Geoff Martin is one of the modern breed of
versatile entrepreneurs and business-seekers. His varied
experiences have helped him see opportunities and better
relate to both customers and to those who are embarking on
their own business start-ups and ventures.
Growing up on the island province of Prince
Edward Island (PEI), Canada, he was the youngest of twelve. He
learned from his elder siblings – three of whom are successful
and established businesspeople still living on PEI.
"Their experience and knowledge along with
other members of my family have been a source for ideas since
as long as I can remember," says Geoff.
Likewise, Geoff’s father gave him an early
appreciation for business acumen. Family businesses included
property management, pizza and a hotel, all giving Geoff his
perspective and experience.
"He was the archetypical entrepreneur from
the 60s and 70s who could do anything in the era of the
post-war boom. He built a 55-unit motel in Charlottetown, and
had 12 kids to raise at the same time. He made me believe
anything could be accomplished with enough effort."
Another quality passed on to Geoff was an
appreciation for travel. His parents would rove as far south
as Florida and Californian on family road trips that included
not just his twelve siblings, but the family dog!
As Geoff grew up and made his way in the
world, he would travel too. "I travelled out west in my
twenties like every young man does and worked on the oil
rigs." He then left that career to travel further and gain
"I went over to Taiwan to teach English for
a year. Not only was Taiwan an incredible place to see, but it
seems even the smallest homes or apartments had some kind of
business going on! I later volunteered to teach for the church
in Ukraine, and it opened my eyes to what a struggling and
growing economy looked like. It was almost the economic
opposite of Taiwan."
Now living in Halifax, Geoff has returned
to entrepreneurship gaining both a real estate license and
working as an agent through Royal LePage and leveraging his
years of experience in property management.
Another exciting venture for Geoff is that
he’s now the local licensee of the growing company IDropped,
which specializes in the quick repair and turnaround of a
growing number of Apple products from IPods to IPads and
IPhones. Many of us can’t go for long without our smart phones
or tablets and thanks to Geoff and IDropped, we don’t have to.
Whether it’s a malfunctioning component or
a cracked screen, Geoff can repair the product generally
within a couple of hours and offers a pick up and drop off
service as well. Also, while consumers are sometimes sceptical
to pick up a store’s extended warranty on such items,
IDropped’s pricing is comparable to what the warranty would
have been if it were purchased – but with the benefit of
repairs being conducted locally and with a warranty of their
own on the repairs.
Getting this word out is Geoff’s primary
"When people think of convenient repair of
their broken Apple product, I want them to think of IDropped
and IDropped Halifax to come, pick up and fix it."
If you’re considering starting your
business, Geoff points to the biggest consideration: "Without
a doubt it’s financing. It almost makes more sense to start a
business that needs next-to-no financing, because even people
with great balance sheets have to impress the banks these
days... Any business idea that involves large upfront
investment is way too risky to move ahead with -- unless your
investor is half owner of Google," he jokes.
But take all advice with "a grain of salt,"
he says, because, "You know your idea best."
Geoff Martin, realtor bio at Royal LePage