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Persistence pays off

By Roger Pierce

As the expression goes, "nothing good comes easy." Mark Silver has learned perseverance can make the difference between small business failure and success.

"Determination is more important than education for an entrepreneur," Silver says. "You just have to keep moving forward until you achieve your desired breakthrough."

Silver owns NorthRock Inc. Mechanical Services (, a heating and air conditioning service company that provides emergency repairs, replacement equipment, maintenance programs and installations to commercial and industrial clients in the GTA.

He started his business with previous industry experience and a solid business plan. "I spent a whole year developing it and raising capital from family and investors," he recalls.

'Can-do attitude'

When something goes wrong with a building's heating or air conditioning, the speed of the repair is critical. "Our service is one of the fastest in the HVAC industry," he says. "I think our customers like our high-energy "can-do" attitude, which sets us apart from our competition."

Silver says it took plenty of effort to win new customer accounts. "We're in a tough and competitive industry," he explains. "I can't count how many cold calls, meetings and follow-up appointments I've done to build our business."

Silver's persistence has helped him to dramatically increase the size of NorthRock Inc. since its launch just three years ago.

"Small business owners face challenges every day," Silver says. "You just have to believe in yourself and persevere -- eventually, you'll win!"

Silver plans to create a branch network to replicate his successful business system in other cities. He says the best part of being an entrepreneur is closing a major sale, and the worst part is "running out of time each day to accomplish my goals!"

-- Entrepreneurship expert Roger Pierce trains people on how to start a small business in the Up & Running Biz Launch Program.

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