Bromont Campervan and the startup road to success

21 November 2022 by National Bank
Photo of a National Bank advisor and their client smiling next to a minivan equipped for camping

Not all entrepreneur days are the same. Every day is different, filled with new challenges to tackle. Our "A Day in the Life of an Entrepreneur" series allowed our advisors to step into the day-to-day of their clients and fully experience their routine. It’s been quite a ride for Olivier Marcoux, the founder of recreational vehicle (RV) startup Bromont Campervan.

Meet Bromont Campervan

The inspiration for his rental business originally came on his own van trip out west, where he and his partner discovered they were pregnant with their first child. 

“We realized that, just because we had a kid, it didn’t mean we couldn’t continue to live out our passions,” Marcoux explained. “And, little by little, his passion turned into a small business.”

An avid outdoorsman and traveler, he was working in brand marketing before losing his job in the early days of the pandemic. Aware of the growing awareness around autonomous travel, Marcoux recalled that “the forced pause allowed me to launch a project that I had been cooking for a long time.” 

Scaling the vanlife concept

As COVID-19 public health preventions upended the vacation industry, the new entrepreneur started his business and entered the Quebec market right when demand for a mode of travel known as “vanlife” exploded in 2020. 

After signing his business financing application through the National Bank Business Centre in February of that year, Marcoux said clients started booking Bromont Campervans right out of the gate, since it was pre-season. 

“There was this pressure that everything had to work itself out,” he said, “and, since it was all new, there was always a degree of uncertainty.” 

Thankfully, he had personalized support with the numbers and growth. Marcoux credits frequent exchanges with National Bank of Canada Regional Vice-President Nejib Ranni for helping him navigate every mile of his entrepreneurial journey. 

“[Our] frequent exchanges allowed me to think about my different actions, the level of financing, risk tolerance, the state of the market” — all the details new entrepreneurs face in their first year on the road, he said. 

“It’s funny,” Marcoux added, “I thought that being an entrepreneur was something for others, who maybe had super powers or something that I didn’t possess initially, but Nejib told me there is no such thing as little accounts or businesses. And that resonated for me. ” 

Moving forward

After nearly three years of personalized coaching and startup support to expand his entrepreneurial side, Marcoux is confident and going after his dreams — paying the personalized attention forward. 

Drawing on his history — and experience traveling more than 100,000 km on trips to the Gaspésie, across Canada, to the American West Coast, Mexico and even Japan — he wants to share his passion and the “unparalleled freedom” of vacationing by van. 

“My job is to advise [people] on their itinerary, to guide them by sharing my experiences so that they, too, have the best possible experience,” he explained. “Whether you're a couple, a family or a solo traveler, I want to help you plan the best itinerary to make the most of your [adventure].”

Bromont Campervan rentals is an all-inclusive service which includes dishes & kitchen equipment, bedding, and strategist support prior and during a trip, as well as a secure client parking and 150 kilometers per day without any additional cost. 

With National Bank’s financing support, the company is also proud to be the first converted van renting company in North America to own an electric campervan in its fleet of 12 vehicles, which will be available for rent for spring 2023. They plan to add 25 more electric vehicles to the business by 2026. 

“The goal is to get people out of their comfort zones,” Marcoux said. “When you get out of your usual routine, it allows you to see things from a different perspective and think differently.” 

Working 50 to 100-hour weeks, entrepreneurs need to be incredibly motivated from sun up to lights out. The day-to-day is not just about the company but also finding time to plan, reflect, and make decisions. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs love what they do and are fueled by their passion. And we’re here for it. For more information on how to grow a good business idea, discover our tailored solutions for entrepreneurs.

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