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A SPECIAL EDITION FROM THINKING BIGGER BUSINESS MEDIA // 2017-2018


Thinking BIGGER?

PRODUCED BY

Thinking Bigger Business Media Inc. ADMINISTRATIVE

Kelly Scanlon Publisher Megan Scanlon Operations and Events Manager

Take your growth-minded small business to the next level

EDITORIAL

Katie Bean Executive Vice President

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PRODUCTION & GRAPHICS

Carolyn Addington Production and Traffic Manager Kevin Fullerton Design Consultant P.O. Box 754, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66201-0754 (913) 432-6690 // (888) 432-6444 // FAX (913) 432-6676 editor@ithinkbigger.com sales@ithinkbigger.com iThinkBigger.com A WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise See our SRDS listing at www.SRDS.com FOR ARTICLE REPRINTS

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Copyright © 2017, Thinking Bigger Business Media, Inc. All rights reserved. The information gathered and opinions expressed by the authors are intended to communicate information and are not necessarily the viewsof this publication. The intent of this publication is to provide business professionals with informative and interesting articles and news. These articles, and any opinions expressed in them, are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or business. Appropriate legal, accounting, financial or medical advice or other expert assistance should always be sought from a competent professional. We are not responsible for the content of any paid advertisements. Reproduction or use, without permission, of editorial or graphic content, in any manner is prohibited. Thinking Bigger Business (ISSN 1068-2422) is published 12 times a year by Thinking Bigger Business Media, Inc. Subscriptions are $24.99 per year. This amount includes varying sales taxes, which are contingent upon the location in which the publication is sold. Standard Mail Postage Paid at Shawnee Mission, KS.


SMART COMPANIES TO WATCH // 2017-2018 // ALL ARTICLES IN THIS EDITION ARE SPONSORED CONTENT.

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AFFINITY GUERRILLA MARKETING

AFFINITY WORLDWIDE

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ANSWERPRO LIMITED

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CAMBRIAN

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DRAW ARCHITECTURE + URBAN DESIGN

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EAG ADVERTISING & MARKETING

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EMFLUENCE

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FRESH APPROACH CLEANING PROFESSIONALS

HIGH PERFORMANCE RETAIL MARKETING GROUP

RUSSELL-HAMPTON CO.

SANDLER TRAINING

HITCH FIT

SPRINGBOARD CREATIVE

INTERNATIONAL BUILDERS & CONSULTANTS

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SYS-TEK

KC GROUT WORKS

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THE RESERVE ON JEFFERSON

KEARNEY CULINARY ACADEMY

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THINK VIRAL

LOCAL FASHION LINK

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TOWNER COMMUNICATIONS

LS COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE INC.

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VISAGE

PEOPLE PEOPLE

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WIZEWEBZ

FRY ORTHODONTIC SPECIALISTS

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HEARTLAND SEATING

Twitter

Follow @iThinkBigger

LinkedIn

Join the Thinking Bigger Business Media Group

Facebook

Like Thinking Bigger Business Media

K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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The best, long-term business growth comes from a system of strong, stable roots. Affinity Worldwide includes a varied network of over 50 companies and operating divisions ranging from real estate insurance and investor services to retail, restuarants and publishing. With its roots here in Kansas City, executives and entrepreneurs rely on Affinity and it’s brands to help them succeed.

AFFINITYWORLDWIDE.COM

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First impressions begin with “hello.” ,

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Plus, uninterrupted services are sustained with comprehensive disaster preparedness

Call us today so we can start answering your calls right away.

913.384.1212 answerprolimited.com 5815 Dearborn Mission, KS 66202-2786 6

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1828 Walnut St. • Corrigan Station, 3rd Floor Kansas City, MO 64108 www.cambrian.io

Sampling Color Changes in Your Home

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veryone has had the experience of trying to pick a paint or decide on flooring for a home renovation: With that comes the difficulty of knowing what it will look like before they start. This often involves a lot of swatches or samples and may even include trying a paint on a wall.

VISUALIZING POSSIBILITIES Cambrian designs augmented reality (AR) software for mobile devices with a focus on home improvement visualization. Our visualizer works much like the before and after you see on TV design shows, but lets the users visualize the end result, with an emphasis on realism and color accuracy. And unlike other solutions, our software uses advanced algorithms to allow just a tap on the screen to paint or apply flooring. We have a software development kit (SDK) that we have licensed to many well-known brands, as well as within our own app, Home Harmony.

FUNDING AND GROWTH To date, we’ve funded our business and growth through these SDK licenses and are continuing those relationships so we can be the dominant AR company in the paint and flooring markets. We have several noteworthy clients in the pipeline right now that we are excited about, because these will allow us to continue to grow and expand our company. There are a lot of talented people we want to bring in as we have the funding available.

PROGRESS BRINGS RECOGNITION

VISUALIZING THE FUTURE

We’ve had a really great but incredibly busy year. It started with Heather Spalding getting into cohort 5 of ScaleUp KC, which introduced her to a lot of amazing advisors and entrepreneurs. The program came at a perfect time, when we were in the process of scaling our company and visualizing what we wanted our company to become.

Over the next year, we will be adding more features to Home Harmony to make it the place people go when they want to do a DIY home improvement project or to collaborate with others to visualize their entire home renovation dream, while being inspired by trends from others. We’re working towards creating the ability for visualizing a total home transformation and purchasing your supplies through the app.

We were also a WeWork Creator Award finalist and won a free year of rent at the new WeWork building, where we’re located now. Most recently, we won the first ever grand prize of $100,000 from LaunchKC and have been rocketing forward ever since. We just opened our very first capital raise and we’re looking forward to being able to grow many parts of our business and technology simultaneously.

We’ll be partnering with some pretty incredible companies over this next year and have a lot of really exciting stuff in store that we can’t wait to roll out to our customers. We already have some of the best expertise in deep learning and 3D engine development, but are looking to hire many more talented developers. K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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Smart Design. Smart Design is all about connecting people, buildings, and technology together seamlessly. At the Messenger Cafe in the Crossroads Arts District, DRAW Architecture + Urban Design helped Messenger Coff ee and Ibis Bakery combine their operations with an enthusiastic customer base, creating a spirited environment where the making of coff ee, bread, and meaningful conversations connect.


Grow Faster with EAG Advertising & Marketing Every business owner has an aspiration to be bigger – an insatiable appetite for growth. To climb the ladder, accomplish more, see more digits on the bottom line and never look back. But it’s hard. Really hard. Today’s sophisticated marketing requires an integrated strategy. And with the same budget as last year. That’s where we come in as Kansas City’s only agency operating like a complete marketing department for your growing business.

Grow faster, under control and with a purpose.

BRANDING • DIGITAL • DESIGN • MIRACLES Learn more at www.SmallBusinessMiracles.com

K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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Sharon Auck Sharon@freshapproach.solutions www.freshapproach.solutions • 913-707-5500

A Fresh Approach to Cleaning

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s a business owner, you’ve got more than enough on your to-do list. Fresh Approach owner Sharon Auck believes that you shouldn’t have to worry about keeping your building clean, too. Fresh Approach provides a trusted resource utilizing our innovative staff to create a healthy environment for members of our communities. She said Fresh Approach’s goal as a company is to provide the highest level of service tailored to meet each client’s needs and budget. “Our philosophy has never been to be involved in the proverbial revolving-door mentality. We truly want to partner with our clients to be more successful. We are here to stay,” she said. To ensure that custom and quality service, Sharon hires loyal and innovative people who constantly strive to perform their duties more effectively. All Fresh Approach employees are trained in the company’s own quality process. In addition to the training, Fresh Approach takes the time to assess each employee’s personal strengths to ensure they place the right people on the right job.

• Mopping • Vacuuming • Blind dusting • Replacement of soap • Refrigerator cleaning • Inventory control • Quality assurance and control . . . and much more. If you’re looking for more heavy-duty services, Fresh Approach can provide the following: • Carpet cleaning—using steam extraction • Floor restoration—strip and apply new wax to tile floors • Blind cleaning—ensures blinds stay dust-free longer • Power washing—parking lots, exteriors and other surfaces • Office building window washing— commercial window washing services for buildings up to 44 stories tall • Residential window washing— spot-free inside and out

Commercial Cleaning Services Fresh Approach can provide standard janitorial and cleaning services on a daily basis, or as needed. Among the services Fresh Approach provides are: • Cleaning fingerprints from glass doors • Dusting desks • Removing trash • Sweeping

“ We’ve had excellent results with Fresh Approach

Cleaning Professionals LLC for the past three years. Sharon is exceptionally responsive and has provided a crew that has been outstanding.

Jim C., 2016

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Brad and Kathy Peterson 11222 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, Kansas 66203 (913) 268-0069 • heartlandseating.com

A Front Row Seat for Growth

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s the owners of a company that sells, maintains, repairs and renovates seating, Brad and Kathy Peterson don’t sit still much.

Since the Petersons took ownership of the company in 2007, Heartland Seating’s annual sales have grown from $3 million to nearly $10 million projected for 2017.

GROWING MEMORIES

Their company, Heartland Seating, specializes in spectator seating—gym bleachers, stadium seats and grandstands for schools and cities.

In spite of the company’s growth, Kathy Peterson said what she most enjoys is helping people make memories. They help make Friday night lights, Little League games and band concerts possible. They provide the seating in venues where communities come together, applause rings, tears flow and cheers roar.

The company has large customers in Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita, Tulsa and Omaha, but also in dozens of the smaller cities and towns throughout the Midwest. Recently, as of November 1, 2017, Heartland Seating was awarded the entire state of Arkansas. “We had been negotiating with our manufacturers for the northern half of the state,” said Kathy Peterson, “but they awarded us the entire thing.”

NO TIME TO SIT STILL Although winning Arkansas means more seats for Heartland Seating to sell and take care of, the Petersons keep moving forward with other projects too. Besides acquiring the new territory, Heartland Seating has picked up several new noteworthy projects in 2017, including the softball and sports center for the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma; the Dillion Aquatic Center in Freemont, Nebraska; the Lamkin Gym for Northwest Missouri State in Marysville, Missouri; and several product lines for Olathe West High School. They’ve also hired a new sales representative who works in the Springfield/

Branson area. And, the company broke their sales goal for the year in August! Heartland’s growth and the hard work of the Heartland team hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Kansas Department of Commerce recognized the company with a merit award in 2016, and the company continues to hold the #1 sales organization ranking for all four of its main manufacturers—the third year in a row the company has held that spot.

SECOND-GENERATION GROWTH Brad Peterson’s parents operated Heartland Seating for several years. When his dad decided to sell the company, Brad, who’d shown no interest in the family business, started to see the potential for expansion. “I had a vision that I could make it more than a mom-and-pop business,” he said.

“That’s what those small towns do,” she said. “They meet there. You go to the high school auditorium, and you’ve got grandparents watching grandkids at a band concert or the high school musical or whatever it is, and then the high school gym is the same way. “Those are all the places we are, and that, to me, is cool. That’s a community. That’s my favorite part about it.”

NEXT CHAPTER Kathy said that even though the plans and hard work have paid off so far, it also signals that she and Brad need to look for what’s next. “When you realize that you’ve checked off a large number of items on your wish list,” she said, “it’s gratifying, but also a bit scary to have to once again evaluate your goals and direction. It’s an evolving process.” K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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Extra! Extra! Sign up for iThinkBigger.com Extra— a FREE email newsletter designed to help you become a smarter, more successful entrepreneur.

TO SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW TODAY, CALL (913) 432-6690 OR VISIT WWW.ITHINKBIGGER.COM

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BRING PURPOSE to your

MARKETING

There’s an easy way to tell if your marketing lacks purpose.

It just doesn’t work.

WHAT WE PROMISE


Hitch Fit Gym & Hitch Fit Online Personal Training www.HitchFit.com • www.HitchFitGym.com • 816-753-8900

ADDICTED TO TRANSFORMATION

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ddicting. That’s the best word to describe the feeling you experience when you help someone change their body and life in a positive way. Hitch Fit co-founders and co-owners Micah and Diana LaCerte thrive on that feeling. It’s the reason the Hitch Fit business model is laser focused on transformation. It’s the reason you will see hundreds of “before” and “after” pictures of clients lining the walls at the Hitch Fit Gym locations in Kansas City & Overland Park, and read their inspiring stories on the Hitch Fit websites. “Our goal, our passion, is to help people become the best version of themselves,” said Micah. “Many people come to Hitch Fit because they have seen a transformation picture, or they have a friend who went through our system. Initially they want a physical result, but the most important part of Hitch Fit is how this process changes them on the inside— mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. The change in their physical body ends up being the icing on the cake.”

Entrepreneurs: Micah & Diana LaCerte Type of Business: One on one personal training & online personal training Company Information: • Hitch Fit Gym 3036 Gillham Rd. Kansas City, MO 64108

• Hitch Fit Gym Overland Park 7431 W. 91st St. Overland Park, KS 66212

Transformer Profiles: www.HitchFitGym.com

How We Started Micah and Diana launched Hitch Fit (both the online personal training and one-onone services) in 2009, in the heart of a recession, with a big dream and a shoestring budget. Diligence was the key to developing a new business model and strategic plan within the fitness industry. People and passion first. Money and sales second. The online personal training has spread to 74 countries. The second gym location in Overland Park was opened in 2014. They now have a team of 20 “Transformation” Trainers between the two locations, and have aided clients in shedding over 300,000 pounds of fat globally. Hitch Fit works with clients of all ages, fitness levels, fitness goals, and those who have hectic travel or business schedules. “The goal was to create something different. A system where the client and their progress were the focus, not how many sessions we could sell or how long we could retain an individual,” Diana said.

Email: Diana.Chaloux@yahoo.com or MicahLaCerte@gmail.com

• Team of 20 Transformation • • • • •

Personal Trainers “Transformers” No Gym Membership Fees 12 & 16 Week Transformation Programs Stay Fit Maintenance Programs 60 minute sessions available FREE Consultation at either gym—sign up at http://www.hitchfitgym.com/

Keys to Success: Believe—Transform—Inspire

Customized Online Personal Training: www.HitchFit.com Phone: 816-753-8900

Class of 2012 Class of 2017

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Photo courtesy of Steven Smith

“We want clients to Believe in themselves, teach them how to Transform through proper nutrition, exercise and healthy sustainable life-style changes, and then encourage them to go out and Inspire the people in their lives to make positive changes too.”

Hitch Fit Owners Transforming Children and Communities

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hrough their philanthropy, Micah LaCerte and Diana ChalouxLaCerte, have taken transformation to another level, by supporting schools in Haiti. They were familiar with Love in Motion, a Christian ministry active in Haiti. A new school was opening in Croix-desBouquets, and Diana decided to sponsor a couple of children. But when she saw how great the need was, she knew she and her husband had to do more. “God was clear that these were our children,” she said. When she told Micah, “he just smiled and said, ‘Well, we need to get some more clients!’” By the following year, both the school and Hitch Fit’s business had grown. Of the several hundred children the Christian ministry sponsors, Diana and Micah now sponsor about 100 students. Most are at Croix-des-Bouquets, although 15 are in other Love in Motion schools.


IBC Traffic Controls team is working every day to keep Kansas City moving with 24-hour Emergency Service. Safety is job one for IBC. Street flooding, repairs, or building in KC, we have the team that will exceed your expectations. IBC Traffic Controls is at work all over the Kansas City area, let them help keep you moving. m


Sometimes we forget how nice this should look. Grime, mildew and bacteria build up and discolor grout gradually, so we often don’t notice it. KC Grout Works’ patented, proprietary color sealing technology provides beautiful, stain-free grout lines that are sure to make your tile sparkle!

CONTACT US TODAY FOR A QUOTE! kcgroutworks.com • 816.448.5579

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE: Tile grout cleaning & sealing Shower restoration Tile installation & repair Natural stone care Caulking


K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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Kansas City’s new link to fresh looks. Local Fashion Link creates a connection for fashion passion & fashion purpose—linking the local fashion community to Kansas Citians with Local Runway fashion shows, events, photos & publications. If it’s outside the box, it’s on our hanger. If it’s fashion, we’ll find it. We’re not afraid of mothballs, we know the value of a thrift store hunt, and we have local boutiques and designers on speed dial.

RUNWAY | MAGAZINES | FASHION NETWORKING

We source local trends and garments from fashion savvy partners we trust, supporting our fashion community with meaningful relationships.

advertise/sponsor: calli@localfashionlink.com

Local Fashion Link localfashionlink.com

KCFashionLink


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EVERY GROWING BUSINESS HAS PEOPLE PROBLEMS We’re here to help with yours

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YOUR EMPLOYEES AREN’T HUMAN RESOURCES Your employees are people, and they’re the ones who are helping you meet the goals of your business and building your culture. At People People we believe that you can’t grow a business without developing and growing your people.

A DIFFERENT WAY TO MANAGE YOUR PEOPLE Since 2009 People People has been giving entrepreneurs all the help they need with their most valuable asset, their people. And, we’ve been doing it in a way that aligns the folks who work at our client businesses with the cultural glue that makes them successful. The solutions we create for our clients are as unique as they are, so if you’re tired of stuffy, compliance based HR in your business, maybe you should call one of our people?

913.940.5391 peoplepeopleus.com

7201 West 129th Street Suite 105 Overland Park, Kansas 66213


K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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L E A P B O L D LY

Playing it safe never leads to success. If you want to be successful you have to take chances. Scary chances. Crap-your-pants chances. You can’t wade into opportunity. You have to leap boldly. springboardcreative.biz

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BUY A SOCIAL MEDIA SYSTEM Your Social Media Manager spends most of their time talking to clients and prospects online. What they say can affect your company’s reputation ... FOREVER. GREAT companies have GREAT processes, but may of you are still counting on an intern to manage your Facebook pages, with no guidelines or oversight in place. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Stop Hoping and Guessing! Set up Social Media Guidelines Implement a Social Media Process Review ROI—Supervise Progress Generate More Business

ThinkViral’s SMARTSocial System comes with all the tools your company needs to manage, track and supervise social media in-house.

Here’s What’s Included: •

Weekly Social Media Business Development Schedule

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Example Posts

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TM

wizewebz.com

Make Your Website Work Harder Messaging Strategy Consumer Research Social Media

TOP 5 WEBSITE MISTAKES

Web Design & Development App Design & Development Search Optimization

1) Doesn’t Drive Business

I believe your website should be driving your business.

2) Business Purpose Unclear

WizeWebz was created to offer business owners and teams a better web development experience. We understand what it takes to launch, manage, and scale companies both large and small.

3) Doesn’t Capture Customer Data

All projects start with an understanding of your company and your goals. Reach out to us if you’re ready for a better website:

4) Lacks Engagement

Terri Jordan, Founder & CEO terri@wizewebz.com (913) 235-3196

5) Not Optimized for Search Engines

The WizeWay

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Strategy

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Keep Yo ur Dead line & Stay o n Budge t!

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Seeking strong, talented, local partner interested in a long-term relationship. Long walks on the beach optional. Making clients successful across the globe is a pretty big job. We couldn’t do it without the right, committed partners helping us deliver complex projects every day. Visit our profile at burnsmcd.com/ThinkingBigger.

Offices Worldwide

Smart Companies to Watch 2017  
Smart Companies to Watch 2017