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Empowering Small Business Health and Safety: A Rural Entrepreneurial Journey

Updated: Jan 11


health and safety for small business

About The Rural Entrepreneur Podcast Episode 5 on Empowering Health and Safety

Dive deep into the world of safety in business in this episode: Janice Campbell: The Entrepreneurial Journey of Spencer Safety Solutions.


In this podcast episode, we engage in a captivating conversation with Janice Campbell, the owner of Spencer Safety Solutions. Janice shares her profound experience and passion for safety, offering invaluable insights and firsthand experiences in the realm of business safety.


Discover the challenges and advancements in the safety industry, the importance of sustainable approaches, and the entrepreneurial mindset required for success in today's evolving business landscape.


Janice's unique background and her journey from being an employee to an entrepreneur bring a fresh perspective on the realities of safety in business and its vital role in our society.


Whether you're an experienced business owner seeking fresh perspectives or an aspiring entrepreneur looking to make your mark in the safety field, this podcast is an essential resource for inspiration and knowledge.


Key Themes and Takeaways from the Interview


The Power of Networking

  • Janice emphasized the importance of networking for business growth. Being a member of five chambers of commerce, she highlighted how these affiliations provided her with invaluable connections, resources, and opportunities.

  • Her initiative to set up a women's entrepreneur network showcases her dedication to fostering community and support among female entrepreneurs.

Embracing Risks and Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

  • Janice shared her personal experiences of taking risks in her entrepreneurial journey. She emphasized the importance of getting out of one's comfort zone to achieve growth and success.

  • Her participation as a slayer in the Meaford Chamber of Commerce's Dragons Den was a testament to her willingness to embrace challenges and face them head-on. This experience provided her with valuable insights and further fueled her passion for entrepreneurship.

Transitioning from Employee to Entrepreneur

  • Janice's journey from being an employee to establishing Spencer Safety Solutions was filled with challenges and learnings. She shared insights into the mindset shift required, the risks involved, and the rewards of autonomy and decision-making.

The Role of Family and Personal Experiences

  • Janice's anecdotes about her experiences with her father provided a personal touch to the interview. It showcased how family and personal experiences can shape one's entrepreneurial journey and values.

Challenges of Rural Business Growth

  • Operating and growing a business in a rural setting comes with its unique set of challenges. Janice delved into the strategies she adopted to market and expand her rural business, emphasizing adaptability and understanding the local market dynamics.

Safety as a Core Business Value

  • Janice's passion for safety resonated throughout the interview. She discussed the significance of safety in business operations, its impact on employees and customers, and the broader societal implications.

Entrepreneurial Resilience and Support Systems

  • The conversation touched upon the emotional challenges entrepreneurs face, especially in the safety industry. Janice highlighted the importance of having a support system, be it through peer groups, advisory boards, or personal networks, to navigate the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.


Interview with Small Business Health and Safety Expert and Entrepreneur: Janice Campbell

00:00 - 16:09 | Introduction and Background

The podcast introduces Janice Campbell, owner of Spencer Safety Solutions, known for her effective marketing and safety expertise.


Collaboration through the Chamber of Commerce led her to assist with health inspection policies, revealing the unexpected need for safety documents (sidenote: we hired her) in various businesses. Janice's upbringing in an entrepreneurial family and her HR management education influenced her path to safety consulting.


The conversation contrasts her experiences in large international construction projects with smaller rural endeavors. Challenges of maintaining certifications like CRSP and NCSO are discussed, paralleling issues in the tech industry. This segment provides insights into Janice's journey and the complexities of certifications in her field.


16:09 - 25:57 | Small Business Health and Safety Awareness and Experience

Janice highlights health and safety's legal and moral aspects, stressing their relevance across industries. Ergonomics' significance, addressing discomfort and injuries among office workers, is discussed.


Diverse challenges in large industrial and small family-run businesses are compared, including resource availability and company culture disparities. Janice's engaging safety training approach and light-hearted reference to being in a "safety people recovery group" are shared.


An anecdote about multiple electrical contacts with no serious injuries sparks reflection on safety's unpredictable nature and maintaining a commendable record.


25:57 - 34:40 | Why’d You Do It? Entrepreneurial Journey & Motivation

Janice's entrepreneurial journey began in 2021 after a sudden job loss. Facing limited job opportunities in health and safety, she considered starting her own consulting firm.


Recognizing the lack of freelance consultants in her area, she decided to take the leap. Initially slow progress in the first six months tested her determination. Connecting with local organizations, such as Catapult, Owen Sound Business Enterprise Center, and Chambers of Commerce, provided valuable support.


Despite challenges, Janice appreciated the freedom entrepreneurship offered, enabling her to choose her work hours and maintain autonomy. Reflecting on past experiences, she highlighted the satisfaction of helping clients who actively sought her guidance, reducing frustration compared to her previous roles.


34:40 - 38:19 | Slayer at Meaford Chamber of Commerce Dragons Den!

Janice recounted her decision to participate in the Meaford Chamber of Commerce Dragons Den, which proved to be a valuable experience. She recognized the importance of effectively promoting her business idea to a panel of dragons and the audience.


The nerve-wracking opportunity not only provided exposure but also challenged her to refine her pitch and explain how her business could benefit the community. However, she faced challenges due to the requirement for the winning business to be located in Meaford and the limited commercial space available in the area.


Janice highlighted the camaraderie among the participants and the humorous observation of many women entrepreneurs taking part, reminiscent of the broader trend of women's increased participation in such events.


38:19 - 42:50 | Growth in Grey Bruce

Janice envisions the growth and impact of Spencer Safety Solutions in the Grey Bruce region by focusing on raising awareness and education around small business health and safety, encompassing both physical and mental well-being.


She emphasizes the need to address mental health challenges, particularly in male-dominated industries like construction, where men are at a higher risk of issues such as suicide and drug overdose. Janice highlights the role of organizations like the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) in promoting mental health initiatives within workplaces.


Furthermore, she underscores the transferability of safety advice, training, and programs not only to the workplace but also to family and home situations.


Janice gives an example of how discussing school bus safety on a job site led to an important safety moment and a realization about the significance of traffic lights on school buses.


About Janice Campbell

Janice Campbell is the proud owner of Spencer Safety Solutions, a company dedicated to ensuring health and safety in small businesses. With a rich background in the safety industry, Janice transitioned from being an employee to an entrepreneur, driven by her passion for safety and her desire to make a difference.


Her dedication to networking has led her to be a member of five chambers of commerce and even establish her own women's entrepreneur network. Her dedication to her work, her commitment to her community, and her passion for continuous learning make her a truly outstanding figure in the field of business safety.



About the Rural Entrepreneur Podcast Series

The Rural Entrepreneur Podcast Series delves into the stories of rural entrepreneurs, exploring their struggles, triumphs, and the driving force behind their perseverance. The conversations are profound and insightful. If you're interested in being a sponsor or guest, feel free to contact us or book some time with Chris.






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