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RESOLVED: 5 LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS SHARE THEIR GOALS FOR 2017

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The new year is almost upon us and many people will make resolutions to stop smoking or lose weight. Entrepreneurs often have different resolutions, however — they have revenue projections they want to hit and new product lines to develop. They want more contact with existing customers or to venture out into uncharted territory for their industries.

To find out what goes through an entrepreneur’s mind at this time of the year, we reached out to five local business owners to learn about their 2017 goals. Their businesses are in different stages of growth, but they all had one thing in common: passion to make their goals reality.

Courtney Sparkman, OfficerReports.com

Sparkman says he wants to get out into the market and see more of his customers. “Previously our sales funnel has been wide, but not deep,” he says. “We’ve had most of our contact over the phone or online. We’ve identified some customers at $100 million organizations who only have one or two licenses for our product. They could definitely be served better with more licenses. This year will be more tactical. We need to travel and shake hands and help our customers optimize their use of OfficerReports.”

Sparkman also says he wants to increase his thought leadership by publishing his second e-book in 2017. “With our first one, the reception was great. It was essentially a compilation of our best blog posts, but tied together in a meaningful way,” he says. “That one was sales-related. But we’re seeing now that our customers are more interested in operations and how to manage a security guard company. We’re going to publish something along those lines in the second quarter.”

Devin Lemoine, Success Labs

Lemoine says she wants to spend more time in 2017 working ON her business and not simply FOR her business.

It’s a case of “the cobbler’s children having no shoes,” she says. She is an executive and leadership coach who advises clients to be strategic in their business — but says she has had little time for that herself. The plan is for that to change in 2017. Lemoine wants to:
Spend more regular time with her team, staying connected and coaching.
Take the time to be strategic and focus on the big picture, planning and attacking the industries and niches that will help Success Labs grow.
Spend more time with cool people and figure out how they can do business together.
Have more fun doing the work.

John Jackson, Launch Media

Jackson says his major goal for 2017 involves moving into virtual and augmented reality. “We want to expand technology in the video space,” he says. “Our competitive advantage is that we really live at the intersection of skill and technology. This was the norm in the ’80s and ’90s. To make great video then, you needed skill and cutting-edge technology. Now with DSLR, people can do video with minimal skill and technology. It’s easier than ever create cheap content, but we want to be better and use our knowledge and technology to be innovative. The industry is still trying to figure out how to use VR and AR for brands, and we want to be part of that.”

Boyce Clark, Lubricity Labs

Lubricity Labs had a big year -- they were the winners of this year’s PitchBR contest, earning a shot at a $250,000 investment from local venture fund Innovation Catalyst.

2017 will be all about expansion, with new customers, new team members and new products. “In 2017, our goal is to continue growing the Lubricity Labs brand and expand our offerings to include styling products,” Clark says. “We will remain committed to fighting frizz, one head of hair at a time!”

Logan Leger, NewAperio

Leger says he wants to expand his geographic footprint beyond Louisiana in 2017. “We’re headquartered in Baton Rouge, and while we have some clients outside of the area, an overwhelming majority of our work comes from within Louisiana,” he says. “In order to continue to grow, we want to get work from outside of our home territory. We started this in 2016 by opening an office in Denver, but I’d like to continue that work and have a fully operational office running and generating revenue by the end of 2017.”

Leger’s says his more ambitious goal involves another big step up in terms of money. “We’ve doubled our revenue each of the last three years,” he says. “That growth has been a bit difficult to keep up with at times, but it’s been really great for the sustainability of the company. We’ve been able to do it in a smart way that didn’t dilute our margins. Any streak is made to be broken, but I’d like to keep this one up and make it four years in a row. It’ll be a huge struggle, but I think we’re up to the task.”

Stephen Loy