Fastest growing Business of the year – Six to ten years

Northwest Personal Training and Fitness Education

Northwest Personal Training and Fitness Education
Alex and Sherri McMillan, owners
2005 revenues increased 135 percent to $1.5M

Alex and Sherri McMillan are growing revenues at Northwest Personal Training and Fitness Education as fast as they are shrinking waistlines at the Vancouver fitness facility.

The business increased revenue from $620,000 in 2004 to $1.5 million in 2005. The 135 percent increase came on top of a 71 percent increase the previous year.

In June, Northwest Personal Training acquired a second location in Portland. Now operating under the Northwest Personal Training banner, the 9,200-square-foot facility located at 2714 N.E. Broadway St. was purchased for $785,000. Excluding the acquisition, Northwest Personal Training’s Vancouver location had revenue of $822,370, a gain of 33 percent.

With the acquisition, the business has more than doubled its staff in the past year to 36 employees.

Alex McMillan attributes the company’s emphasis on education and relationship building to keeping its members coming back. Ensuring clients workout and achieve results contributes to the company’s success, versus most health clubs that bank on their membership not using the facility on a regular basis, said McMillan. Satisfied customers spread the word.

“Word-of-mouth referrals have been our biggest source of growth,” said McMillan.

Hiring the right people and creating a fun environment for clients and employees has also been a factor.
“If we hire great people then our job is much easier,” he said, “and growth is inevitable.”

The business and its employees continue to be recognized by the industry for their efforts.

Alex and Sherri McMillan continue to speak and hold workshops internationally. They instruct fitness professionals around the world on topics such as exercise science technique and business management. They also visit local businesses to speak on health and fitness issues. Northwest Personal Training was hired to launch Nautilus’ employee health and wellness program in 2005.

Future plans for the business include expansion into other parts of Clark County, said McMillan, particularly in the Salmon Creek and 164th Avenue areas. The company, however, wants to continue to keep its facilities small, intimate and personable.

The fitness business can be difficult, said McMillan, because “most people hate to exercise, but know that it is necessary to ensure a healthy life.”

He expects the business will continue to grow by focusing on engaging clients, developing relationships with them and finding innovative ways to make workouts fun.

“We need to be the ones that help our clients do the things that they really don’t want to do but know that they should,” said McMillan.

Bank of Clark County

Bank of Clark County
Mike Worthy, President and CEO
Local deposits grew 26 percent to $207.9M

The Bank of Clark County has built its success on the success of its clients. And 2005 was no different. The bank excelled in two primary areas, said President and CEO Mike Worthy – building deposits and construction lending.

In the past, the bank had to turn to Wall Street to fund the lending side of the business, but the bank decided it didn’t want to do that anymore. Its initiative to work harder at growing deposits paid off.

“We had an unbelievable year in building deposits from local clients,” said Worthy.

The bank grew local deposits 26 percent to $207.9 million and total deposits 21 percent to $247.1 million, which in-turn allowed it to grow its construction lending.

Total loans jumped 34 percent to $250.4 million.

The bank’s single downtown Vancouver location makes it difficult to draw deposits, compared to banks serving the county with multiple branches. But Worthy said clients are beginning to see the convenience of its courier service and other free services, such as online banking and bill pay.

“The types of services we offer and the way we deliver them gives us some advantages over others,” said Worthy.

The bank works just as hard, if not harder, to build existing relationships versus securing new business.

“The one we have is more important than the one we get,” said Worthy.

The bank’s standard for growth is to never produce less than the previous year in absolute dollars.

The bank has a 6 percent market share in Clark County. While Clark County continues to grow and welcome new businesses all the time, Worthy said the bank’s growth strategy is to steal market share from other banks. Part of that strategy is to “swoop in on disruption of other banks,” he said, during such times as an acquisition or change in management.

The bank has reached a point it is ready to expand into additional locations.

“We had to get to a critical mass (to expand) without interrupting the bank’s earnings,” said Worthy. “We are there now.”

An additional location would be more than a branch, said Worthy, rather it would replicate the existing headquarters and offer the same capabilities to customers.

Pacific Lifestyle Homes Inc.

Pacific Lifestyle Homes Inc.
Kevin Wann, President
Closed 350 homes in 2005, up from 200 in 2004

As a homebuilder, its no surprise Pacific Lifestyle Homes had a good year in 2005. The company grew revenue 59 percent to $110.5 million last year.

Aside from the booming housing market, Pacific Lifestyle implemented several elements of a long-range plan that helped boost its market share and poised it for continued growth.

The company’s growth was anticipated and well planned for, said Matt Lewis, public affairs director. Pacific Lifestyle made the decision to grow and brought on the employees needed ahead of time.

“We added the right personnel to help the company expand and avoid growing pains,” said Lewis.

Pacific Lifestyle ended 2005 with 87 full-time employees, up from 48 in 2004.

The Vancouver homebuilder expanded geographically with projects in Oregon, allowing it to diversify its customer base. Lewis said Pacific Lifestyle now builds homes in six distinct jurisdictions in Southwest Washington and Oregon. Further diversification occurred in its products, which range from attached town homes to high-end, 3,700-square-foot homes.

Lewis said the company also raised its profile with enhanced TV advertising.

The execution of its long-term growth plan shows that 2005 was not accidental, but part of a strategic plan, said Lewis.

“We want to become the dominant builder in the area,” said Lewis.

With the likelihood of housing sales slowing from the frenzied pace of the past couple years, Lewis said the overall market isn’t expected to grow significantly.

“But that doesn’t stop us from growing our share of it,” said Lewis.

Pacific Lifestyle closed 350 homes in 2005, up from 200 in 2004. Projections for 2006 exceed 400.

The addition of the company’s first design studio in 2005 and continued improvements to its product offerings will put Pacific Lifestyle more in tune with buyer preferences, said Lewis.

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