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Sales Beacon scales the heights

Monday, July 23, 2018

We’ve transformed the company over the last couple of years as a result of the advice we’ve been able to access with NSBI support. I think the Small and Medium Employers award was due in large part to the outside analysis by NSBI-funded PR and marketing firms.

Cynthia Spraggs, CEO

Sales Beacon

Cynthia Spraggs knows all about working remotely. A photo of her working on her laptop at Everest Base Camp, an elevation of 5,380 metres, took one of two first prizes in WEConnect International’s contest for women business owners last year. The contest, part of WEConnect’s Make an Impact campaign, asked women to submit photos of themselves in action managing their business. 

“I’ve been able to travel a lot of the world and work at the same time, and it’s been fabulous,” she says. “That little backpack always has my PC in it.” 

Spraggs is the CEO of Sales Beacon, a Chester-based company that is one of Canada’s Top 100 Small and Medium Employers (2018). With women making up 80 per cent of its executive, the company is also a certified Women’s Business Enterprise. That means it qualifies for supplier diversity opportunities – something with which NSBI will be able to help. This spring, Sales Beacon was invited to participate in Accenture’s International Diverse Supplier Development Program that matches senior Accenture executive mentors with “protégé” companies to help them grow their businesses. Additionally, the company has become a Cisco partner in Canada and the USA. 

NSBI’s Small Business Development Program, providing access to outside expertise, has been a huge benefit, Spraggs says. “We changed our business name, our entire brand, and how we talk about ourselves as a result of having the funding to access outside experts.” 

Several NSBI Export Growth Program projects have helped Sales Beacon hit markets across the US including: California, Nevada, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, and Illinois. “To be able to travel to those markets and see existing or new clients in person is far more effective than dealing with them over the phone,” Spraggs points out. “It’s a great program.” 

Growing over a decade

The company was begun 11 years ago by two people who wanted to be able to work from anywhere that had high-speed Internet. From the start, the company accommodated employees’ personal interests and lifestyles. Spraggs took over as CEO in 2011, and the company now has about 60 employees and has seen 50 per cent growth over the past three years. 

“A lot of people in our company have interests they pursue outside work and are passionate about, whether it’s surfing or horses or music or travelling,” she says. “The whole company was driven by wanting to live life as opposed to wanting to climb a ladder.” 

Nova Scotia lending a hand

Spraggs credits the provincial government’s investment in Internet infrastructure a few years ago with enabling companies like Sales Beacon to hire people in small communities. 

“My personal passion is taking underemployed, talented rural individuals and giving them opportunities for better careers working from their homes,” she says. “Nova Scotia is ready-made for a company like ours that is so focused on small-town growth. It makes sense to us.”