DREAM BIG Small Business Award Finalist: Ski Butlers
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Seven regional finalists are competing to be named the 2012 DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam's Club®. The winner, to be announced on May 22 during America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C., will receive a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Chamber.
The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award pays tribute to businesses that excel in the areas of staff training and motivation, community involvement, customer service, and strategy. The finalists were selected from 75 Blue Ribbon Award winners.
FreeEnterprise.com interviewed each of the finalists to learn more about what makes them special. Below is our chat with Ski Butlers.
Ski Butlers, Park City, Utah - a full service ski and snowboard rental and delivery service that services more than 30 North American ski resorts from10 locations.
How do you handle your growth and success?
President and Founder Bryn Carey: When I founded Ski Butlers in 2004, I hadn’t even considered anything past the Park City shop. At the end of the first year, it was so successful. I knew we had this awesome opportunity to be among the top 10 western ski resorts. It didn’t happen overnight. We expanded to Vail and Breckenridge because those are very big ski destinations. Then each year we added about one new location. We got to 10 resorts about two years ago, and we’ve held steady. We don’t want to grow too fast, and that goes back to our customer service. We don’t want to grow at a rate where we can’t service our customers.
How do you attract and retain customers year after year?
Ski Butlers was founded on one thing and one thing only—customer service. It’s our first core value. It’s tied back to how we train our team members and even the bonuses they receive. A lot of our customers own their own gear back home. But because of the high airline baggage fees and the convenience of our service and the fact that we have the newest technology, they’ll come out and use our nice, new equipment. I think that speaks to our customer service.
What are some of the challenges facing your business?
Because we deliver, gas prices especially affect everything we do. I’d love to have a clean energy fleet of vehicles, but unfortunately we don’t have the money to do that. Also, being a seasonal business, we offer great opportunities to our part-time employees. But for our
year-round employees, health care is a big issue. We’re not at a stage yet where we can offer that.
What does free enterprise mean to you?
Free enterprise means the ability to follow your dreams and have the opportunity to succeed in the world. Going back to my father, he set me up to have this great opportunity, and I was fortunate enough to come up with a great idea and run with it. And I’m fulfilling my dream on a day-to-day basis.