Describe your success story.
In 2000, Kris was traveling back and forth between California (where she lived) and Summit County weekly to help in the care of her mother, who had cancer. With so much time being spent in the area, she decided to do some prospecting while here. She participated in the Biz Tech show and met some prospects who turned into great clients. After the events of 9/11, we were looking for a place to raise a family and grow our business. Based on the reception the business had at the Biz Tech show, Eagle County seemed like a great opportunity. We moved the business here in 2002, and have been growing ever since. When we moved here, the only employee was the owner. Now the company has 8 full time employees and has grown 400%. Since moving here, Kris has actually started a second business, ‘Be Good to People’ which she is also growing. Because of the tight knit community here in the Vail Valley, we have found that the Vail Valley Partnership is a valuable partner to our success in growing our local business.
Why did you choose to do business in the Vail Valley?
Prior to moving to the valley we participated in the Biz-Tech show. The Biz Tech show provided us with some great initial prospects that led us to believe we would be able to run our business successfully. So, the combination of a warm reception at the Biz Tech show, and a safe community to raise a family in, were the two main factors in moving our business to the Vail Valley.
What are the advantages of doing business here?
A significant portion of the people and businesses in the Vail Valley would prefer to support local businesses, so there is a loyal client base already built in—you just have to do your work well. In a time of high speed internet and free long distance calling, location is no longer a factor in doing business with clients around the country. We have adequate technology resources in the valley to allow business owners to move here and conduct business all over the country while living the dream of living in the mountains. Additionally, we have a regional airport that has daily non-stop flights all over the country. The combination of a loyal local customer base, adequate technology and a busy regional airport all combine to create an environment that allows us to run our business successfully both locally and nationally.
Another advantage is knowing your local service reps. A company like Century Link is difficult to work with when you have trouble, as you are always directed to the 800 number. In our small community, I know most of the service reps personally, which allows us to get faster service than when you live in a big city and have to wait in the queue.
What advice would you give to someone entering our mountain economy?
I would advise anyone starting a business in the Vail Valley that the two most important things are relationships and service. We live in a small community, so relationships are extremely important and are the way to growing a successful local business. Second is service. By running a company with great customer service, you will set yourself apart and create an excellent reputation. Another piece of advice I would give a business owner is to hire slow and fire fast. The Vail Valley has a lot of great workers, but also has a lot of people who have other priorities. It comes with the territory. There are a lot of great employees in the valley—you just have to make sure you do the legwork to find them.
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