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Maurice Meagher’s Archadeck of Nova Scotia franchise has attracted growing interest among homeowners and others by adding unique style and elegance to custom-designed outdoor living spaces. Since opening the first Archadeck of Nova Scotia business in Nova Scotia in 2003, Maurice and his team have established a solid presence and steady year-over-year growth by offering homeowners and builders a turnkey solution. In recognition of his success, Maurice, 34, has been named BDC’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Nova Scotia and will receive the honour tonight at a ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Archadeck of Nova Scotia designs and builds environments for outdoor living, including decks, screened porches, sunrooms and outdoor kitchens, as well as specialized exterior lighting. While renovation or construction work can often involve dealing with multiple providers, Archadeck of Nova Scotia offers a turnkey solution, handling everything from the permit process to design and construction tailored to specific needs and budgets. “With our software, we can also show customers full-colour, three-dimensional renderings, including a number of alternatives. Within our industry, none of our competitors can offer the scope of services or level of detail that we do,” Maurice explains.

With experience in both small and large companies, Maurice, who has a background in information technology, realized early on that that he would prefer to be doing something that would provide more challenge, responsibility and control. Both he and his wife, Wendy, who co-owns the franchise, were also looking to achieve some balance in their lives. “I came across Archadeck while working in St. Louis, Missouri. We took the time to research the business, as well as a few others, and over the course of about a year, made our decision,” he says. Wendy, who now handles the bookkeeping part time with two young children at home, worked full time at Archadeck of Nova Scotia for the first few years.

Designed for growth

To-day, with an office team of five, the company also has a skilled trades staff that can range from 15 to 20 people a year, depending on the season and volume. “Our suppliers are also a key component. Some of them work as closely with us as full-time staff,” says Maurice. To find skilled trades personnel, Archadeck of Nova Scotia offers incentives to crews or

contractors who refer people. The company also tries to keep production going through the winter. As one avenue to growth, Maurice plans to bring more custom home builders on board so that Archadeck is included in the design process. “As our presence grows, we’re getting more requests from builders. By boosting our sales capability, we’ll be able to be more proactive.” Maurice sees screened porches and sunrooms, which have accounted for roughly 35 to 40 percent of Archadeck of Nova Scotia’s annual growth over the last five years, as a huge opportunity. He’s also exploring growth potential in the market for exterior lighting.

In the community, Archadeck of Nova Scotia has been involved in a variety of initiatives, including projects with the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life and a local Korean association.

Maurice encourages potential entrepreneurs to pursue something they feel passionate about and to determine how they would differentiate themselves in the marketplace. “It’s important to remember that it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to have a clear plan in place and continue to readjust it.” “Maurice has used his entrepreneurial drive and determination to create a solid local presence and build recognition for his business, while leveraging the advantages of a franchise operation,” says BDC President and CEO Jean-Rene Halde.

“Like any small business, everybody here works very hard,” Maurice adds. “It’s exciting for the team to get this outside validation of what we’ve accomplished.”