Business Focus Weekly
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Kristi Harvie
Mindy Erdman
Inspire Insurance
Co-Owner: Kristi Harvie

KW: Tell us about your business.
KH: We are Medicare and health insurance brokers. We have been in business for five years. We teach people about Medicare, help them find the right path for their needs, and help them make choices that are right for them. We are brokers, so we can talk about all insurance companies without bias. 

KW: Who is your target customer?
KH: On the Medicare side, it’s anyone aging into Medicare or new to Medicare because of disabilities. We also do health insurance for anyone that doesn’t have it already.

KW: What has been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business?
KH: Having to meet remotely with people, especially those that have technology issues and senior citizens. Teaching people how to use zoom or use their computers has been a challenge. We are also very social people, so it’s hard not to see people face to face. 

KW: What are one or two actions you’ve taken to make a difference?
KH: We’ve learned how to utilize the new tools that have been created, and are able to patiently teach clients how to use the technology. We are also putting a little extra time aside for specific appointments in order to help as much as possible.

KW: What is a mistake you’ve made along the way that other people can learn from?
KH: It took me time to figure out my niche. Doing the things I did led me to where I am now – experience helped a lot. People need to be open to opportunities and try new avenues. Don’t be scared to network.

KW: What is inspiring to you today?
KH: Other women in this industry, as well as other successful women that are small business owners. Having your heart in the right place is very important.

Inspire Insurance
Co-Owner: Kristi Harvie
Kharvie1015@gmail.com
 
By Kendra Wiiest
SentinelC3, inc.
Owner: Stephen Owen

KW: Tell us about your business.
SO: SentinelC3 has been a leader in cost management software linking healthcare chains with medical equipment suppliers for over 16 years. We founded SentinelC3 to alleviate many of the greatest healthcare payable pains for a complex supplier base. We cut costs utilizing performance oversight to help LATACH/SNFs reach their strategic goals.
 
The two guiding principles that set the course for our company are integrity and transparency. They define how we deal with our employees, clients, and even how we design our software. We believe in providing access to information in its purest form so that each person can make an informed decision.

KW: Who is your target customer?
SO: Long term-cute care and skilled nursing facilities, we are planning to approach the VA – but the government has a lot of hoops to go through.

KW: What has been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business?
SO: There are no sales pitches in person. We have been using LinkedIn marketing. When launching new products, our customers will see what we have available with instant phone access and push notifications.

KW: What are one or two actions you’ve taken to make a difference?
SO: The biggest difference is that we went with the course called Washington Commerce – Edward Low Foundation, which is wanting to increase businesses in our state. I learned two things: I learned how to narrow our message and use LinkedIn messaging. They also said “you can’t do everything” so I learned how to delegate some areas.

KW: What is a mistake you’ve made along the way that other people can learn from?
SO: Never work with family. I had to buy my family out after spending years hiring friends that we were not able to fire. Never hire anyone you can’t fire. Do understand the power of good legal advice. Set up expectations in a legal manner. We understand we don’t know everything - Research is critical!

KW: What is inspiring to you today?
SO: My team has been with me for a long time...good times and bad times. They are all leaders and hanging tough. It pushes and inspires me to be the best I can and lead in the way I do.

SentinelC3
Owner: Stephen Owens
509-844-7385
 
By Kendra Wiiest
Restoration 1 Spokane  
Interviewee: Jason Cisco

KW: Tell us about your business.
JC: Restoration One Spokane has been here for three years. Scott Whitaker is the owner and he did commercial carpet cleaning before opening this franchise. 

KW: Who is your target customer?
JC: Any property owner – commercial or residential – that needs emergency services. Water, biohazard, fire damage and smoke cleanup, mold remediation, and sewage cleanup. And, we pack out and have storage of personal belongings in a climatized building. We have full textile cleaning services as well.

KW: What has been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business?
JC: We actually got busier at the beginning of COVID because people were home and realized they had water damage. Then things settled back down to normal. Our challenge has been making sure sanitization increased: wearing masks, deep sanitization of all equipment, including personal belongings that we take in and out of homes. Also, the products we use – Tyvek suits, gloves, booties – became extremely difficult to get ahold of. Then pricing went up for those items.

KW: What are one or two actions you’ve taken to make a difference?
JC: We have continued getting word of mouth out there. Letting insurance agents know we are still open, showing them the steps of our safety measures, including taking temps, wearing gloves and masks, etc.

KW: What is a mistake you’ve made along the way that other people can learn from?
JC: When we added a whole new department - our contents department: packing out and storing of materials for clients - we realized that we should not borrow money to do it, especially during the pandemic. We found employees that had already been trained to do that work, so that helped make it a smooth transition. We realized that by not borrowing money, we could close the doors at any time, there was a lot less stress, and we had more leverage by not borrowing the money.

KW: What is inspiring to you today?
JC: Just really seeing (for the most part), the responsiveness of humanity. The majority want to continue to be good people. They want to be treated well and are appreciative when we respond. It is very inspiring, even when we are responding to tragic situations. There is still hope for the human race.

Offer: It’s our goal to get there within the hour and we always give free estimates, available 24/7 for emergency service.

Restoration 1 Spokane  
Interviewee: Jason Cisco
509-699-8426
jason.cisco@restoration1.com

By Kendra Wiiest
Liberty RV Roofing
Owner: Bruno Peneluppi

KW: Tell us about your business.
BP: Liberty RV Roofing has been open since November of 2019. We reseal RV Roofs to keep them dry so they don’t leak. We reseal and can replace just like the dealer does. I am able to warranty our work with the unique product that I offer. Rapid Seal is warrantied for 10 years. A complete roof replacement is also warrantied for 10 years.

KW: Who is your target customer?
BP: Any RV owners. People that live in the northwest and have owned an RV for more than 3 years. We can do a trailer from $5000 to $1M.

KW: What has been the greatest impact of COVID-19 on your business?
BP: It’s a matter of people not getting their units out of storage to use. Campsites were closed for half of the year, and then people didn’t check on their units until late in the season. Business came to us later in the year around October and November. A majority of people didn't de-winterize their RV.

KW: What are one or two actions you’ve taken to make a difference?
BP: We took on U-Haul rentals during the summer, which saved our business. We brought on one more employee to handle U-Haul services.

KW: What is a mistake you’ve made along the way that other people can learn from?
BP: Not putting up an electric fence right away. We ended up getting broken into twice with TV’s stolen from RV's. We have the fence up now and have not had any problems.

KW: What is inspiring to you today?
BP: My kids and my wife. They are what has carried me along during this whole pandemic when it feels like the world is crumbling around us. They are what helps me get out of bed in the morning.

Offer: We offer free roof inspections for anyone.

Liberty RV Roofing
Owner: Bruno Peneluppi
509-408-1888
info@libertyrvroofing.com
 
By Kendra Wiiest
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