With so many local small and medium sized businesses facing economic uncertainty in the face of the global pandemic, we thought it timely to get StartWell Member company First Aid Canada Inc on the microphone for this special episode of our podcast.
Aaron Wayne is a first aid instructor, lifeguard and VP of Sales at First Aid Canada – an eCommerce vendor that believes ‘every person has the capacity to save a life.’ Their online shop sells a variety of first aid/medical supplies, equipment and defibrillators (AEDs) sourced globally but shipped from here in Toronto.
In this episode, Aaron tells us a little about his company’s offering, how they sell online and what challenges he is facing because of the pandemic. Amazingly, despite the economic down-turn and supply chain issues, Aaron and his team continue to stay open – servicing regular institutional clients, the general public and Canada’s healthcare workers.
In a rush? Here are some highlights from this conversation
- Starting and growing a niche e-commerce business during the pandemic. (0:14)
- E-commerce, product mix, and platform evolution. (5:48)
- E-commerce business challenges during COVID-19. (10:15)
- Supply chain challenges during the pandemic. (14:25)
- Supply chain challenges and demand for pandemic-related products. (19:36)
- First aid kits and preparedness during COVID-19. (24:09)
- Business operations during the pandemic. (29:48)
- First aid training and COVID-19 safety tips. (34:36)
Spend time with this conversation - here's the full transcript
Qasim Virjee 0:14
All right back once again, for this the 30th episode of the struggle a podcast. I am your host. And as always Qasim Virjee, the founder and CEO of star Well, here in the studio at about six feet distance. We're keeping our distance we're keeping clean with some hand sanitizer here. I'm sitting with Aaron Wayne, who's one of our members has been a member of struggle since November 2018. And we've got some interesting stuff to talk about. I think, Aaron, which is your business kind of has an angle on the current pandemic, in the sense that you're able to continue operating and your services help people, which is kind of cool in this time of uncertainty. So Aaron, why don't you go ahead and just introduce yourself?
Aaron Wayne 0:58
Yeah, thanks for having me. First off. Yeah. So my name is Aaron Wayne. I am a co owner and VP of sales of first aid Canada. And yeah, I'm a distributor of first aid and medical supplies. Okay,
Qasim Virjee 1:12
so tell me a little bit about the background on the company. This was a family business. Yes,
Aaron Wayne 1:17
family business. I own it with my father, my brother. Pretty well. How we got started was actually my brother initially started. He and I both have a lifeguarding swim instructing background.
Qasim Virjee 1:29
Okay. This is like a high school thing. Yeah. Frustrated high school or in
Aaron Wayne 1:33
high school? Yeah. Yeah. My brother's seven years older than I am. And yes, when he was a lifeguard, swim instructor, and then going into University took kinesiology in that program. course a lot of people required the Center for C certification. And since he was certified to teach, he thought I'd why not provide that kind of service to his fellow students. So he just started a small company aside, just doing first aid training. When I got old enough to be able to teach myself I kind of came on board again, just as a side thing while I was a first aid and swim instructor or sorry, yes. Instructor and then. And then yeah, and I was dead on side every now. And then while I was working with Java and being in school, and after Ryerson, I went to Ryerson finance. And closer to the end of the program, I thought, No, I didn't want to get into something more along the lines of smackin control myself my own project. And at the time, he wasn't doing anything with it. He was doing his PhD. And so I asked him if I can kind of take over the company and build some out of it. And I've been doing it ever since. So
Qasim Virjee 2:40
at that point, when he came out of university with a be calm, yeah, guessing. What was the like, what was the state of the company where you guys actually selling a lot of? So as an E commerce at that
Aaron Wayne 2:51
point, it was Yeah, I think my brothers did a little bit of E commerce very, like, you know, paid a few 100 bucks to get a very small, very low tech ecommerce company at the time, found a supplier at the time, and again, it was very small things. It's just a side project, he was maybe shipping out orders every now and then. But it was primarily to customers of his age to do training for. So it's just like getting to do you know, we teach a course, people ask, you know, teach people how to use equipment and first aid supplies and people going afterwards like, hey, where can I get the supplies? Right? Okay. So it was primarily just doing that. But, you know, I thought there was potential. And I want to take the whole side of E commerce with it. And so that's maybe build more of that, see if there's more of a demand because there definitely is because I say the market a little bit. And just like all this stuff is permanently required by law for most companies. In fact, all companies throughout Canada, based on provincial and federal regulations are all required by law to have first aid medical supplies on hand, right. So we took the angle of that, and primarily targeted organizations or large organizations. It's
Qasim Virjee 4:07
funny because something like you know, first aid equipment seems I think, to lay people walking around the street, that somehow there's some sort of like back end to the supply chain that's tied in with the healthcare system and tied in with medicine and hospitals and stuff. But it's not the case right?
Aaron Wayne 4:28
No, no, not really. You know, at the time I was looking into I'm just like, you know, how many companies out there specifically online offering kind of first day medical supplies? Nobody really ever thinks about that right? You want to accompany walking to a restaurant is your first aid kit on the on the wall? It's just You didn't think twice but Well, yeah, that's right. That come from, you know, probably through the government's you know, self hate self and hate housing safety regulation that you know, they got it for free me because it's just like, you know, but who knows no one ever thought about that, but I'm just like, you know, it's so niche. So I'm just like, No, let's take a stab at let's try to take a different angle. focus primarily on that, because most other companies that I saw were selling or offering first aid kits and supplies were primarily large, kind of industrial supply companies that weren't just sell first aid kits. So do you know? So packaging supplies and warehouse equipment? So you're talking to a company like Uline? Or something like Uline? Yeah, 10 equip those large organizations. But I'm just like, let's take the angle and focus in the niche, first aid, medical supply industry, right, just that. And you have got lucky enough with the name first aid Canada, which I thought was great
Qasim Virjee 5:44
a.com That you got, you know,
Aaron Wayne 5:46
got the domain. Brother didn't get first he can.ca For some reason, but we got.com We ran with it wasn't complaining. And yeah, and so then at the time, I initially started the supplier that my brother had, we were using him for a little bit, but I felt that we were kind of going out of their league. So I found a much more established supplier and a couple others and just ran with it.
Qasim Virjee 6:11
So it's been how many years seven? It's been
Aaron Wayne 6:14
about seven, eight years. Yeah, I've been doing this since eight years. You have an instance full time since near the end of 2012.
Qasim Virjee 6:23
And has the product mix that you offer changed over that period of time? Definitely.
Aaron Wayne 6:27
Definitely. I remember, initially the first supplier we were dealing with, you know, it was just small, few supplies that you'd find in first aid kit. And some kits of course, yeah. And then when I got in touch with more established suppliers, and wholesalers list like yeah, the product line expanded, like significantly from, you know, especially first aid kits to stretchers to defibrillator as to anything and everything in between. Yeah, we've got recovery coaches.
Qasim Virjee 7:02
What's a recovery coach,
Aaron Wayne 7:03
I can remember is essentially a first aid bed. Okay, so like for example, in Ontario, organizations with 200 plus employees required a first aid room. Yep. And one of the components in the room is basically a bed for staff to land if need be. Someone passes out, passes out lightheaded.
Qasim Virjee 7:22
Is that like a hospital bed? Or is that more of a no sound
Aaron Wayne 7:25
hospital bed? Imagine just like How would I describe it's like, just like kind of straightforward. It's like a couch without a backrest. Oh, and a bit of a pillow. Okay, so it's kind of like, not leather, but it's leather, pleather kind of coating around some, some cushioning and in a pillow for someone to lie down. Hmm.
Qasim Virjee 7:46
That's interesting. There's, there's an array of things that you guys offer that like, yeah, where do you get it from otherwise, right? Yeah, are. Okay, let's fast forward a few years. We'll go back into some historical anecdotes. But I actually you know, what, before we do so tell me about as an E commerce vendor, like primarily, you're selling stuff on the internet? Yeah. You inherited this kind of from from your brother this like first stab at ecommerce? Yeah. Have you moved platforms since then? Have you looked at kind of like SAS stuff like Shopify? On your own stores and own your own software?
Aaron Wayne 8:21
Yeah, well, initially. I think initially, we only know what my brother had the first website built on. I'm guessing it was a WordPress, basic thing, basic platform. When I came on board, I got in touch with a developer who built us on Magento. Okay. Magento was great. And then as we progressed, and eventually Magento Magento, one platform, they got phased out by Magento. Two. So over the past couple years, it was valuing for a while. Which platform to move on to is looking at Shopify, big commerce, little bits WooCommerce and WordPress, and eventually, after a long evaluation process to decide to go with WordPress and WooCommerce.
Qasim Virjee 9:10
Really, yeah, that's interesting to me, primarily because of some of my history. Career wise. Yeah. is an open source CMS is so like, Yeah, going back to Joomla. Mambo originally that it became Joomla. And then Drupal. And I remember like talking about Magento, there was this war, in a way going on between Magento and then at least in the Drupal community, a lot of people trying to integrate Magento. And then at the same time looking at how do we build our own kind of homegrown solution that's in Drupal instead, that works more natively with handling products and different skews as entities you know, that can relate to anything. So you get a photo galleries and video that relates to five different skews, that kind of complex content relationship stuff. Anyway, and then recently, I've gotten into You know, using WordPress because it's like just quick and dirty and you don't have to think about things a lot of it. Yeah. And does WooCommerce allow you to do that? Like, are you do you feel agile with how you're kind of building out your store? At least in the initial? I
Aaron Wayne 10:11
actually do? You know, because that's it. From my perspective, it's just like I understand the value of Shopify. Like no, for basically for our needs. What we wanted was something geared more towards the functionality of it, because and also, of course, valuing costs, like, you know, when it came to Shopify, the only things really matter needs a Shopify Plus, when it comes to Magento. Sticking with Magento is Magento Enterprise. Well, the the monthly costs significantly would increase compared to what we were, you know, our monthly costs with significant increase compared to what they were before, because Magento open source, right. So we basically determined that it was the value wasn't there, with Shopify Plus, or Magento Enterprise, because although we are primarily re permanently dropship, most of our orders, things at a fulfillment center, it's not as cookie cutter with us, because a lot of it comes from one specific fulfillment center and pretty well, the way they operate isn't up to the center that we would like it to be. If we were to use Enterprise, our shots just
Qasim Virjee 11:28
told me like hands free,
Aaron Wayne 11:30
it's not completely hands free. And we felt that we can customize things a lot quicker. And kind of fine tune WordPress and WooCommerce to meet our needs. And then just based on value than the cost, we just thought it was the best best option.
Qasim Virjee 11:49
So how many years in are you with WooCommerce?
Aaron Wayne 11:51
I've actually we actually just started. Yeah, I think we went me to go live the month that I started here. Okay. It's a matter of fact, November. Yeah. And it's, it's been great. Also, we're also been working with a new developer, which is just fantastic. And yeah, I've had no issues with it whatsoever. In fact, everything is fully automated now. On the website side of things, it's great. It saves me so much time. But of course now that we're dealing with full COVID-19 thing, things to open up a whole new can of worms you took us there.
Qasim Virjee 12:28
Let's talk about it. In terms of you tell me yeah, what's the hitless for you or pain points for your business? Because of this current situation?
Aaron Wayne 12:37
The biggest pain points is definitely supply chain. Okay, getting the goods to the people who gain the goods to people in a timely manner.
Qasim Virjee 12:47
Is that because everything came from China before? No,
Aaron Wayne 12:49
not necessarily. Most of our suppliers they get stuff from around the world it wasn't so much that it was more than just like the fact that demand increased significantly for first day medical supplies like you know before we were targeting you're getting orders primarily from organizations. Now it's just like consumers just like ordering nonstop you know, as I'm sure you wear with hand sanitizer or face masks or in any five masks or other type of alcohol, isopropyl other kind of sanitation supplies demand is just skyrocketed with everyone Sure. And just keeping up with that demand it's just been extremely difficult or chemo the supply the
Qasim Virjee 13:31
supplies, because the demand is I mean gone up but supplies
Aaron Wayne 13:37
supplies definitely become more reliable. Yeah, and because this is a global kind of situation. Getting the supplies in like print all this like if something were to be low stock, like we we are supposed to be restocking things weekly, right? bi weekly at most. Now, it's just like because this is a global issue, bringing supplies is very difficult things are quite delayed. And an addition is being you know, other suppliers manufacturer has been delayed with all their orders, their supply chain is now affected because even bringing in raw materials to produce the supplies is a challenge with all the restrictions and in flying and bringing things from China because yes, definitely a lot of things do come from China, right. But something as small as like, you know, an antiseptic wipe manufacturers like you know, they have everything to produce the product besides the paper that they needed to insert into the back. It's interesting that is quite difficult and it's gotten so bad to the point where you put an order it's just like they cannot confirm a lead time because they don't know when they're gonna get their raw materials to produce it.
Qasim Virjee 14:47
And of course in the fast paced world of E commerce and where maybe people I don't know have you found that your customers if they are in customers, but your regular kind of institutional or, or, you know, commercial customers if Residential and individuals essentially, are shopping around. They're trying to they're facing the same problems, probably not understanding the back end issues. But like saying, Oh, I could get this on Amazon and coming back to you saying, you know, do you not have the product? Why not? Yeah. Oh, yeah. And then they realize that the delivery date on Amazon has been pushed back a month? I don't know if you've been
Aaron Wayne 15:22
seeing that. But oh, yeah, no, I've definitely been seeing it. You know, for the most part, we didn't have stock levels. Prior to all this, we didn't have stock levels integrated to the website, because we really never really had an issue with stock levels, you know,
Qasim Virjee 15:37
because you were stocking on demand kind of thing. severes Yeah, we are supplying on
Aaron Wayne 15:41
demand, you know, some things that take longer to produce, and others, you know, be make sure that's fully transparent with all that information on the website. So expectations were met majority of the time, of course, you know, of course, there's some outliers. But But now, it's just like, we've had to take majority of products and mark them all out of stock, because because we don't want to disappoint the people in the world. Where are the consumers in the world that expect things right away? Right. So we live in the age of Amazon, where, you know, everyone expects same day, next day delivery. And if we're not fulfilling those needs, and you know, people aren't happy. See
Qasim Virjee 16:18
that being frustrating. I mean, of course, this time is frustrating for everybody in many different ways. But to be in a business, where you've got this kind of surge of interest for your product and a potential to, you know, increase your revenue. But then having to kind of mitigate that yourself to manage customer expectations. Yeah, is going to be a little frustrating is the new challenge. So how I know that you, you told me when I talked to you recently, that you were heading up to your supplier here and there and everywhere lately? How have they, how have you found in the supply chain kind of things not working out, you know, in your favor, even in that way? So the supplies is an issue, but then packaging and distribution is also an issue?
Aaron Wayne 17:05
So yes, yeah, exactly. You know, because it's one thing that the demand side of things and the filling the supply, it's not a thing, you know, even if you have all that getting stuff out in a timely manner, because, you know, even my suppliers, just like many other organizations are having issues with staffing, things like that, right? You know, with schools being out people have to take care of the children, people can be concerned about the working conditions, may different factors have affected them, just like many others. And so, some points, they find themselves low staff, which also affects packing and shipping times. And see if sometimes, at some points I've made agreements with my suppliers to instead of having them dropship literally picking up a large quantity of stock, having a few people gain temporary space and picking and packing orders. ourselves and shipping them out.
Qasim Virjee 18:06
So what are the, if there's a top five, or top three, or whatever number you want to give me? What are the top things that you're seeing kind of during this pandemic period, things that people are particularly requesting, or requesting in volume, whatever,
Aaron Wayne 18:23
oh, it's, it's the face masks, and then five masks, hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, things like cabbie wipes, which are pretty pretty well, hospital grade kind of disinfectant wipes. Those are primarily the top three products. And then of course, we have alcohol, isopropyl rubbing alcohol, things, things along those lines, disinfectants disinfecting wipes, yeah.
Qasim Virjee 18:49
Because I've definitely been part of in the startup community anyway, here in Toronto, there's been different groups that have been forming to try and kind of, you know, hack, the supply chain for you know, essentially healthcare workers, you know, people in hospitals that, for whatever reason, don't unfortunately have supply enough to, you know, manage through the day have a face masks and stuff like that. And everyone's looking all the way back to China, which is the majority of manufacturing seems in that stuff, facemasks, particularly, to say, how can we get this stuff here quickly, but there's this huge quality control issues. So what have you found, if at all, and looking to, you know, improve this whole situation for your business at trying to swap out suppliers? Is that a big problem?
Aaron Wayne 19:37
Is that something that it definitely has been? You know, I know that the Government of Canada is looking to have existing manufacturers, or purchase supplies from manufacturers in the country, and also requesting other organizations that if they have the capability to manufacture these supplies that are in Man most for frontline staff. But at the same time I get if I had a nickel for every time company in China contacts me asking if I if I want to purchase some supplies from them. Yeah, it's it's a challenge because you know, even if you do have a great relationship with a Chinese supplier to bring products in it's it's like, is yeah, the quality control is a huge issue. Would people even feel safe purchasing the products and users? Right? So that has definitely been a challenge. You know, we definitely make sure we're fully transparent with where with where the products do come from, because a lot of people aren't comfortable with purchasing products if they know their main candidate, or China at this time. So yes, definitely has been an issue. So, you know, with that said, we found a challenge in purchasing some, some supplies because like, you know, if we know we can get them, is it worth it? Is it we have to really evaluate if it's Yeah. Gains? Yeah. And the short term gains. Exactly.
Qasim Virjee 21:09
And take your brand away from perhaps what is yeah, what is core offering is Yeah, exactly. Um, so first aid kits. Is that still at the core of your business?
Aaron Wayne 21:19
Yeah, definitely. Although, in this particular time, it's,
Qasim Virjee 21:25
it's some stuff that's a kit that people Yeah,
Aaron Wayne 21:27
yeah, no, exactly. List. We also offer no biohazard kits, which come what is,
Qasim Virjee 21:32
yeah, what's in a biohazard. So,
Aaron Wayne 21:34
you know, biohazard kit would basically contain a whole bunch of these high demand items in one, you know, everything from a full, full hazmat suit to disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, something like it's called a red Z Fluid Control solidify, or where you're dealing with kind of type of fluids, it kind of pretty much is a powder that you would put on them to create a trend to solid and then just make E for easy disposal. Things like that. Also producing, and definitely in demand. But for the most part, it's just the face masks and things like that, because people feel that that's, that's what they need to stay safe. And so that's, for the past two months, that's been the primary focus right now. And primary needs of a majority people.
Qasim Virjee 22:24
So even though there's been, yeah, like higher demand in those couple things that that everyone's looking for all over the place, has the rest of the business continued on, I know that, again, I'm in conversations all day every day with not only our members but our partners and banks, like the BDC who are trying to figure out how to help you know, SMBs across the country through this tough time where maybe revenues are coming from either entirely dried up or coming from Yeah, just one SKU
Aaron Wayne 22:52
Yeah, no, no, definitely the rest of our business definitely still. Still, you know, these first aid kits and defibrillators and other products are still being purchased at this time. So those are still in demand which is great it's not just those those few products are those definitely makeup majority the sales I can be honest, at this point, at least the past month. Yeah. But no, the first aid kits and these other items are definitely still in demand for sure. You know, in your points about frontline staff or hospital and stuff being need because they're their shorts supply, that's definitely something we've been taking into consideration a lot. You know, I can tell you at this point, whenever we do get stuck in of, you know, the pandemic related products, we definitely like to notify hospitals, frontline staff, health care facilities before making the products available to the public because we know those organizations are definitely the ones that need it the most. To
Qasim Virjee 24:01
that end, what have you seen in terms of their procurement processes changing? Who's involved in the last few weeks? Or like this is that's a whole nother side?
Aaron Wayne 24:11
Oh, yes, you I have people contact me like, you know, they're not going through the regular supply chain that they typically would do because of this unprecedented situation where you know, people need things so quickly, right? It's like you know, part of this dealing with the Government of Canada it's like you know, you have to make sure you're a registered supplier with them you have to go through the whole supply process where you provide them with the code a quotes they generate a purchase order from you you know, they have a required delivery dates and things a little things along those lines, but now it's just like, hey, listen, do you have this Yes, kit, here's Bureau just send it to us
Qasim Virjee 24:46
as quick as possible. Right. So they're buying like end consumers now? Yeah, exactly. And
Aaron Wayne 24:50
in some cases, they're even using, whether it's government or company credit cards, or even personal in some cases, just why the directs that they just don't have what they want, avoid any issues and get the product as quick as possible. So
Qasim Virjee 25:00
talking about hospitals, are there people from all ranks contacting you like in terms of doctors and nurses?
Aaron Wayne 25:05
Some Yes, it is still, you know, procurement for the most part, but they're just the the process for getting the product and putting the order through is just shortened significantly. But yeah, we've definitely noticed a difference with everything that's going on. And when you hear about the news with, you know, the government being on a shortage of, you know, personal protective equipment, it's just like, one side, it boggles my mind how that's this has happened, right? You don't have things in place. And that aside, it's just like, you know, the situation is unprecedented. The number of frontline people needing supplies on a regular basis is significantly increased. And my surprise, they have to go through so much. Honestly,
Qasim Virjee 25:49
it's a sad situation and one that hopefully, the supply chain can be agile enough where people will be able to hack it. Yeah. And, and localized production on things all over the world, you know, because otherwise, well, we don't want to think about otherwise. But yeah, hopefully, these things, these things improve. It's interesting, because I think it's something that even harkens back to that kind of like first offering that you guys had, which is the home or not home, but the first aid kits that can be used wherever they're used. Yeah, it's funny, because you started with this, typically, people not only don't know where they come from when they see them, but also don't necessarily know that they should have them. Yeah, and everyone in homes anyway, that I've been to my wife's a doctor. So we see these things, you know, and I have a little bit of a, an eye for them now. But you know, people have some band aids that they used five years ago, in the back of some medicine cabinet with expired medicines, yeah. They don't necessarily pay attention, but perhaps through this experience that we're all going through, you know, everyone is waking up also to this reality that they need to take a bit more responsibility for their
Aaron Wayne 27:00
Unfortunately, most people when it comes to first aid kits, or first aid supplies in general, you know, they're more reactive to proactive, you know, they realize they need it when they need it. It's an unfortunate situation when it comes to this. And the whole situation with COVID-19, globally is a clear example of that.
Qasim Virjee 27:22
Yeah. And, you know, one thing that we've been talking about at home is this issue of preparedness for small injuries, and how the general population isn't necessarily prepared. But right now, in a case where people may not feel comfortable, or you know, going to a hospital for an emergency that seems minor. It's important for people to be prepared to understand how to do first aid.
Aaron Wayne 27:49
Yeah, and absolutely, Hey, man, if it was me, and make it mandatory in high school, elementary school, to have to take these, you know, CPR training, or basic first aid training, especially CPR, of course, you know, knowing the importance of it and the fact that defibrillators are round everywhere these days. And we know how effective they can be at saving lives. But yeah, absolutely. Maybe mandatory for everyone free by the government, right? Because, yeah, people you know, like, in our slogan, life is precious man. Yeah, that's your company slogan, life is precious, be prepared. You know, because, you know, the worst. You know, I always teach people like I used to, I still do teach the course now, but I love doing it. You know, it's,
Qasim Virjee 28:34
it's a first first person in person. Yeah, it's
Aaron Wayne 28:38
in person. I know, no Red Cross courses offer blended online and in class portion, but then class portion is the best because To that
Qasim Virjee 28:49
end, if anyone's watching or listening, where would you point them if they're looking for an online resource to tool up their knowledge for first aid and CPR. So
Aaron Wayne 28:57
if you're looking for online resource, Red Cross, definitely hands down as the best online resources for training, they even have an app nowadays, you can download that like in real time, like you're just searching for an emergency you click on that type of injury or illness or situation dealing with and I'll give you step by step guide. That's awesome. Red Cross is definitely there. Their technology and resources is definitely up to the highest standard in my opinion. But yeah, I, I would say yeah, it goes red cross or any other training organization for the most part, they're most of them are generally pretty well the same. They just have their own different styles of teaching, right? But Red Cross stuff me at the the front end and if you want to look for some online or CS free online resources.
Qasim Virjee 29:48
So how do you think coming out of this pandemic experience? Hopefully, sometime soon, ya know,
Aaron Wayne 29:53
sometime soon. Hey, man. I hear different things from everyone. I hope it's soon. You know, I've heard things about August, I've heard at the end of the year, I've heard 18 months, hoping it's sooner than later. And you know, it's not equivalent to the Spanish Flu back in 1980 9019, where, you know, kind of died down in the summertime and then picked back up aggressively in the winter, right in the following winter. But yeah, just hopefully, how will
Qasim Virjee 30:22
your company if at all, react to, you know, what you're learning now, about customer demands about kind of loopholes in the industry, or things that are missing in the supply chain that you can maybe fulfill going forward? When things strengthen on the industry back end? Is your company going to change from the experience that you're having, during this pandemic?
Aaron Wayne 30:44
I definitely think we've changed quite a lot in the past few months, boy, you know, operationally the biggest thing is with the supply chain, being an issue, because, you know, it's one thing operating a business and like a drop shipping kind of style, when things are all kind of normal, but in situations like this, it's just like, it's like, do you anticipate something like this happening again? Do you know if supply chain is the biggest thing? Do we want to operate in a way to make sure we constantly have that kind of supply and demand or supply to meet the demand? Will it change things drastically? I would say definitely. It definitely opens your eyes while running a business like this towards the capabilities dealing with certain suppliers or manufacturers. Because you know, it's like, always, like any type of business, you want to set yourself up in a way where, you know what if you're working or functioning at 1020 times kind of revenue or sales, right, want to make sure you kind of like, have that vision and make sure things are in place at the time for that and like things are in my eyes, on my end, when the companies end, but changing how you're going to function with certain suppliers and wholesalers, that is definitely that type of thing is definitely going to be changing. Moving forward. Yeah,
Qasim Virjee 32:19
I mean, having that holistic experience or not experience perspective on your business and when it relies on Yeah, is what these hardships or periods of hardship really, I think, you know, forced leaders to focus on Yeah, even with us, it's interesting, the last few months have been all about and for finishing the infrastructural development of this campus. And we got to it and operationally we're running so smoothly, I trained a couple new staff and then with this pandemic, it's an interesting I mean, it's not something you can entirely plan for. But there have definitely been lessons in terms of Yeah, how it's not just about operating but it's also about kind of like preparedness for change
Aaron Wayne 33:05
essentially preparedness and contingency plans you know, really prepared for before Yeah, it's it's really opened your eyes or my eyes at least to to what these kind of changes can bring in and if it happens again, what kind of things do you want to make sure you have in place to make sure that your business organization is operating at a level that you want to be at? And yeah, just you know being more proactive just like you know me with I tell people having a first aid kit is better than you know, having one that you it's almost like a condom you rather have one and not near the nude and not have it right. But yeah, but it's definitely really opened your eyes to, to Holly, these kind of situations can really affect businesses, whether you do mine and other ones and how you want to make sure that you kind of minimize any negative situations from happening again in the future.
Qasim Virjee 34:09
Sure. Okay, lastly, Let's wind it up here and just say any shout outs to or things that you want to announce about your company, any announcements to do with hirings? Depending on how things go in the market are you looking for help immediately with anything?
Aaron Wayne 34:29
And my looking for help immediately with anything at this point in time? No, I feel even. We got things pretty well set up with people working remotely. So you know what, that if anything, you know, I've had I've been thinking about having people help with fulfilling orders, whether it's even doing basic things like picking and packing, but of course a bit of a challenge. with hiring some people with the certain health and safety procedure that you need to have in place, of course. So not this time
Qasim Virjee 35:11
any recommendations to people listening watching this? Just from your own angle? From the first aid tip from the general preparedness kind of side of things that you'd recommend people at home having in their house? Looking looking to do to know? They have time on their hands? Yeah, well,
Aaron Wayne 35:32
yeah. Listen, when it comes to the Mercy train, like I said, if I believe everyone should have basic knowledge, train yourself, I would say take a first aid course. But unfortunately, the best component of a type of training is the hands on training, considering that's probably not being offered right now. Because the group sizes can't do that. So it's not an option. But when it does become available, and we get back to kind of normal life, I definitely recommend everyone so you go take some type of basic first aid training, because I can tell you, you know, the biggest thing that I was thinking about or anyone always add, or sometimes people ask, but you always want to think about just like one thing. Yeah, I know what to do when someone goes unconscious. I know what to do, you know, CPR, three to two things like that, but how to actually respond. Oh, yeah. Yeah. How you are like, emotionally going to respond to certain to situation like, always tell people. You know, it's one thing, even if you were to do this type of thing, or do CPR, I don't see multiple people actually, like three times situation in three situations.
Qasim Virjee 36:30
It's my daughter, like 20 times. Oh, my God, always choking. Some Oh, yeah. Pancakes. Yeah. But
Aaron Wayne 36:40
ya know, I always tell people it's like, you know, it's one thing doing type of Mercy procedure on someone you don't know, it's a completely different thing to ask them to do. No, totally. But the worst thing ever, you can possibly feel as helpless right? Being situation, you feel helpless, I don't know what to do when you freeze up. That's a lot worse than even attempted to do something, try and save someone's life. So I would say the best way to learn that is just to practice. So
Qasim Virjee 37:05
hopefully, as things open up the next few months, we will have you be able to conduct some of these trainings for our members. Love to partner is listening to us here at start. Well, yeah, let's do that. Absolutely.
Aaron Wayne 37:17
And you know, for people, you know, just at home, like, all I can say is just listen, remember, when they say stay home, right? For the most part, if you have to, if you if you have to go out you know, do so, of course for the essentials. For your essential workplace. Of course you got to do your job, but you know, people that are working from home stay on for the most part, minimize contact with other people, especially elders, of course. The guards to hygiene just honestly, wash your hands don't touch your face as much as possible. Just be aware when it comes to face masks. I know people are in high demand for face masks but or face masks are in high demand but just be aware of and then the five masks are the best masks you can use. However, you also want to be aware that professionals are trained in how to wear an A five masks and make sure they're sealed to your face properly. When you go out. Feed general face masks are definitely better than nothing. But of course, they're not as effective because they don't create a full seal interface. Just something to be aware of. I feel a lot of people aren't aware of this is just like I see everybody has a mask, I need a mask. Otherwise, just stay in isolate and use this as an opportunity to connect in different ways of people. And again, it's more physical isolation. It's not social, really, because you know, we live in the day age with FaceTime and radio chatting. So you know the other day I was playing on if you're aware that game cards against humanity. Yeah, remember that game? Oh, sorry. Because nothing against me. That's games. Great. But Codenames. I don't know. No one game code names. It's great game. But my friends and I, we one person had the game at their place, and they had a tripod with a camera facing and we played with a group of people. It's awesome. It's great. She's an author, you connect with people in different ways. And yeah, do your best to stay moving, stay active and stay mentally stimulated. And don't just sit around watch Netflix all the time.
Qasim Virjee 39:19
Awesome. Great tips. Yeah. Okay. It was a pleasure having you and yeah, for all our listeners who want to check in with Aaron have any questions about anything? Go to his website for state canada.com. Absolutely. And, again, thanks for being here.
Aaron Wayne 39:35
No problem. Thank you so much for having me. Really appreciate it. Yeah,
Qasim Virjee 39:37
it's a pleasure. Hopefully this is useful to people who are listening and watching you