Dwight Hayter

Founder of Triumph Business Consulting

Dwight Hayter was born and raised in Watrous, Saskatchewan, Canada. He completed high school in 1987, then attended a two-year Ground Water Science and Geology course at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. After graduating in 1990, he moved back to Watrous to work for his father’s water well and exploration drilling company, where he remained for 11 years. At 31, he moved on to start his own company, Dwight’s Drilling and Geothermal, which quickly became the largest geothermal unit installer in Saskatchewan. Dwight’s company only continued to grow from there and was the top Canadian geothermal installer when he sold the company in 2008.

In late 2009, Dwight took over as CEO of his family’s business after his father’s passing. Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa was the primary draw for tourism in his hometown of Watrous, employing over 100 staff, but it required significant upgrades and renovations. Under his management, the company was able to complete the necessary upgrades with minimal disruption. In 2015, with Dwight at the helm, the resort and spa won the Saskatchewan Tourism Business of The Year Award.

This success continued through April 2021, when Dwight sold the company to a small group of investors from Ontario. Taking advantage of his newfound freedom and years of accumulated experience managing, growing, and selling businesses, he founded Triumph Business Consulting, where he currently works as President and Owner.

Where did the idea for Triumph Business Consulting come from?

I wanted to help other businesses do better in a variety of ways, using my knowledge and experience in managing and owning several successful businesses. Many individuals do not have an experienced professional to seek advice from, so I saw a void in the market. There are many companies superficially similar to mine available for hire, but very few can offer as much insight and experience as I can provide in times of need.

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

My typical day involves building relationships with people and companies, as that is what business is always about. I try to instill confidence in myself and in my business by sharing my background and my genuine interest in using my knowledge and experience to help other businesses grow. Once you’ve built solid relationships and people know you are sincere in your motives, that trust will result in business referrals and more and more clients.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I bring ideas to life by never giving up on them. I always follow through, even though it’s often much easier to quit. Ideas are rarely perfect from the outset, and as long as you understand that tweaking and adjusting your ideas to adapt to fluid situations is just an essential part of the process, you will succeed.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The trend that excites me the most is the declining quality of customer service throughout Canada. As time goes on, customer service is becoming less of a focus in many companies and industries. Although this is a negative trend overall, it represents a golden opportunity for a consulting company such as mine. I feel it is a huge mistake for banks, stores, gas stations, and other customer-facing businesses to compromise the quality of their customer service in these ways. My businesses succeeded due to the trust and confidence that my customers had in my companies, and that trust was a direct result of our focus on quality customer service. Now, Triumph Business Consulting aims to work with business owners to excel at customer service as a means of bettering their businesses, rather than simply viewing it as a place to cut corners and costs.

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

I focus on details and never leave a job undone. Great businesses are built on details, and working to do something positive for the business every day. If you can improve something about a business every day, you will have a winner within a few months.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t take the failures you encounter along the way so hard – they were necessary bumps on the road to success. Very few people get it right the first time, and it is only the business owners with steadfast determination who will eventually succeed.

Also, don’t pay attention to all the naysayers who say you can’t get the job done or be successful. Their attitude and jealousy took its toll on my motivation in my earlier years.

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

Employee theft is a lot more common than many employers want to believe. Some of it is intentional and some of it is not, but it happens all the same, and any employer who is unwilling to admit that is willingly losing money by not addressing it.

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

Listen to your customers and your staff! In the hotel business, I primarily found out about my hotel’s major issues by diligently reading guest comment cards and social media reviews, and looking for trends. A single negative comment rarely means much, but two or more pointing toward the same problem is a good indicator that there is a problem that needs to be rectified.

Of course, when paying attention to negative comments and reviews, you cannot get defensive. There’s no time for knee-jerk reactions. Take a step back, and get analytical. Investigate the feedback, and see what you can improve on. Even if many of the comments ended up not being directly actionable, they typically still prompted us to review and adjust our policies, setting us up for fewer failures down the road.

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

Providing great customer service, and dealing with customer complaints promptly and effectively, has led my customers to promote my businesses for me. Once your customers realize you will take care of them in any situation, they will let the world know and will be your best source of advertising.

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

My biggest failure as an entrepreneur was choosing to talk negatively about my competition. The negativity put many of my clients off, and I lost clients because of it. When I focused on giving potential customers all the positive reasons why they should use my business, I earned many more sales.

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

In any business that you choose to start, if you can deliver fantastic customer service, you will be miles ahead of the competition. Far too many companies are forgetting the importance of basic customer service, and they are losing many clients in the long run because of it.

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

The best $100 I’ve spent recently was on clothing and toys for my grandson, who was just born a few weeks ago!

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

For a startup company, I highly recommend a website called fiverr.com. You can have your logo, business cards, letterhead, and more designed for you by talented professionals from around the world for less than $100.

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

The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton. It’s a classic book that teaches the basic rules of business, finance, and accumulating wealth. It made quite an impression on me as a young man, having first read it when I wasn’t very well off. It taught me that we live in a very free and entrepreneurial society where we can all succeed through hard work, proper decisions, and time.

What is your favorite quote?

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

It’s easy for people to come up with ideas, but it’s tough to execute and follow through with them. And that’s what differentiates a lot of people that own businesses and people that don’t. It’s the will to get it done.

Key Learnings:

  • Everyone fails! The ones that don’t give up are the ones that succeed.
  • Customer service is dying all around us. Find a way to bring it back!
  • Businesses won’t thrive without establishing long-term and meaningful relationships.