In Conversation with Marlene Ursabia: Flemingdon Park Holding Inc.’s Leader in Technologically Transformed Transcription
Flemingdon Park Holdings Inc is on a mission to bring advancement to the common good through honest, transparent and equitable work. Marlene Ursabia and their team offer PhonogramDS court transcription, meeting audio recording and transcription, and document digitization. They utilize high-quality and innovative equipment such as Steno USB Keyboards to ensure exceptional services for all of their clients. Using technology to its full potential, while also making their work accessible is a significant part of Flemingdon Park Holdings’ values and vision.
Q: What is the story of your business? Tell us about your experience(s) as a business owner.
Ursabia’s care and attention to detail stems from an in-depth historical knowledge of recorded audio, as well as a long-time love for it, which they credit to their family. “My love for recorded sound started with my parents. I remember growing up spinning Motown records in our basement in the west end of Toronto. I remember all the mediums and changes over the years; playing back cassette tapes of recorded songs from the radio just to get the song lyrics in, playing CDs on my Sony Walkman and recording MP3s of my sister's singing.
My mother was secretary for the Solicitor General of an overseas country, and they came to Canada in the '70s equipped as a professional, fluent in the languages of stenography and shorthand. My father was a hardworking, jack of all trades but always stressed to us the importance of words and taught me to stand by what I say. As a tribute, my goal is to continue their legacy in my business.”
“There have been many changes to transcription methods over the years but accurately capturing the true essence of the record has never changed.”
Q: What brought you to the ShopHERE program? Did you see any opportunities or have any business challenges that inspired you to participate in the program?
Ursabia came to the ShopHERE powered by Google program with a clear vision of how going online would help their business. They explain that,
“Having a website is important to be able to showcase my services, accept payment and have online presence. ShopHERE created a beautiful website that I can use for my outreach and (to) grow my business. I received valuable information on marketing and how to edit the website. It was such a positive experience.”
Ursabia also identified that one of the major challenges that could also become a huge opportunity through an online presence was outreach to potential clients. Ursabia feels that with a professional website, this process is smoother and therefore more accessible to their business.
Q: What was it like working with your dedicated ecommerce coordinator?
The ShopHERE program offers personalized assistance to business owners alongside the development of a website. Ursabia found that the one-to-one help provided by their e-Commerce Coordinator was a significant benefit of the program.
“My eCommerce Coordinator [was] an amazing person to work with. She integrated my ideas and was able to present a website in a way that aligns with the branding of my business. I appreciated her motivating and easy-to-follow instructions and feedback…. I love my website.”
Q: How will your (new/updated) online store help your business? Have you seen any changes so far?
Once Ursabia’s website was established through the ShopHERE program, they began to see results fairly quickly. Ursabia explains that they now have “more hits to [their] website and [they have] now created a marketing plan.” The digital marketing knowledge they received through their e-Commerce Coordinator aided in the development of this marketing plan, alongside advancing their onsite SEO.
Q: How did the ShopHERE program help your business? Why should other business owners or artists access this program?
All around, Ursabia’s experience with the ShopHERE program was full of positivity.
“ShopHERE is an essential for businesses looking to create an online presence. It was a smooth process and I learned a lot of tips to advertise my business in a way that was straightforward and clear.”
They also expressed the importance of the knowledge and assistance they received through the program beyond just the website's development.
“The coaching and resources were invaluable. An online presence is important. Navigating through all the choices and marketing options is challenging but ShopHERE helped me clarify what works for my business.”
To contemplating small business owners, Ursabia encourages them to partake in the ShopHERE program because “… it was really put in a digestible way” and as such, valuable to those just beginning their digital journey, or those looking to advance it.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.