Maranda Adams and Ashley Kuhn saw the need for a “transparent construction company that puts the owner back in the driver seat on their projects” – so they founded Blair Freeman, Nebraska’s only 100 percent woman-owned, 100 percent minority-owned Class A contractor.
“Our ultimate drive is the betterment of our community. We want to be the connector that enhances the lives of people, spaces and businesses that surround us,” said Ashley Kuhn, company president.
Winning Insights from Our Winner:
Providing an Excellent Customer Experience
“We follow the golden rule ‘treat others how you would want to be treated,’ and we always put ourselves in the client’s shoes,” Kuhn said. “We treat every client dollar like it is our own. We treat every client project like we have a vested interest in it. … In construction, a client always wants to build the best product for the least amount of money in the shortest period of time. We hyper-focus on creating ‘wins’ in these areas constantly throughout a project.”
Empowering Employees and Creating a Culture in which They Can Grow and Succeed
“We believe in the ‘power of yet.’ Employees may not have the skills yet, may not have the knowledge yet, may not have the licenses, degrees or certifications yet – but they do have a willingness to learn and grow now,” Kuhn said. “We believe one of the best employees to hire is the person who may have little-to-no experience but does have a strong desire to learn. Once we hire, we encourage our staff to go to school and get training (at our expense). We also bonus our staff based on their performance – anything from spa treatments to meals to money. Our staff is our No. 1 asset.”
Best Practice Tip
“Network, network, network. Your network is the most influential piece of your business. Any event that you are invited to – go. Any opportunity to be in a room with new people – go. Any opportunity to talk about yourself and your business – use it. You never know who is watching or listening,” Kuhn said. “The key to business growth is to keep your name alive and be top-of-mind when someone is in need of your service. That need may not be immediate, but if you are honest, do quality work and are a good human, people will use you when the time comes.”
The Value of Chamber Involvement
“Being a member of the Chamber has been an incredible asset for us,” Kuhn said. “We are in the REACH program, which has provided once-in-a-lifetime tools for business development and growth. The Chamber is constantly communicating with us, checking in and persistently pushing us to keep moving up. Our relationship with the Chamber has been invaluable.”
Impacting the Community
“Giving back in a meaningful and impactful way is priority for Blair Freeman,” Kuhn said. “Our company believes in authentic engagement in our community and engages in mentor programs for women, young girls and start-up companies.”
Both owners are highly active in the community. Kuhn sits the board of trustees/directors for Girls Inc of Omaha, Omaha Public Library Foundation, CREW Omaha, Omaha Girls Rock, and DIBS for Kids. Adams sits on the board of trustee/directors for ENCAP, North 24th Street BID, and Abide.
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