Small businesses share success, struggles at 1Million Cups

Mike Foust with Rite-Temp Services and Levi and Chandler Green with Living Tiny were featured at 1Million Cups Claremore on Wednesday.

No matter the industry, small businesses share some similar struggles, like managing growth and setting themselves apart from the competition.

Rite-Temp Services and Tiny Living are no exception.

These two businesses were the featured speakers at 1Million Cups Claremore Wednesday morning.

With a SheBrews coffee in hand, guests learned about the each business, what they're doing well, and the challenges they're facing.

Rite-Temp is a commercial refrigeration and commercial/residential heating and cooling service located in Vinita, Okla.

Owner, Mike Foust, takes pride in putting customers' minds at ease when it comes to trusting the technician entering their home.

"When you think about calling a Heating & Air Conditioning company to come into your home or business and service your system, what are some of the first things that come to mind? Are they going to be honest with me about the work they are performing, or will they just try to sell me a new system that I don’t really need, or worse yet, charge for work that they did not do! Will my family or employees be safe around this person I don’t know," he said. "Or, how do I know they won’t steal from me while they are here? Will they leave a mess for me, my family, or employees to clean up, or ruin my floor coverings and furniture? These are all very legitimate questions that you as a business or homeowner should be asking!"

Foust said Rite-Temp "performs background checks on all of our technicians to ensure that the person coming into your home or business is trustworthy."

He said they've expanded their services to accommodate what they hear customer's saying they need.

The struggle, though, is in workforce development and creating a stream of reliable, trained employees. Another struggle, he said, is staying competitive with larger businesses in the field, which plays a part in employee recruitment.

Levi and Chandler Green are like Chip and Joanna Gaines but on a smaller scale. Much, much smaller.

The Greens, like the Gaines, are a making a name for themselves in the real estate world.

Roughly eight months ago the Greens launched their business Living Tiny.

The couple wanted to build a tiny apartment, and after a few months of designing, did exactly that.

"We did a lot of research on the tiny house market on what people want," Levi said, showing the specs of the first home they built.

Start to finish, he said it took them 74 days to build.

At 300-square feet the house had 21 windows.

These features, along with their customizable floor plans and ability to deliver over long distances, set them apart from their competitors.

"Our Mission is to design and build a home to support the life of your dreams. We believe form and function should drive not only the design of each home, but every single detail, too. We never compromise on quality. We are deeply committed to help our customer live freely," they said.

Turns out, tiny houses have meant big business for the couple.

They shared their plan for growth and how they are keeping up with the demand.