Name: Teri McKenney
Company Name:
Kenney Acoustical Tile LLC
How long have you been in business?
5 years

What is your business all about?

Subcontractor: Acoustical ceiling and acoustical treatment installation. This is a family owned and ran subcontracting business in the commercial construction and residential field, installing acoustical ceilings of various kinds and acoustical ceilings and wall treatments. Licensed in 5 states.
Lane and Austin, my sons, started this business as they had both installed acoustical ceilings and wall treatments while in high school and were pretty skilled at it. At that time, I was asked to be an investor. They both had the drive and energy, and was fun watching them plant this business.

One son decided to follow his own vision in auto body collision and his love restoring muscle and vintage cars. No one can stand in the way of dreams and visions. Yet, Lane wanted this business to continue. One hears that businesses start small, like in a garage. This one started in the man cave, I like to call it. Lol  Lane confronted me after awhile and asked for a hand in the office. I agreed, and it was 30 days or so, when I decided to partner up with Lane to carry on the administration, licensing, financial, project managing, and estimating- as he ran the field, men, and installation of all projects.

What made you start your business? 
I had a vision for a coffee shop in the Black Hills- personally. See above for the finality. 

What makes your business unique?
I would say having the skills of three sons to work with at times, as well as having their skills from their father, join in at times. Also my two daughters. It is nice to have my son who owns the auto body collision business be able to paint wall and ceiling panels on a whim. It’s great to have my other son come alongside with his engineer and math skills, to work on difficult projects. One daughter also was helpful in our insurance needs - which was a plus! Our other daughter helps with real estate prospects and questions. Win! Win!

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful business owner?
~Endurance-the race is looong
~Character and value- being honest, patient, kind, dependable. Valuing our customers needs and providing a good outcome.
~Family- ongoing love and forgiveness

What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to launch their own business?
Be open- you may have a dream and vision but God may take you down a different path.

You will NOT know it all! Learning is endless and exhausting. But in a good way!

Take advice and hire out! Where you are weak- hire another who can take that weak area with their skillset to lighten your load. Expect a heavy load as a business owner. You will take in many, many hat!

Who has been your greatest inspiration? Or what book has inspired you the most? Or what is your favorite book?
My kids- all five of them- inspire me- that sounds funny, but each one has excelled after many challenges in their young years- so refreshing to see their drive and perseverance. They never give up! They are worth bragging about!!

No book has given me the knowledge, guidance, wisdom as the Bible- always amazes me when I listen to it daily- it sets my day.

How do you conquer those moments of doubt that so often stifle or trip up or stop so many?
There are many, as you said. Sometimes it’s just saying out loud - this is just hard and admitting a weak point you’re at to someone. My friends and kids all get an earful at times. Then- get back to work. I always say to myself- every problem has a solution- now find it!!!

Please feel free to share any other information that will help your audience get to know you better.
Laugh at yourself. Forgive quickly. Have fun with those who make up your business. The employees are most important to the business- get to know them and care about each of them Invest and believe. Take risks and fall. You may not “look the part”, but go where God takes you. I am a registered nurse, which I still work for Avera and have on and off since 1987. I was taught this piece of construction from my son-and went with it, with a high amount of fight and fear. A piece of advice I learned from a Zeal function 4 years ago is that there are many owners who have started and the business ended- but you never call it a failure! Anyone who starts a business has grit and has learned so much from the experience. I admire business owners past and present.

Learn more about Teri McKenney and Kenney Acoustical Tile LLC at http://www.kenneyacousticaltile.com!

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