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SBJ: What challenges do you face to keep growing at your current level?
Brett Roubal: Our growth is facility-based growth. In other words, we have to build buildings to expand our services to more people. What we need to make sure that we have is access to sufficient capital to build out and to make sure we have the talent around to support new growth as we move forward. If we can take care of those two things, we can sustain our growth.
SBJ: Have your goals changed as business has taken off?
Roubal: Our base goal is really our mission, which is to provide the highest quality care in education to as many families as possible. When we do a good job with that, the demand and the growth kind of takes care of itself. Our goals haven’t changed. The only thing I would say that’s changed is perhaps our appetite to grow a little bit quicker than we have in the past because we’ve seen a lot of success. That gives us more drive to carry that mission to more people.
SBJ: Is there such a thing as growing too fast?
Roubal: Definitely. We pride ourselves on providing the absolute best quality and service in the industry. That means we have to have the right people and the right amount of people to provide the support to enable us to accomplish that goal. If we are growing faster than the pace at which we can add and nurture that talent, that’s where we’re growing too fast and that’s where we hit a tipping point that doesn’t make sense. We are very deliberate in the projects that we take on and the amount of projects that we are pursuing at one time.
SBJ: What projects are on tap for the company?
Roubal: We currently have 10 projects that are under contract and in early bid stages of development. That includes our new Ozark location, which we are so excited about. It’s a completely different building for us. It will really allow us to meet the needs of the community much better than our current facility. We have a couple of projects in St. Louis, a couple in Denver, a couple in Nashville [Tennessee] and a couple in a new market for us, in Omaha, [Nebraska]. We’re spread out across the country working on different projects right now.
SBJ: Will this put you in a new state? How many will that give you?
Roubal: Nebraska will be our 11th state. I would say in the next couple of years that we will open up in at least one other state. There’s plenty of growth opportunity left for us. Even in the markets that we’re in now, these metropolitan areas are so large that you can have multiple schools in the same market.
SBJ: How have you managed to continue revenue growth amid reported national struggles in the child care industry?
Roubal: When COVID hit, we decided to invest in our people. We made the decision right away we weren’t going to negatively affect anyone’s job and we weren’t going to close. We were going to be there both for all of our employees and all of our families. We opened four schools during the pandemic. We decided to commit to moving forward, and not everybody did that. That commitment from the beginning of the pandemic has paid dividends.
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