Your City, Your Business: Business Owners Speak Out - Interview Series

This is a collection of short interviews and education from local business owners with amazing insights into today’s challenges. Coaches Mark McNulty (MM) and Sandy Merritt (SM) virtually sit down with business owners to learn how they are working through these unusual times, and their current challenges and successes. Check out their inspiring stories for business tips and general wisdom.

Be sure to visit the companies’ websites. Reach out to those who offer services you can use. Let’s support each other!

Featured in this edition:

Minuteman Press, Thomas Batliner

MM: Tell us about your business.

TB: Minuteman Press is a quick-print shop. We print marketing materials, including business cards, promotional items, banners, envelopes, and more. We have been in business for nearly 15 years.

MM: Who is your target customer?

TB: We focus on businesses but we also help individuals and non-profits.

MM: What has been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business?

TB: When everyone started to work remotely all at the same time, it put a halt to a lot of work for us. More people were working electronically. They were no longer using as many printed  documents. Before COVID-19, we had our best quarter ever. Once the pandemic hit, we had our worst quarter.

MM: What are one or two actions you’ve taken to make a difference?

TB: We started sending out more postcards. We developed more shipping options so that we could get needed materials to people’s homes quickly. We also bought a related company, which brought some excellent employees and clients, too. That has been a good fit.

MM: What are your goals for 2021?

TB: Growing my customer base is my main goal for this year. Our customers have started to go back into the office to work, so we want them to know that we can help them with our services. We have a handful of employees now, and we are looking to add great people to our team.

MM: What is a mistake you’ve made along the way that other people can learn from?

TB: At times, I have kept a bad employee too long because I thought I needed them. Just bite the bullet and cut them loose, or they will hold you back.

MM: What is inspiring to you today?

TB: Building the business to where it is growing and self-sufficient motivates me. It has been a roller coaster, but a rewarding journey.

OFFER: Receive 10% off your first order when you mention ActionCOACH.

 

How to Reach Us:

Minuteman Press
3905 Bardstown Rd.
Louisville, KY 40218

(502) 459-1919

Powell’s Pressure Washing, Jake Powell

SM: Tell us about your business.

JP: Powell’s Pressure Washing opened up in 2019. We have been growing ever since. We do all sorts of exterior cleaning. We handle everything from houses, roofs, patios, and decks to concrete and aggregate sealings.

SM: Who is your target customer?

JP: Anyone who wants a clean building or exterior space.

SM: What has been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business?

JP: It had an impact on our health. We shut down for a few weeks. The lockdowns definitely slowed us down for a while. October and November were especially difficult. Everyone is doing well now, but 2020 was a challenge.

SM: What are your goals for 2021?

JP: We feel that we have established our system at this point. We have our foundation. Now we want to grow and to perfect our services.

SM: What are the challenges to reaching those goals?

JP: We need to work on our advertising to keep the phone ringing and keep people interested in our business.

SM: What is a mistake you’ve made along the way that other people can learn from?

JP: Hiring the right employees can be a challenge. We send out pairs of employees, so everyone must be a good fit. We learned a lot about finding the right people.

SM: What is inspiring to you today?

JP: My family inspires me. My wife and other family members work with me. This business is a way for me to build something for my wife and our little son.

OFFER: Mention ActionCOACH to get $50 off a roof cleaning, $100 off a sealing service, or a house wash (up to 2,500 square feet) for $199.

 

How to Reach Us:

Powell’s Pressure Washing

(502) 888-7100

Perfection Enterprises, Tim Thomas

SM: Tell us about your business.

TT: We buy and sell new and used cubicles and office furniture. I started my business in 2003.

SM: Who is your target customer?

TT: We work with various customers, especially businesses who need excellent office furniture and cubicles.

SM: What has been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business?

TT: It crushed our business. People were not buying office furniture because offices closed and more people began to work from home.

SM: What are one or two actions you’ve taken to make a difference?

TT: Over the years, most of our business came to us through word of mouth. They continue to use us when they need something. I’ve maintained those contacts. My website is being refreshed, and we are hoping to improve our Google ranking.

SM: What are your goals for 2021?

TT: I am ready for a strong year. It’s time to get the business back in gear. We have built up solid relationships, and now it’s time to work together as a team to rebuild. On a personal note, I have overcome health issues recently, and I feel ready to go.

SM: What is a mistake you’ve made along the way that other people can learn from?

TT: I went into this business because I saw a need, not because I was an office furniture expert. I had good relationships with the people I worked with, but I still had to take time to learn about the industry. You need both good relationships and industry knowledge.

SM: What is inspiring to you today?

TT: I have had my vaccine, and other people are getting theirs. I am inspired by that. People are looking forward again, and hopefully soon, we will see the pandemic in the rear-view mirror.

How to Reach Us:

Perfection Enterprises
PO Box 43955
Louisville, KY 40253

(502) 235-3211

[email protected]

Sher’s Bridal, Sher Stumler

SM: Tell us about your business.

SS: We sell bridal gowns to brides all over the region, and we will celebrate our 48th anniversary this September. We also sell prom dresses.  We have been very blessed. My work never ceases to amaze me.

SM: Who is your target customer?

SS: Brides are our target customer, though parents are often in on the fun. The brides used to be 24 to 28 years old. Now they are 28 to 40 years old. Each person has a story, which means that my work is never dull.

SM: What has been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business?

SS: It was awful, to put it mildly. Three-quarters of our clients postponed their weddings. Brides wanted a big reception, and they would not budge on that. We see people about six to nine months before the big day, and nobody could plan anything that far ahead. Because of the popularity of wedding shows like Say Yes to the Dress, people liked to bring a whole party when they visited us to choose a dress before the pandemic. Of course, COVID-19 changed everything, and we could only allow limited numbers of people in the store at any given time.

SM: What are one or two actions you’ve taken to make a difference?

SS: We reduced the days and hours that we were open. We now work with one bride at a time. It has been fun to give each bride a more serene, personalized experience.

SM: What are your goals for 2021?

SS: We are going to keep an open mind and stay flexible. We don’t know what is going to happen, so we need to keep providing the kind of experiences our clients hope to have. Supposedly, there will be some bridal gown market shows later this year, and I’m looking forward to that.

SM: What is a mistake you’ve made along the way that other people can learn from?

SS: When I was young, I sometimes trusted people on their word without documenting things enough. You have to find friendly yet professional ways to get everything in writing.

SM: What is inspiring to you today?

SS: Young people who are looking ahead with hope inspire me. It is the most wonderful thing in the world to see the next generation full of optimism. It keeps your spirits up.

How to Reach Us:

Sher’s Bridal
309 N. Evergreen Rd.
Louisville, KY 40243

(502) 244-9493

ElderCare 4 Families, Jeff Pate

SM: Tell us about your business.

JP: Elder Care 4 Families is a non-medical home care company. We provide caregivers and certified nurse assistants who help the elderly with everyday activities, from taking their medicine to straightening up the house. We want to help our patients stay safe wherever they are. My wife and I have been running the business since 2004, but the company has been around for 40 years.

SM: Who is your target customer?

JP: While we assist the elderly, it’s often a middle-aged family member, such as a daughter or daughter-in-law, who reaches out to get help. We work with many discharge planners, social workers, and trusted advisors who help families navigate the process of taking care of an elderly relative.

SM: What has been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business?

JP: We’re right in the middle of it all with our clients. Initially, many caregivers quit due to health concerns, and many family members didn’t want anyone coming into their house. The fact that people weren’t allowed to visit their family members in nursing homes and hospitals meant that we had more access than they did and we were able to help many people.

SM: What are one or two actions you’ve taken to make a difference?

JP: We would go into health care facilities and help with family communication. We would set up video calls when the staff at the facility couldn’t. We had the proper equipment and office layout to keep working and helping patients. We were fortunate in that we could arrange our office in a physically distanced way and keep things safe and sanitized.

SM: What are your goals for 2021?

JP: We had to adapt to virtual marketing. Now we have to figure out how to find a happy medium between face-to-face and remote communication. Face-to-face communication makes things more straightforward, but we can’t do face-to-face as often right now. We also figured out how to take printed documents and move them online with programs like DocuSign.

SM: What is a mistake you’ve made along the way that other people can learn from?

JP: You can easily be mediocre. If you want to grow, though, you have to stretch yourself and try new things. That means failing from time to time.

SM: What is inspiring to you today?

JP: Doing things that I know made a difference in somebody’s life.  Also, seeing my kids, who are in college, open up and begin to understand the world inspires me. They remind me that I need to roll up my sleeves, move forward, and keep an open mind.

How to Reach Us:

Elder Care 4 Families
13806 Lake Point Cir. #201
Louisville, KY 40223

(502) 244-8446

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