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Ann Arbor Spark

February 18, 2015

Betty Brigade refines business model, in hiring mode

Betty Brigade joined Goldman Sach's 10,000 Small Businesses program last summer, and it ended up having a profound impact on the concierge service's bottom line.

The Ann Arbor-based company’s sales are up 90 percent in both January and February, and are trending in a positive direction for the rest of the year.

"We have had tremendous sales growth when we are typically quiet," says Sharon McRill, president of Betty Brigade.

McRill started Betty Brigade in 2004 after being laid off at Borders. It now employs 10 people. It has hired three people over the last year and is looking to hire two more now.

That growth is largely thanks to the lessons McRill learned at the Goldman Sach's 10,000 Small Businesses program. She was able to cut $4,000 worth of monthly overhead from her business without laying anyone off or cutting salaries. One of the ways was downsizing the company's offices by half because the whole space wasn't being fully used.

"That really helped me clean up some areas that weren’t working and places we were spending money where it wasn't effective," McRill says.

It also helped the Betty Brigade attract more profitable work. For instance, it has been doing more work for trusts and banks at cleaning out houses and buildings.

Source: Sharon McRill, president of Betty Brigade
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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