. What goals have you achieved for your business so far?
a. We have developed and launched our app in the Google Playstore that helps Tenants evaluate the cost of potential space by calculating the GROC (Gross Rental Occupancy Cost)
8. What are your goals for your business in 2019?
a. We are hoping to connect with some more Franchisors and perform Lease Audits for brands with mid sized portfolios, ensuring they are not being over charged by the Landlords.
9. Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 years?
a. Reading and writing Leases for brands across Canada.
10. What upcoming projects are you working on?
a. A unique project we are working on right now is consulting on the developments of property management accounting software. It helps Landlords more accurately charges the costs as described in the Lease.
11. What trends are you seeing in your industry?
a. With the recent changes to the legislation in Canada concerning recreational use of marijuana I am seeing a lot of Landlords and Tenants struggle with bringing retail dispensaries into the Centers. Some old leases specifically prohibit these types of establishments and the Landlord will need to do a little work to have these new Tenants approved by their existing Tenants.
12. What business advice would you give yourself if you were to start all over?
a. Your plans never work out as planned, and that’s ok and the easiest way to get another client is to make your current one happy.
13. Last but not least, let’s end off with a fun fact! What might we be surprised to know about you?
a. When I was living in a small town in Saskatchewan, Little Mosque on the Prairie took over our town for a couple months over the summer to film on location. Our house was used as one of the sets and I appeared as an extra in several scenes. You can see my waving in Season 5 Episode 14.
Many thanks to Katherine for sharing her story with us! Stay tuned for our next featured Toronto Entrepreneur!
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