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Meet Michael and Kelcey Thompson of Applied Management Group in Pleasant Prairie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael and Kelcey Thompson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m in my office staring at the screen; trying to tell the story of Applied Management Group (AMG) how we got started and what we do. From latest blogs to all of the content development books I have read they all say that the story is the key.

I started this business because I am good at what I do and I believe I can make a great life doing it. As a business owner I try to research before I make decisions, gather the information and be educated about the subject before I move. The problem becomes who do I believe? The current trend is to put out content so everyone is blogging, vlogging, tweeting, webinars, and live events. Everybody is offering their point of view. All I see is new faces fresh out of college telling me how to run my business smarter, faster, easier, and with happier employees, if you’ll do it their way. Trying to keep up with the latest terminology and acronyms can be a full time job!

So who do you turn to?

We created AMG to be the answer to that question. AMG is the who, the what, and the where. We are the resource center required for small businesses; because the knowledge of running a business is different than the knowledge of their craft.

AMG was founded by my husband Michael and I (Kelcey) Thompson. After having careers in service and financial management, we learned how to put business owners back in the drivers’ seat. After years of running dealerships, implementing and training within service oriented businesses, and experiencing how real-life business owners desperately needed to grasp the interrelated aspects of business, we decided to offer the synergy of our combined experience to businesses that wanted better that wanted the answers. We have traveled the world, we have taught classes, we have seen it, we have been involved in it and we have answered the questions. We are here for the small business owners; we are on their side.

AMG is a group of people that focus on how we can make businesses more profitable and give owners more time to enjoy their lives. When you’re happy we’re happy!

We love what we do!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Has it been a smooth road? What a pertinent question! I know for our business it has not been a smooth road. We had our eyes wide open to some of the trials and tribulations that would lie ahead of us; but there is no way to know all that can and will happen.

Businesses consist of so many different facets – learning all of them took a lot of time and effort on both of our parts. We had to become subject matter experts on everything from website design, SEO’s, marketing, advertising, software development, and the cohesiveness of it all to portray the proper image for our business. There were times when we were not able to do it all by ourselves, so we hired others.

Which brings me to the most difficult issue we have had to deal with which is finding the right people/businesses to hire. We have set a specific standard for both ourselves and the vendors we work with. It is extremely difficult to find others that hold themselves and their services to the same level.

Here at AMG we have created our business to focus on small to midsize service oriented businesses. In doing so we have created a unique struggle for ourselves of having to find the proper avenue to connect with them, especially when they believe that they can do it themselves or find the answers they need on the internet. Most owners know they need help to move their businesses forward but are not willing step out of their comfort zone and address the issues that need to be addressed – hence not using our services. They believe that if they get one more sale that will solve their problems, not realizing that if they weren’t making a profit on the first sale that they won’t be making it on the last sale.

Business in and of itself is a struggle we deal with it every day. We use those struggles to grow both ourselves and our knowledge. No one ever said it would be easy, and it’s not but there are so many rewards that outweigh the struggles.

Applied Management Group – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
AMG is focused on small to midsize service oriented businesses. We have found that many consulting firms drop knowledge on you and move on. We do more than that, we mentor you. Through AMG, we walk alongside you where and when you need the help the most and we do it with the best talent and experienced individuals available. We then work together with you to create a specific plan that moves you forward to long-last improvement to your company performance and profitability. Business leaders can rarely count on one hand the number of people they can turn to for veteran advice and straight truth.

AMG created the Seven Summits training series that encompasses all areas of a business management accounting, company financials, departments, burdened labor costing & labor efficiencies, flat rating & pricing, empowering personnel, and benchmarking. We realize that businesses owners are good at their craft but need some assistance in running the business side of their business. The Seven Summits was created to resolve that issue and answer the questions that they have been unable to find the answers to.

AMG realizes that follow up and follow through provide individuals the ability to move forward and implement what they have learned either over the years or within our Seven Summits training. With that we have created our mentoring program to provide the base to continue to learn, grow and develop both yourself and your business. As stated above we work together with you to create a specific plan for you to move you forward. Everyone needs someone and AMG is that someone.

In working with business owners and reviewing their needs we found how critical labor costing is to a service business – it is what retail labor rates are based off of, it is what proper labor management is based off of, it is what differentiates departments within a business, and it is the foundation for the overall profitability and growth of the business. But yet it is the one thing that is overlooked the most. There are a multitude of overwhelming spreadsheets out there that business owners spend hours, weeks and sometimes months trying to enter information into. We have created an online software program that takes all of that away, you enter the numbers where and when they are required and receive an individualized report for each direct employee entered. The Apex eSuite Burdened Labor Costing SaaS was created for business owners by business owners. The Apex eSuite takes the guessing out of labor costing.

I would have to say what sets us apart from others is the relationship we have with our clients. Our clients are more than clients to us they are our friends. We get to know not only them but their employees and most of all their families. We become part of their business – what a huge honor that is!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for us is when our clients have that “Ahh Haa” or as some may call it the “Lightbulb” moment – when they get it! That is the most amazing feeling as both a mentor and a trainer. We know what we are teaching our clients is critical – we know what it means when they get ‘it’ – whatever ‘it’ may be!

After they get it and start to implement it – that’s when we start to see the difference and the changes. That is when we see the fruits of your labor come to fruition. Our success is when they succeed.

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Image Credit:
Property of Applied Management Group

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