Lawrence businesses were asked by the Journal-World to provide "keys to their success."
Here's a look at the business owners' responses:
American Express Financial Advisors Inc.
Owners: Evelyn J. Senecal.
Address: 900 Mass, Suite 403.
Number of employees: 4.
Key to success: Client service -- personal attention; do what is best for client; sincerity; respect the differences of individual client; handle problems quickly. Giving back to the community in time, responsibility and financial support. Appreciation of client business; fulfilling client expectations of accuracy, confidentiality, creativity, organizational management, consistency, low turnover of staff, positive attitude.
Century 21 Miller and Midyett
Owner: Larry H. Midyett.
Address: 1800 E. 23rd St., Suite K.
Number of employees: 28.
Years in Lawrence: 49.
Key to success: As one of Lawrence's oldest real estate companies, we specialize in customer service. Century 21 Miller and Midyett has two offices serving our area with one office in Lawrence and one office in Eudora. We offer buyer and seller representation, residential, new construction, rural, commercial, investment property and relocation services.
Cloud Heating and Air Conditioning
Owner: Doug Cloud.
Address: 920 E. 28th St.
Number of employees: 55.
Years in Lawrence: 34.
Key to success: We couldn't have remained in business as long as we have without having knowledgeable and self-motivated employees. We've been fortunate to employ talented people with great work ethics. As we've grown, we've been able to diversify our services to meet the changing needs in Lawrence. The biggest change in customer's needs we have addressed is the time factor. We take extra efforts to work around the customer's schedule, calling their cell or work number so they can meet us at home when the technician is available. They appreciate this instead of waiting at home all day for us to arrive.
Realty Executives - Hedges Real Estate
Owners: Bryan and Laura Hedges.
Address: 1037 Vt. and 721 Wakarusa.
Number of employees: 37.
Years in Lawrence: 31.
Key to success: We reward our agents for achieving continuing education classes and designations well beyond that required by the state, which helps our agents provide full-time professional service to their clients. We love promoting Lawrence and the surrounding area because it is such a beautiful area with many nice friendly people.
and Security Systems
Owner: Dave Rueschhoff.
Address: 2441 W. Sixth St.
Number of employees: 18.
Years in Lawrence: 27.
Key to success: Making keys that work the first time. In addition, we open every morning with the commitment that we will take care of every customer.
Owner: Ken Creasey.
Address: 3504 Westridge Drive.
Number of employees: 65.
Years in Lawrence: 29.
Key to success: A combination of having good food, good locations and an ever-growing community that likes Taco John's.
Owner: David and Jan Vanderbilt.
Address: 1548 E. 23rd St.
Phone number: 841-2109.
Years in Lawrence: 14.
Key to success: Listening to their customers and running with low overhead to keep prices low. Vanderbilt's has expanded from a single store in Wamego in 1973 to seven company owned stores and two franchise operations in two states. Now David and Jan's two sons, Thomas and Andrew, run the seven-store operation, and online business vanderbilts.com. Today, the same low discount prices and loyal customer service apply to the Vanderbilt's stores, however many of the products and brands are continually changing to better meet the needs of their customers.
Address: 901 Mass.
Phone number: 843-6360.
Number of employees: 52.
Years in Lawrence: 146.
Key to success: Focusing on products that our customers need and want and being competitively priced. The good fortune of being located in Lawrence and having customers who care about doing business with Douglas County retailers. An exceptional staff who truly enjoy establishing friendships with our customers.