Dayna Lapkovsky

Self-assessment is a huge opportunity for growth both personally and as an entrepreneur. Take the time to evaluate and re-evaluate your projects and progress. The learnings are invaluable.


Dayna Lapkovsky is on a mission to help brands become customer favourites. Dayna is a marketing strategist with over 15 years experience in building and safeguarding corporate images. She has worked with an array of companies, from start-ups to international powerhouses, including Aquatalia, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Bassé Nuts, Dorel, Avon, A.S.98 and Birks.

She is the owner of Suite 203 Communications, a marketing consultancy that helps lifestyle brands become the #1 choice for their customers by recommending the best combination of strategies & tactics to reach the right people, at the right time. She provides brands with a focused marketing strategy to connect, engage and interact with existing and future customers.

Dayna is also a dynamic speaker on the topic of marketing, branding, and social media. She presents informative, actionable and interactive lectures and workshops. She has presented to small, intimate groups as well as at large conferences, including: the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), the Jewish Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Choice Business Club and Business & Breakfast.

Her background as both a journalist and a publicist has given her an insider’s perspective on the most valuable form of marketing: word of mouth.

Where did the idea for Suite 203 Communications come from?

Over the years, my business partner Lauren and I saw so many brands investing their time, energy and resources into marketing programs that just didn’t deliver. We knew that if they had a better understanding of why their brands exist, what made them different and the role they play in the lives of their target customers, they would be better able to plan and execute programs and make their marketing dollars work to their best advantage. This is exactly what we do at Suite 203.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

As my clients range in industry, size and stage, each day is truly different. I spend a lot of time planning, meeting with different brands and drinking a lot of coffee. Being organized by scheduling everything into my Gmail calendar keeps me focused and prepared. Plus, I always schedule a block of me-time into my week. This mental break allows me to unwind, clear my head and jump back in sharp and ready to go.

How do you bring ideas to life?

My work allows for a perfect balance of structure and creativity. Depending on the needs of my clients, I am either very process-driven or dreaming big. I love being able to tap into both sides of my brain and work with passionate people on growing and shaping their vision.

What’s one trend that excites you?

On-demand services are flourishing in today’s instant-gratification obsessed era. It’s like having your own personal genie: Think it, crave it and with a click of a button, it’s yours. It’s challenging business to offer stellar customer service and be in-tune with their customers’ needs and wants. Although, good things do traditionally come to those who wait…

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Call me old fashion, but I find taking a pen to paper and actually crossing something off my to-do list extremely gratifying. I jot down my list each morning and tackle the “takes 5-minutes or less” tasks first. Getting these quick but often compounding items off the list at the get-go frees me up to focus on the bigger, more time-consuming tasks of the day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. Use your intuition to your advantage, as it could save you from headaches, problems and disappointment in the future. Even if an opportunity or partnership seems exciting or lucrative, if something feels off, heed your natural instinct and steer clear.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I’m on the fence about whether or not you can have it all. As a woman, a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur and more, life is a balancing act. I think you can have it all, but not in equal parts and not at the same time.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Self-assessment is a huge opportunity for growth both personally and as an entrepreneur. Take the time to evaluate and re-evaluate your projects and progress. The learnings are invaluable.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Inviting someone new for coffee each week has really allowed me to expand my network and explain what I do at Suite 203 to an entirely new group of people. I scan my LinkedIn feed to learn about interesting projects and people and then take the next step to connect with them in person or on the phone.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Sometimes saying yes to a project, even though it’s interesting or pays well, is not the right way to go. You never want to feel stretched or like you can’t perform to 100%. So I’ve learned to say no nicely. It’s not a no forever, but a no for right now.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I can’t wait for someone to invent an ingestible sunscreen pill for even, all-over sun protection from the inside out.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

While more than $100, investing in professional headshots is well worth the money. Select a great photographer, hair/makeup artist and a stylist for the shoot. Showcasing your best self on your website, social media channels and marketing materials is empowering and sets the tone for your personal brand.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I adore using Pic Monkey to easily build and manipulate images. It’s a foolproof way to edit and arrange visual content for social media, newsletters, etc. The end-result always looks professional.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

If you’re looking to improve your presentation or public speaking skills, “Pitch perfect: how to say it right the first time, every time” by Bill McGowan and Alisa Bowman offers fantastic advice on how to improve both your content and delivery skills.

What is your favorite quote?

Strive for progress, not perfection
My expertise in marketing strategy has allowed me to fine-tune my goal-setting skills. Knowing where you want to go is the first step, and moving towards that place is the second. There is not necessarily a right or wrong way to achieve your goals, and no hard and fast timeline to follow. It’s reassuring to know that as long as you’re moving towards your goal, you are on track.

Key learnings:

  • Start each day by tackling the “takes 5-minutes or less” tasks. Getting them out of the way allows for a more focused and efficient workday.
  • Check in on your personal progress regularly. Celebrate the triumphs and review any missteps to note learnings for the future.
  • Expand your network by meeting or speaking with new intriguing people each week. You never know how you can collaborate or refer business.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to turn down opportunities if you don’t have the capacity to take them on or if they’re not the right fit for you and your company. Say no nicely, as you may want to circle back if circumstances change.


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