Richard Jaffray

Founder, Cactus Restaurants Ltd.

Way back in 1984, when I first moved to Vancouver, I worked at Earls as a waiter. I went and asked the owner, “Bus” Fuller, for some advice on opening a new business. One of Bus’s big things is that you really have to know what your costs are in business, and you better know the cost of what you’re selling; you might be better off closing your doors because you could be losing money on every customer. That was his advice, and eventually Bus and his son Stan ended up being silent partners in my business when I started Cactus Club in 1988.

Certainly I’ve carried Bus’s words of wisdom through my business, always making sure we do very detailed analyses of where our costs are. I think that’s something that a lot of small-business entrepreneurs forget – just how important it is to know where your costs are so you can do proper pricing.