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It’s no fluke that Quality Life Services has had phenomenal growth since starting up in 1987. The company has always had a strong focus and stayed true to its vision. Peter Barclay and his partner, Lucille Mathieu, took a long, careful look at the health care industry and envisioned a company that provided quality products with dignity, efficiency, and personal service.
Quality Life Services offers a range of health care supplies including wheelchairs and adult diapers, primarily geared towards the elderly. The company sells to institutions, wholesale dealers and directly to the public from its retail space in front of its offices located at 21 Keenleyside. “Primarily because of the aging population there’s a definite need for this kind of business,” says Barclay. He was excited by the possibilities of fulfilling that need with reliable products and strong service. His company does not compete on a per unit cost. It competes with personal, knowledgeable, conscientious service and a quality product that ends up saving significant costs in the long run.
From there Barclay felt success would follow, it was just a matter of patience and hard work. “You know where you want to be and the ojective is simply to get there, as opposed to going by annual goals. We look way ahead,” says Barclay, explaining his confidence in Quality Life Services’ long-term plan. “Not getting side-tracked allows you to guide your business to the ultimate end – if there ever is an ultimate end.”
The long-term plan seems to be working. The first year the company had $225,000 in sales. Since then sales have gone up 1,400 per cent. Mathieu now operates a second thriving store in Ottawa.
Barclay has a simple formula for executing Quality Life Services’ far-reaching plans.
Stubbornness, persistence, and long hours; it’s a formula that Lazer Grant is very familiar with.Peter Barclay
Lazer Grant’s commitment to the big picture and a long-term vision also made it a perfect fit for Quality Life Services. “I’ve known Allan Grant for 20 odd years. When I started this business he became our accountant,” says Barclay. “He and his people helped us steer our way through those tough early years.”
In addition to accounting work, Lazer Grant carefully reviews the company and helps Barclay and Mathieu become more efficient and increase profits. “They’ve been there to guide, assist and recommend from the start. We look at them as part of our team,” say Barclay. According to Barclay, Lazer Grant has always been a source of valuable advice. “I think their strength is probably their ability to listen and understand our difficulties and then present ideas to meet our particular needs. They provide practical views as only accountants can, and that’s given us a good sounding board.”
That’s not to say the practical view has ever obscured the vision Barclay first had over 13 years ago. Quality Life Services continues to grow, built on a platform of commitment, the specialized knowledge required, and quality. “We’re proud to say a new customer is still a customer after 12 years,” says Barclay. “We compete against giants; we’ve never been intimidated by them because of how big they are. We’re more interested in knowing their weak spots and doggedly pursuing our course.”
It’s been a long journey from those early days when Barclay worked out of a space smaller than his office is now when the warehouse was barely 10 feet by 10 feet. “We’ve progressed each and every year, which always provides gratification. We thrive on that. We remember well when we first started and payday was $25 on a Friday if we were lucky. Never forgetting those days keeps us on course.”