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The Morrill’s | Business Owners and Graduates

Author: South Valley Chamber
Published: October 1, 2019

After searching for a recreational property to spend some time on in the winter, Leticia and Kevin Morrill came across Computer Hospital – a computer repair shop in Midvale, UT – for sale in the recreational property area. Kevin has spent most of his life doing some type of computer networking or repair so he was intrigued and decided to give the owner a call. After a few meetings with the owner at the time, they decided it was a great fit and felt like it was meant to be. The Morrill’s took over Computer Hospital a year and a half ago and Leticia graduated from the second cohort of the South Valley Chamber’s KeyBank Business Accelerator Academy.

We sat down to ask a few questions about their experience in owning a business as well as their experience in taking the KeyBank Business Accelerator Academy.

Which part of owning a business is most fulfilling?
For us is probably the fact that we get to work together. We have a really good relationship and it’s been great to work together. The other part that’s amazing is to know that we can help customers. There’s not a lot of people in our industry in our area, so knowing we can be the go-to for people in our community to be able to have a trusted resource for all their IT needs is wonderful and we love that.

Which part of owning a business is the most challenging?
The most challenging part is the financial aspect. We were lucky enough to take over a business that was already financially established so all we had to do was come in and make it succeed and grow. It’s easy to say, “raise your prices”, but we don’t want to do that. We want to be affordable; we want to be a resource for our community. People come back because they know that we care and we’re trusted.

How has the Business Accelerator Academy helped you think about your business differently?
For the past year, Kevin has been the backbone of all of our finances and I take care of the front end. I was a little intimated and I thought I was going to be the person in the room that had no idea about financials, balance sheets, and income sheets. I knew that’s why I needed to be in the program because I needed to learn. Even though I still don’t do the financials, it has made such a difference for me to have the knowledge because I can have conversations with Kevin about income statements and expenses. We’ve seen our business grow just by having the knowledge and having better conversations about our growth opportunities.

Since going through the academy, what have you implemented in your business that you didn’t have before?
I think one of the biggest things is now we have a plan where before we didn’t. Before we just kind of picked a number for what our goal was, but now we’re much more deliberate. We know exactly what it takes to break even, we know exactly what it takes to be profitable, and we didn’t have that knowledge before. We can break it down and know month over month and day to day how many people we need to serve and what our revenue goals need to be. With that alone, we’ve seen about a 30% increase in our month over month sales just from last year.

If you could describe your journey as a business owner in one word what would it be and why?
To describe our journey in one word I would say growth. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that without having the willingness to grow and to look at myself and ask myself what I can do different – I would remain stuck. If you’re not growing yourself it’s really unlikely your business will grow either.

Any advice for future business owners?
I think it’s really important to reach out to your network – whether it’s Chambers or other small business resources that can help you to implement a plan and a strategy right out of the gate. I think it’s like a lot of things in our life – we don’t get a manual for owning a business. You don’t know what you don’t know so I think it’s important to tap into all your resources and your network right from the beginning. It’s important to plan ahead rather than be reactive.

If you could describe your Business Accelerator Academy experience in one word what would it be?
The word I would choose to describe my experience is empowering. I feel that the knowledge I have received to this point allows me to look at my business in a different way and give me the tools that I need to build our business and meet the goals that we’re looking to meet. The thing I love about the group and about the classroom environment is being able to learn from other people and their experiences. There are parts of the course where we meet in smaller groups, and being able to bounce ideas off of people and hear their experience after being in business for 20+ years, there’s so much value in that and you can’t put a price in it. If you’re thinking about taking it, just do it.

We are now recruiting for the next cohort of the KeyBank Business Accelerator Academy. To learn more and to apply please visit https://interise.org/business-accelerator-academy