SBJ: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth?
Tim O’Reilly: Attracting quality talent. That’s our No. 1 challenge, and being able to finance new team members who will help us keep up with the growth trajectory that we’re on. With national unemployment at 3.9 percent, it’s something that everyone is struggling with. People are crossing over into other industries. It’s a problem that’s going to get worse before it gets better. We try to do a lot of different things to make sure we recruit and retain quality team members. We try to have a good culture. Corporate culture is something that’s a positive for us. We really rally around community involvement and charitable programs. Sustainability is a huge piece of our corporate culture. Then, of course, competitive pay and benefits.
SBJ: Do you see your growth being sustainable in the long term?
O’Reilly: The really significant growth that we have right now is the result of a lot of work that was performed in the last six to eight years. Financing was so difficult up until a few years ago. Everything for us came together all at once a few years ago and allowed a lot of these projects to get off the ground. It was a very hectic time for us. That pushed our teams to the limit. I don’t like that type of environment because it really stresses our team members out. I’m enormously blessed to have an incredibly loyal and quality group of people here. I don’t see us growing at this rate forever. You have to have a pipeline, and some of them don’t work out. We have several different parts of the country that we’re looking at.
SBJ: How many hotels do you have in the works?
O’Reilly: We have the Cambria hotel in downtown Omaha [Nebraska] under construction, and that’s going to open in August. Then we have the Jonesboro Embassy Suites that is under construction [in Arkansas]. It’ll open in July 2019. We’re about to start construction on a Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites in Bonita Springs, Florida, and then two more Cambria hotels by Choice. It’s their upscale hotel. Those are in Louisville, Kentucky, and Sarasota, Florida. We have (Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Springfield) under construction, and that’ll be open in December.
SBJ: What about your plans for a boutique hotel in downtown Springfield under the Moxy brand? Are you still doing that?
O’Reilly: Yes. We’re working on the plans for that. We have so many other projects going, that we kind of have it in the queue, ready to start when the time is right for our company. We have plans almost finished. We’ll have everything worked out with Marriott. We’re going to definitely start construction within the next six months. We’re focusing on the Omaha project, getting that open, and once that happens, that will free up some time and effort by some of our folks.
SBJ: What’s the worst business advice you’ve ever received?
O’Reilly: To this day, I just cringe when I hear it, and that is, “It’s just business.” It’s not just business. It’s people, it’s people’s lives, their livelihoods and their families and their income.
The first of SBJ's forums detailing Economic Growth Survey results is held.
Scott Shotts, partner with Missouri Spirits, says when they started in 2011 there were approximately 300 distilleries in the U.S. and now there are more than 3,000 so competition has grown significantly. Diversification of their business model has helped them succeed.
Matthew Blystone of Theta Float Spa had the financial means to start the unique business, but used crowdsourcing for pre-orders to determine market interest in addition to gathering a nice cash reserve before opening.
Avery Parrish with the Springfield Regional Arts Council explains how businesses can display local art in their spaces for a fraction of the price of investing in a permanent collection. The corporate partnership program allows a business to select from a customized portfolio of local artists' work curated based on the company's mission and aesthetic that can be switched out every six or 12 months.
After a year of experiential market research, Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, found three ways they plan to expand. Some were anticipated and others were not expected until they …
Inspirational speaker Chad Porter shares his story of turning a tragic accident that took him to the darkest depths into a rewarding career as a motivational speaker and business coach.
"For me success is...a little bit fleeting. Today's success and goal achieved only lasts about that long," says Curtis Millsap, owner of Millsap Farms. Look beyond the day-to-day financial achievements to the long-term victories.
Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, took his experience as an expedition manager for National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World in Ecuador to start his Ozarks based outdoor activity company. Since launching the company, he has relied on post-trip evaluations and prospective customer input to guide the course.
Jennifer Rothschild, author and speaker, says, "With the blessing of the success that we've experienced came something I did not expect, which was the need to lead. And, I am a reluctant leader." She realized that her ministry was managed very well, but the ministry's most valuable asset, the people, were not being led well. She gives you three choices she had to make as a reluctant leader. Jennifer Rothschild was one of nine leaders who presented at the 2018 Springfield Business Journal's 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes.
Miles Boyer, Office Manager for the Southern Region of the Builders’ Association, recognizes they are competing for their members' time. That means doing new and different thing are of value to guarantee that their members will participate in classes and events.
Ömer Önder, owner of Springfield Diner, learns the results of a customer survey conducted by Longitude LLC. Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, owners of the branding agency, inform Ömer that his customers are looking for a shift in his menu offerings. Made to Order is an ongoing sbjLive documentary series in collaboration with Springfield Business Journal tracking the rebranding of a local restaurant. See ongoing coverage at: sbj.net/madetoorder