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I’ve recently become a member of an online network called Facebook. This isn’t something I would normally consider, but being in London for the next year — far away from my friends and family in Toronto — the need to stay connected is very appealing. Today there are so many ways to connect with people and different online networks are sprouting up all over the World Wide Web.
Daniel Warner, founder of Universityparty.ca website, knows from personal experience that creating one of these networks is far from easy.
“Do your homework when it comes to web design firms. It’s one thing to create an online presence and it’s another to ensure that it stays fresh, regularly updated, well maintained, and is hosted on a reliable network. Work with the mentality that if something can go wrong it will,” says Warner, 23.
Warner originally thought he would create a website to connect students at the University of Western Ontario — where he pursued his bachelor of business management and operations degree — but then decided to branch out nationwide.
“The Internet is the best way of reaching the student demographic as they spend more time online each day than listening to the radio, reading the newspaper or watching TV,” says Warner. “I recognized the national potential and decided to brand it UniversityParty.ca to allow us to branch out to campuses across the country.”
However, it wasn’t easy getting started.
“I focused on incorporating the company, purchasing over two dozen domains, and filing the appropriate trademarks,” he says.
In the beginning, Warner drafted a comprehensive business plan, visited lawyers and accountants, and went through the necessary steps to incorporate the company and hire staff. He did all this with support from the Richmond Hill Small Business Enterprise Centre. This is where he met one of his mentors Stefanie Ward.
“Daniel is an example for others of how to pursue their ambitions, make a difference and get involved in their community,” says Ward.
In the summer of 2006 Warner took an entrepreneurial course at BizLaunch.ca, which taught him comprehensive operational systems to grow his business. Here he attended the class of Andrew Patricio who has guided Warner through his media exposure on shows like City TV’s Breakfast Television.
His education and his willingness to ask for guidance have helped Warner succeed in business, but it has taken him a lot of hard work.
Currently Warner is taking a post-graduate marketing management program at Seneca College.
“It has given me an additional education background and the Canadian college perspective (may help launch) CollegeParty.ca in the future.”