Denver, NC | Becky Loranger | www.lakesideps.com
Suddenly I realized we could be more effective and profitable with the SBTDC interns
WHAT THEY DO Lakeside Project Solutions provides facilities management services spanning many industries: Financial, Healthcare, Retail, Restaurant, to name a few. Lakeside employs a customer-centric approach, first understanding the client’s needs and applying strategic thinking to tactical action. From small-scale custom fit-outs to massive multi-site renovations, and everything in between, Lakeside leverages years of experience, expert project management, and measurable results via unique KPIs.
UNDER THE CAPE Becky Loranger started her career as a pilot, flying everything from corporate and cargo to bush flying in Alaska. Flying was her life. Then came the economic downturn and the aviation industry had its own share of volatile ups and downs. Her job, pay, schedule and home base were constantly changing. By 2008, she made the decision to find something new. She wasn’t altogether sure that she could translate her skills into another industry and met with an HR executive who encouraged her to become a Business Development Director. She took a job with a construction company and learned about the industry before they went bankrupt. It was then she took matters into her own hands and opened Lakeside Project Solutions (LPS) in 2009. Within six months she had her second employee, and now she has a staff of 50 in two buildings.
STRATEGY AND SALES For the first few years, sales grew organically through referrals and word of mouth. By the time there was a need for a salesperson, it was clear that they needed to change their strategy and have written processes. They needed a VP of Sales, but weren’t ready for that hire. LPS worked with the SBTDC to put together a sales strategy and playbook. Over the course of three months, her counselor pinpointed what their needs were and created a program that walks sales personnel through the sale, the onboarding, and setting up a kickoff meeting with new customers. Since then, LPS has doubled in both sales and employees.
HOOK, LINE (OF CREDIT) AND SINKER LPS also took advantage of the SBTDC’s help to increase their line of credit. The SBTDC showed LPS the benefit of having it available. “They said, ‘By the time you need it to be bigger, it’s too late to ask.’” Becky appreciates that the SBTDC is aligned with one of LPS’ core values—proactive execution, meaning that it is important to look up from the day-to-day and anticipate the future.
INTERNSHIPS THAT ACTUALLY PROFIT Becky is no stranger to interns. She built internship programs for several other companies and she had one for LPS. At the end of each internship, she felt the student got more out of it then the company, and that was okay. “For me, internships were about getting a little bit of work done for the business, but it was more of a community service project.” Then she became involved with the SBTDC’s internship programs and her whole philosophy changed. One of LPS’ first interns created a 12-month marketing program including all of the content created, addresses loaded and ready to launch. “It was good enough to use without editing. Suddenly I realized we could be more effective and profitable with the SBTDC interns.” The difference is that the SBTDC vets the student and matches their skills and interests with the businesses’ projects to make sure that it is the right match from the beginning. Since then, they have had six MBA interns and one undergrad intern, whom they subsequently hired.
BETTER THAN LASER VISION Lakeside Project Solutions has been named one of the best places to work, and with good reason. Becky runs health programs that inspire employees to quit smoking and lose weight. They have a gym and on Fridays trainers encourage employees to try something new. She also runs financial-wealth classes with the goal that everyone eliminate debt and learn wealth building strategies. On the wall are the Lakeside Values, designed to make life work better. She wants what she calls “Happy Humans” and she walks the halls regularly to make sure employees do indeed seem happy. They are also actively involved in Camp Care—a summer camp for children diagnosed with cancer. Employees come up with fundraising events like mud runs, dunk tanks and barrel races to ensure these children have an incredible experience.
This story was originally published in the SBTDC 2018 Success Stories. View the entire publication here.
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There is a lot to know for exporting. There are a lot of questions, and a lot of discomfort. That’s where organizations like the SBTDC have helped a lot. We’re constantly asking,”What do we do? How do we go about it? What certifications are required by the countries on our products?” Our counselors have the answers. They took a company that was clueless about interacting outside the US and helped pave the way to our comfort zone.
I had the customers and knew the industry, but the SBTDC was able to help me come up with and implement new strategies for success.