By Brianna Childers The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kan.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) "Entrepreneur Academy" is a coaching program that holds 90-minute sessions every two weeks for businesses who want to improve profits, build their teams up and add more employees.
The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kan.
Amber and Zach Leonetti started their business, Cambridge Quartz and Granite, 20 years ago out of their home.
Five years ago, they decided to open a store at 5967 S.W. 29th St., Suite 240.
Now in the midst of relocating and the desire to keep the business growing, a new business coaching program is giving them the perfect opportunity to do so.
Entrepreneur Academy, which is headed up by one of Premier Advisory Group's branches, ActionCOACH, is a program that holds 90-minute sessions every two weeks for businesses who are wanting to improve upon their business and make it the best it can be.
Entrepreneur Academy recently selected Cambridge Quartz and Granite to receive the first three months of the program for free.
"I felt like it was time to get some expert advice and find out what the best strategies are to grow in a way that we want to grow," Amber Leonetti said.
She said being selected to receive the first three months free helped a lot since their business is so small, it was cost prohibitive for them to pay for the program on their own.
"This just came at the perfect time, right at the time we are needing all of these answers to determine where to go and how to grow and what the best way to do it is," Leonetti said.
Leonetti said after 20 years of running a business a certain way, you develop tunnel vision.
"I'm super excited to see and hear from other business owners how they do things or how they deal with growing pains or supplying issues," Leonetti said.
The program's first session is June 25 at 100 S. Kansas Ave.
Coach Anthony Blanco said they are able to fit up to about 70 people in their first group and already have five businesses that are interested.
Businesses interested in the program invest in a 12-month membership for $798 per month.
"(Cambridge Quartz and Granite) has been in business for 20 years and Entrepreneur Academy is primarily for established businesses that are ready to go to the next level," said Andrea Engstrom, president of Bajillion Agency.
Engstrom said the program will work to improve a business' profits, build their teams up and add more employees.
"I think an ideal fit for Entrepreneur Academy is an established business who's got three or more employees," Engstrom said.
While there isn't a set criteria for the academy, Blanco said they are looking for businesses with a good growth mindset and open to learning.
"They know they need something but they can't quite figure out what it is," Blanco said. "Maybe it's more structure, maybe it's more team, maybe it's more in finances."
Engstrom, who has had Blanco as a coach for Bajillion and will be participating in the program, said she's looking for people she can learn from.
"When we are working together on strategies, sometimes you learn as much from the person whose doing this alongside you in their business as the person standing in front of the room," Engstrom said.
Topics within the program include business growth and profitability, personal growth, business mastery and leadership and team.
The program will also allow participants to receive diversity and inclusion training, which Engstrom said most small businesses don't get the chance to do.
While the program is 12 months, Blanco said it's perpetual, meaning people don't have to be done when the year is over.
"We have so much material to go through and there's always the next of where they are at to get to," Blanco said.
Under the program, businesses also qualify for GO Topeka incentives, which would help businesses pay for the sessions.
Engstrom said because of Entrepreneur Academy, they hope to create more jobs in the community.
"We can attract business at some level to move here, but the very best growth we can do as a community is supporting small businesses who are adding jobs," she said.
Engstrom said if each business in the program hired two people in the next year, it would create more than 100 new jobs in Topeka.
"Over time that's a huge growth, and it not only grows jobs but supports the businesses here and taxes," Engstrom said. "When we can help those kinds of businesses succeed, that's what makes us proud of where we live, who our neighbors are."
Blanco and Engstrom, who both grew up in the community, said they have an emotional tie to the community.
"How can we create an impact not just around the country but further what the vision is for Topeka," Blanco said. "Because there's this momentum building, so how we do come along beside that and enhance that momentum."
Blanco said he hopes businesses that go through the program gain clarity for what they want in their business and life, create more economic development and have less stress.
"Running a business can be lonely sometimes, because there's things you want to be able to talk to your team about but you just can't always talk to them about situations, especially when it's involving them," Engstrom said. "But to have business owners who can totally relate to what you're talking about, that's really valuable and one of the things when you feel supported in that way, I think it brings joy back."
Having fun while running a business is another goal of the program, Engstrom said.
"You have a vision for the future that feels really exciting," she said. "I think that's one of the things we would love to see. People who have enthusiasm for the businesses again and are excited to grow it, not just keep their head above water."
Businesses wanting to apply for Entrepreneur Academy can visit actioncoachresults.com ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.