Joyce Jackson

Small Business Owner (Psychology, BA)

Joyce Jackson, Accuscreen Supplies

While a psychology student at Laurier, Joyce Jackson (1986) always had a keen interest in the business world and so took full advantage of a variety of business courses offered during her time at Laurier. Despite an interest in business, she didn’t always have the idea of owning and operating her own company. After graduating, Joyce initially began working in bookkeeping and accounting, as well as consulting and administrative work for WSIB claims. After Joyce had children, she owned and operated a children’s clothing store and later a personal chef business. After moving through these diverse career roles, Joyce learned that she wanted to be in control of her own destiny. She really liked the idea of taking on new challenges and the ability to create a team that would work alongside her. Equipped with new knowledge and skills, coupled with her husband’s graphic design talent, Joyce became the owner of Accuscreen Supplies, a company that provides a variety of graphic design services and supplies for the screen print industry.

Joyce outlined the many challenges of entrepreneurship such as forecasting issues with cash flow or having to terminate employees. Joyce stresses the importance of leadership in the self-employment sector as you, and only you, are responsible for its successes and downfalls. In addition, working for yourself can be very demanding, and requires long workdays. A typical day begins at 5 a.m. and can continue as late as 7 p.m. Joyce is responsible for daily business operations, which includes creating production schedules and finalizing daily delivery and pickup schedules.

To be a successful business owner, Joyce believes you must be well spoken and quick on your feet. Joyce also explains the importance of making sound decisions without letting emotions interfere. Joyce recommends that students considering entrepreneurship should prepare themselves by participating in activities or courses that involve public speaking. She also recommends taking psychology courses to fully understand future customers, vendors and employees.

Although there can be monetary perks, Joyce explains that there are a wide variety of other rewards to owning your own business. Owning her own company allows Joyce freedom and the opportunity to make decisions in regards to the direction of her company. It also provides her with the freedom to bring the family dog to the office on a daily basis. Joyce believes her success is linked to her upbringing, life experience and formal education.

For students looking into owning their own business, Joyce recommends acquiring a professional designation such as an MBA, thinking outside of the box and not taking ‘no’ for an answer. A designation in particular will help to provide credibility, experience and give an individual some perspective as to whether they are more of an “entrepreneur” or “corporate business person.” Finally, be sure to “chase your dreams because you have to love what you do.”