Springfield Business Journal: What’s the key to your growth?
Phil Reynolds: We are expanding the type and scope of insurance companies that we appeal to, and that’s been a pretty steady march up market to expand our reach. Internally, we spend a lot of time building tools and practices to be able to upgrade customers steadily and smoothly on our software platform. We are about 16 months into a third-generation build of our BriteCore web services. That has fueled a lot of interest in the insurance industry. Additionally, we are raising a lot of capital, which has helped with staffing and being able to scale our internal organization.
SBJ: You’ve added 40 employees since the beginning of the year. How do you manage that growth?
Reynolds: As a primarily remote company, we utilize a pretty healthy range of collaborative web-based tools to run the company. Inside of our company, you’ll get yourself fired if you send me a Microsoft Word document or a Microsoft Excel document. We do everything in Google Docs and Google Sheets. Those tools are collaborative, and they’re online. We put a lot of effort and a lot of resources into making sure that our employee on-boarding processes is very smooth. We do project-based hiring, so there’s a fairly rigorous gauntlet we put people through before they ever come into the company. We hire globally. The best employee for any particular position could live literally anywhere in the world. Our staff is in 31 countries.
SBJ: Is there a tipping point?
Reynolds: We tipped a couple years ago and have taken off and have continued to take off. Eleven months ago, we did a $13 million capital raise, and there’s a new capital partner that’s about to invest about $50 million into the company. We have 57 insurance companies that use BriteCore for their core operations. The very first customer we worked with was Panhandle Farmers Mutual out in West Virginia. They only wrote $2.4 million in total premium. That’s the tiniest of tiny. One of our newest customers is a $14 billion insurance company, one of the largest in the country. Projected revenue [for 2019] is around $20 million.
SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do?
Reynolds: Our staff has tripled in size in a few years and shows no sign of slowing down. It’s enabled us to appeal to much larger insurers. It allows us to attract the very best talent in the literal world for whatever we’re hiring for. BriteCore is kind of a challenging place to work because you come in and no one is OK. Everyone is great.
SBJ: How have your goals changed as your business has taken off?
Reynolds: The basic goal is the same since our founding in 2005, which is to offer the best possible insurance software for the world’s insurance companies. Any business that is uniquely successful in doing something is doing something that’s uniquely difficult; otherwise, everyone else would be doing it. We set up to solve the problem of really small insurers, and then we expanded to include the needs of medium-size insurers. Now, we’re meeting the needs of much larger insurers. A core evolution in our own thinking is the realization that you could actually use the same base platform to solve problems at all those various scales.
Fueled by her own story of recovery, new NAMI leader Stephanie Appleby is challenging the community to talk about mental illness.
Ömer Önder, owner of Springfield Diner, struggles with the process of renaming his restaurant. The process led by Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, owners of the branding agency Longitude LLC. Ömer expresses all of the emotions he is going through as they work together to revise his seating, menu, hours, and a name to reflect those changes.
It is projected that 10,000 people in the United States will turn 65 years old everyday for 19 years, and non profits are going to be competing over the coming years in a fierce labor market. Give Five was developed as a civic matchmaking program to help connect capable retirees with charitable organizations that need help. Greg Burris outlines the problems the program addresses, opportunities for individuals and organizations, as well as how United Way of the Ozarks is licensing to the program to share with other communities.
Jamie Kinkeade noticed most of the women in her fitness classes at The Studio were wearing Lululemon. She knew her clients were driving to Kansas City to purchase the brand, so she approached the athletic apparel company to stock their merchandise in her store, The Movement. They said "no" at first because they were not looking to expand into the Springfield market, but her persistence paid off.
With more job openings than people to fill them, it is time for your company to evaluate how you are motivating and engaging your team to help you retain and attract the best talent. Sherry Coker, Executive Director at the OTC Center for Workforce Development, walks you through tangible and intangible incentives that encourage employee engagement, performance enhancement, and higher job satisfaction.
"When we first started we thought we could pretty much do this on our own," discloses Vera Gibbons with Baby Foot®. "We thought we knew what would be great...that's not really what happened." Gibbons recommends partnering with a strong marketing partner early and give them a budget.
With four generations in the workplace, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of how each approaches brainstorming can make all the difference in arriving at the best idea. Boomer Kay Logsdon, Director of Applications at CultureWaves, and self-described fossil Millennial Locke Hilderbrand share what their trends research at CultureWaves tells us about generational differences and tips on how to bridge the gaps. Generations in the Workplace is an ongoing multi-episode series tackling the issues of generational conflict.
One year into opening Ellecor, Haden Long gave birth to her second daughter. The first five months of her life, she was with her constantly at work. "They're why we do this," Long explains.
Brandy Hickman with 2B well & Living Light with Brandy Lane advises to be responsive and authentic with your clients. If you don't, the business will go elsewhere.
Kevin Wyas, founder of ECRI, knows he can't always do things as well as somebody else, but he knows if he's done it before successfully he knows he can do it again adapted for the new situation. If you don't believe in yourself nobody else will.
Brandy Hickman with 2B Well & Living Light with Brandy Lane, give you useful tips to help you identify what is causing you stress so you can better engage and enjoy life.