As 2012 comes to a close, we wanted to let you all know about some of the Montreal businesses that have impressed us with their innovation, growth, and dedication over the last year. After all, there are cooler companies out there than just a plain old inbound marketing agency.
We love local businesses and those who support them, and in honour of those who have achieved great things in Montreal in the past year, we present to you our five favourite Montreal businesses of 2012.
One of the greatest endeavors a business can undertake is the task of helping other businesses grow, especially in the small-to-medium-sized business category. It’s something that we at Webrunner are very passionate about, and the good people at Advanceit are providing the means for Canadian businesses to grow by financing small businesses.
Since 2006, this Montreal-based business has helped more than 10,000 small Canadian businesses reach their growth potential by providing a simple cash advance service. And, according to their site, 89% of their clients are able to apply for repeat funding to help further finance their growth.
Businesses use Advanceit to finance inventory needs, expansion, website development, hiring additional employees, and more. Instead of focusing on a business’ credit rating, Advanceit focuses on the business model and its potential for future sales. For a business that has an existing customer base, they can easily build on that by applying for financing, with repayment coming from automatic credit card or debit transactions.
In 2012, Advanceit experienced some awesome growth of their own, and have had to move to another office to accommodate the new personnel that they have been able to take on, and they are now recognized as Canada’s largest merchant cash advance provider. Quite simply, Advanceit is a great idea with simple implementation that provides a much-needed service to the businesses that are the backbone of this city, and the country.
They’ve been around since 2010, but the little taco truck that could saw a lot of press in 2012, and brought their delicious goodness to the people of Montreal at many of our favourite events.
As we all know, Montreal has some pretty strict rules around the selling of food via street venues like trucks and carts, but founders Marc-Andre LeClerc and Hilary McGown were not dissuaded by something as simple as rules, and they managed to find the ways and means to deliver their product to the public. We’re awfully glad that they did, and if you haven’t had one of their delicious tacos, we encourage you to seek them out.
And you can now enjoy their amazing food at the Grumman 78 headquarters! They’re closed for much of the holiday season, but will be open again on January 10, 2013. Make sure to check out their website for reservation information, and become a part of the revolution!
Another Montreal company that has gotten a lot of recognition over the last year is CakeMail, creators of email marketing software that makes the job of reaching potential clients a simple proposition.
CakeMail provides features to their users that make email marketing simple, easy, and, in fact, quite enjoyable. They include email design templates in their solution, along with free image and file hosting that makes it easy for businesses to stay in touch with potential and current clients.
And more than just a company that enables email marketing solutions, they are also champions of anti-spam activism, ensuring that their program meets the guidelines set out in Bill C-28, which allows businesses who use Canadian email marketing solutions providers to rest assured that they are meeting the strictest guidelines.
In November of this year, they celebrated their 5th anniversary. Over the past year they have achieved steady growth as a company, and are currently located in a great-looking office near the Atwater market with a team of some of Montreal’s best coders, designers, and marketing professionals.
Great things have happened for CakeMail in 2012, including the release of version 3.5 of their software, and we are looking forward to seeing what great things they have in store for the coming year!
They’ve been around since 2001, and 2012 was a banner year for the new media and entertainment studio, Moment Factory, in which they received no less than five awards for their innovative multimedia designs and installations, one of which includes the D&AD Professional Award for Spacial Design for their work with Arcade Fire.
All concept and design is conceived and created in 20,000 square foot studio in Montreal, and they employ 110 of Montreal’s finest artistic and technologically advanced digital media specialists.
And remember the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show? The one with Madonna and the guy who jumped on the tight rope in a way that made men everywhere appreciate their couches even more? That was a concept conceived by Moment Factory. Check out their YouTube page and get the inside scoop on how they made it happen.
We’re grateful for the hard work by the people at Moment Factory and everything they do for our city, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013.
Frank & Oak
Men, pay attention. If you don’t know about Frank & Oak, you should. Frank & Oak is an online store for men with a penchant for style who appreciate the opportunity to purchase stylish clothing at great prices. They carry just one brand of clothing: Frank & Oak. All of their clothes are designed, manufactured, and curated by the company itself, and they eliminate the need for retail prices by selling the clothes themselves on their website.
Launched in February of 2012, the company has seen spectacular growth in their first year and show no signs of slowing down just yet. It’s a fantastic business model, and based on their early success, they were able to receive a round of funding halfway through the year that has enabled them to expand further.
In just one short year, they have more than 200,000 members, and their numbers improve week by week. Their success is due to a great business model with a fantastic marketing strategy that encourages their members to share the business with their friends. They have a great refer-a-friend program that allows those who convince their friends to sign up to receive instant credit on their account, as well as a rewards program called The Hunt Club.
This is a Montreal business that is making all of us proud, and we’re very pleased to see the great strides they’ve taken in 2012. And if you’re not a member of Frank & Oak, we would encourage you to sign up immediately.
There are a lot more great businesses in Montreal that have done great things in 2012. Obviously, we can’t write about them all, but if you know of one that you feel should be on this list, let us know in the comments section below!