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Submitted by: Le Ann Luemmen
Business Website:
State: Kansas
City: Olathe

Business Description

We beautify and preserve spaces and projects with metal, stone and wood refinishing. We coat, refinish or patina new or existing metal. We are one of the few custom patina experts in the USA.

What makes your business one of the best small businesses in your community?

With a mission to "beautify and preserve Kansas City with metal, stone and wood refinishing and add value to every person and project with which we work", we consistently live our values of excellence, integrity, selflessness, community, communication, gratitude and accountability. We develop relationships and donate our services, gifts and capital to help others in our community. We compensate generously and invest in skill development for every position, allowing employees to get certifications or transition into new careers within the company. We believe Kansas City is more beautiful, our customers have more trust, and our employees have greater opportunity and are more financially secure because we exist. We are a WOSB and have won several awards, Top 10 Small Businesses by the KC Chamber in 2017, Best Existing Business by SBDC at JCCC, and one of the 25 Under 25 by Thinking Bigger.

The following responses will be considered in judging for a SCORE Award.

How has working with a SCORE mentor helped your business?

I met with Jerry Gilson within 2 years of starting the business. At the time the owners were not taking a salary and still losing money. We had no idea how to price our service. Jerry went through all of our records and determined how much we should charge per hour. He also reviewed our lease and gave us his approval. Years later we lost Jerry's information and reached out to Ed. He helped us with bidding, compensation and mentored our new sales representative. We also benefited from SCAN, giving us the expertise and feedback from 5 mentors with different backgrounds and strengths. It was extremely valuable and we are now profitable, confident and growing. We continue to rely on their advice and feedback.

Please describe the specific ways that your business has been successful and how it will grow in the next year.

Our business has grown from revenue of $35,000 in 2012 to 1.1 million in 2017. We now have the market share of our niche of services. We continue to add new services to our current customers - primarily property managers and construction firms, and are working to expand into the hotel market as well. We are seeking ways to innovate, to make our service less labor intensive and time consuming, thereby increasing our profit and reducing customer cost. We work to strengthen relationships with customers to increase loyalty. We are also finding novel ways to market and meet new customers.
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