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LaPage puts WellTrail on a path to growth

By Journal Staff

Date:

VAN BUREN  —  Kelli LaPage believes her corporate wellness company WellTrail, Inc. is ready to turn a corner.

The firm will roughly double its revenue to $380,000 this year, and LaPage feels confident enough in its growth prospects to target $1 million in revenue in 2013. WellTrail also hired its first employee outside of New York state in August — a full-time worker in Minnesota who gave it three full-time employees, including LaPage.

And if all goes as planned, LaPage wants to hire three more full-time employees by the middle of 2013.

“I feel that we are at that point where we have the process in place, we have the resources in place, we have the infrastructure in place,” she says. “It’s the perfect scenario for growth.”

WellTrail offers health risk assessments, biometric screenings, wellness credit programs, injury-prevention services, injury-management services, educational services, wellness challenges, customized progress reporting, and consulting services through people it calls WellGuides. WellGuides are health-care professionals who can assist employees following wellness programs with one-on-one guidance, support, and motivation.

That personalized approach is what makes WellTrail unique, according to LaPage. It actively helps employees participate, rather than being a passive service that requires them to find their own wellness solutions.

When LaPage founded WellTrail in 2008, the business only offered its WellGuide services. They’re still its foundation, but LaPage says she came to realize different companies she wanted to work with needed different levels of wellness programs. So she added other options, beefing up the company’s online offerings and adding options such as lunch-and-learn sessions.

The move has helped growth, she says. WellTrail is also expanding thanks to work it’s doing with Zeigler Cat, a Minneapolis–based Caterpillar construction equipment dealer with locations in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

“Zeigler Cat, we’ve been with them two-and-a-half, three years now,” LaPage says. “It grew each year. Right now we’re targeting growth around Central New York and around Zeigler’s territories in the Midwest.”

Increasing work with Zeigler Cat allowed WellTrail to hire its employee in Minnesota, LaPage says. Before that hiring, the company was relying more heavily on independent contractors, she says. It will have used three contractors this year, down from eight in 2011.

In Central New York, WellTrail’s clients include the Syracuse–based law firm Hancock Estabrook, LLP and Syracuse–headquartered Anoplate Corp., which provides metal-finishing services to industry.

LaPage runs WellTrail from 425 square feet of office space at her home at 7421 W. Dead Creek Road in Van Buren. Although she expects to lease outside office space once WellTrail has 10 employees, operating the business from her home allows her to keep her overhead costs low for now, she says.

“One of my goals for the next three years is to lease or purchase a space that I call a wellness incubator where we can house seminars and do classes for my clients and also the community,” she says. “My goal is to be saving up so we can get that space and then expand into other territories.”

 

Make Mine a Million $ Business competition

LaPage’s growth aspirations are also being fueled by recent honors from a business competition in New York City.

The competition, called Make Mine a Million $ Business, is from the New York City 501(c)(3) Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and American Express Open. It had entrants give two-minute pitches on their businesses in front of a panel of judges that included small-business experts and previous awardees.

Winners received six months of coaching from a business-accelerator program from Count Me In, among other awards. LaPage was one of 30 contestants selected from 72 entrants in the competition.

“The business-accelerator class is one of the best but one of the hardest things I have ever done,” she says. “I expected it was going to be a crash course like an MBA. What it has been is a lot of self discovery as an owner.”

 

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