Lytle Electric achieves American dream
Written by Dean J. Miller
Less than three years old, Lytle Electric, co-owned by Megan and John Lytle is a successful family business that provides quality, affordable electrical service delivered with honesty and integrity. The Lytle’s credit much of their success to the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center and its strong partnership the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.
For the Lytle’s, it’s a story of the American dream: the hard-working couple once dreamed of small business ownership, and today has achieved it – success sparked with support from Pikes Peak SBDC.
As a master electrician, John Lytle’s skills and experience contribute to the vibrant economy of Colorado Springs; Megan Lytle’s experience in the hospitality and insurance industries, bolstered by her Bachelor of Science in Business Management, have helped the couple develop skills to run their small business.
“Throughout my senior year, I wrote and revised our future business plan multiple times and was able to gain great feedback from professors and classmates before we launched our company,” said Megan. “I had been self-employed in the past; I knew I could work for myself – but this was our big dream.”
With John’s significant experience and Megan’s business plan, Lytle Electric launched with a $2,000 loan and $150 in the couple’s checking account.
Knowing that her business degree was not sufficient to run a successful business, Megan attended Pikes Peak SBDC’s Small Business Week–her first encounter with Pikes Peak SBDC. That week inspired her to take every class offered that week and over the next year, she completed over 77 hours of classes.
“One of my favorite classes on hiring and supervising staff was invaluable. As a small business owner; we had made textbook mistakes in this area, and we were pleased to learn the correct procedures and legalities,” said Megan. “I was terrified to evaluate our cybersecurity practices; we thought we were doing things right but weren’t even close. After working with the SBDC, we were able to develop strong business practices, and we now have a multi-faceted view of our company.”
Beyond basic classes, Megan graduated from three different Pikes Peak SDBC LeadingEdge courses: cybersecurity; working with the Colorado Department of Transportation; and she completed her Excellence in Customer Service Award application for the BBB.
Completion of Leading Edge courses required evaluation of their business, related processes, and areas for improvement and how to implement those changes. After this in-depth analysis of their business practices, Lytle Electric was named a finalist for the Excellence in Customer Service Award and awarded the first-ever Cyber-Aware Badge issued by the BBB of Southern Colorado.
“The BBB commends Lytle Electric for putting in the extremely hard work to complete the program through SBDC and for being a local business that strives for constant improvement,” said Adah Rodriguez, BBB Development and Operations Vice President.“We know Lytle Electric worked extremely hard to obtain this honor and we couldn’t be happier to congratulate them on earning our first Cyber Badge.”
“During the Cyber course, we learned some scare things – that consumer –quality laptops, routers, anti-virus, anti-malware, email, etc., isn’t secure enough for business. I learned that everything needed a level of encryption; that was a huge wake-up call. We thought our consumer IT products we’re good enough and they are not.
Potentially these security requirements represented a large cost.
“With careful research and professional IT guidance, we were able to buy new software,a new router and a new computer, change to secure email. We were able to meet the business standard for less than $1,000,” said Megan. “It brought great piece of mind that we could accept credit cards as a business and know our client information was protected.”
The Cyber-Aware Badge was created through an alliance with the Pikes Peak SBDC and their newly formed technology program. The badge recognizes the education and training that a business has received to become more “cyber aware” and the intense steps they have taken to ensure they are making business decisions to keep their company and consumers safe.
“Our mission is to build trust in the Central Colorado and Pikes Peak Region and havingstrong cybersecurity practices and procedures help to establish that trust,” said Megan. “Our new procedures protect our customers, their personal information, and help protectour employees and the company’s sensitive data. We’re proud to have our practices and procedures backed by the BBB, the SBDC, and its experts in the cybersecurity field.”
As part of research and application for the BBB’s Excellence in Customer Service Award, Lytle Electric established written policies and procedures to ensure organizational values and norms are carried into daily operations and the future.
“All of our customers are important to us,” said Megan. “But it is a hallmark of our company to deliver an extra bit of care and kindness to senior citizens – in the same way anyone would want their own relatives treated. This is why we are an Age-Friendly Business through the BBB.“
Pikes Peak SBDC staff, classes, instructors, and partners have helped us to establish and run a successful company,” said Megan. “In addition, we’ve gained a network of friends and community connections that have helped grow our business. I recommend Pikes Peak SBDC to all small business owners.”