As with most entrepreneurs, Beth Lybrook saw an industry that needed a solution and set about to find the best answer. The challenge? Hospitals incurred high costs purchasing employee uniforms in bulk. Employees found the offerings limited. Hospitals found the distribution of uniforms and employee allotment tracking time consuming, and everyone within the supply chain found managing the payment processing cumbersome. To meet the uniform needs of the employees, Lybrook started LIZard Apparel providing uniforms for hospital employees on April 1, 2013.
To address the challenges within the industry, Lybrook developed a unique proprietary online platform that shifted uniform ordering from the hospital to the employee. Employees are able to order online when it is convenient for them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, while the hospital still maintains oversight on what can be ordered. The ordering system tracks the employees’ hospital allotments, streamlines standard and custom payroll deductions, and even efficiently manages customized, large and even single unit orders.
Clients liked the proprietary ordering process so much that they expanded the program within their hospitals.
“This addressed a long-time problem that the healthcare industry had,” Lybrook says. “It is a win-win. Now their costs are significantly reduced and their staff can focus on the priorities of their job.”
Lybrook shares her humor around the name LIZard.
“My name is Elizabeth, I go by Beth but my dad calls me LIZ,” Lybrook says. “His name is Ron Duncan and the A.R.D. in LIZard stands for According to Ron Duncan, so it is LIZ According to Ron Duncan.”
With a great business name and unique business solution, LIZard Apparel expanded into promotional products, along with reward and recognition programs.
As LIZard Apparel and Promotions grew, Lybrook knew it was time to move from a sales mindset to that of a more focused business owner.
“Honestly, I didn’t start out desiring to be a business owner so I didn’t fully know what I was getting into,” Lybrook says. “I saw a need, was able to effectively solve it, and the business grew from there. I knew I really needed help but didn’t know where to go.”
Lybrook learned about and applied to the SBA ScaleUp America Entrepreneur Exchange Program through a friend who had also applied. Early in the program, Lybrook shared that she had a major challenge of how to establish a solid sales commission plan for a new program with no models to follow.
Through a joint meeting with the program CPA Betty Collins with BradyWare and HR workshop presenter Sharon DeLay, owner of BoldlyGO Career and HR Management, LIZard’s compensation plan was restructured. In addition, Lybrook, who did not review financial statements as a salesperson, became well-versed on how to interpret them and make strategic decisions for her business.
Since being in the program, Lybrook has grown her sales staff 167 percent, received a contract to service 2,500 hospitals across the country, and is working to expand the uniform program into other industries.
“I have gained the knowledge, confidence and invaluable business sense that I would not have experienced on my own or without the leadership and business acumen of my coach Mary McCarthy and the Entrepreneur Exchange Program,” Lybrook says.
For more information about LIZard Apparel and Promotions, visit lizardap.com.
To take the next step in scaling up your business, visit YourManagementTeam.com/EE to apply and learn more about the Entrepreneur Exchange Program.
The Entrepreneur Exchange™ Program is a nine-month program fully funded by the Small Business Administration’s ScaleUp America initiative. Any Ohio small business with $150,000 – $750,000 in gross revenues and at least two years in business can apply. However, each year only 30 Ohio small business owners are selected.