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Last Update: Friday December 15, 2017

Key Idea: Leave Home to Grow

As these owners watched the business grow, they decided to move out of their homes and into commercial space.  Hindsight taught them they should have moved sooner.

Key Question:


Leave home to grow your business. Kathleen and Judy loved working from their homes but eventually ran out of space.

Q: Did moving to an office building do more for their business than just give them more space?

A: Yes. Both admitted that having an office caused them to think differently about the business. This new thinking has resulted in a much bigger company with plans to go nationwide.

Q: Does an office make an impression on customers?

A: Yes. Before they established themselves outside their homes, they would go to their customers rather than have customers come to them. This worked perfectly fine. However, now that they have office space, they invite customers and prospects to visit them and this makes a very positive impression on the customer. Also, the guides feel more professional working from this location.

Think about it

Do you want your business to stay small?  Do you prefer to work from home and avoid hiring people?  Where could you get affordable space that would position you for growth?

Clip from: Meetings America

Salt Lake City:  Meet  Kathleen Barnes and Judy Cannon.  Both of them are in love with their hometown. And, both of them separately became part time  tour guides for the tiny destination management company, Sample Salt Lake.  Then, together these two became quick studies of business operations when the owner of the business asked them to take over. With their cadre of part-time and full-time guides and planners, they all love everything about this special place.

They bought the business and changed the name to Meetings America.  They grew strong enough to win the 2002 Winter Olympics as a client.  Then, unexpectedly,  the husband of one of the guides, Ralph Johnson, made them an offer they couldn't refuse! They sold the business!

Go to the homepage and all the video for this episode...

Meetings America

Judy Cannon, former owner

210 North Redwood Road
North Salt Lake City, UT 84054

Visit our web site:

Office: 8019949000

Business Classification:
Travel Services

Year Founded: 1984

Leave Home to Grow

HATTIE: So how old were your children? Were they grown and gone or...

JUDY: They were at home, and they were high school, elementary age. And so it was sort of a hard decision, but it was tempered by the fact that I had the opportunity to work in my home.

KATHLEEN: Absolutely. It was a very compatible kind of thing in terms of our own personal lives. It worked. And we weren't torn all the time between home and business. A year ago was the first time we actually had moved out of our homes into an office, simply because we could no longer exist in our home offices. We had grown to the point where we needed more space; we had outgrown the space in our home. Had that not been the case, we'd have stayed home.

HATTIE: Because you like the home as business field.

KATHLEEN: We liked it. Absolutely.

JUDY: Yeah.

HATTIE: How did moving out of your homes change the business?

KATHLEEN: I think moving out of the home changed the entire complexion of our business. It allowed us room to expand. It allowed us some physical growth, which we needed in order to expand our business.

JUDY: I think it also gave us a psychological picture that was different than when we were in our home. We saw ourselves as bigger. Customers actually came to our office; people would visit us, clients and other people that we were outsourcing to, and there was like almost a change of attitude.

KATHLEEN: We are a unique company in that we offer a complete service, not just a segment of the meeting package. We can take a meeting, from its inception, and do everything connected with that meeting, from booking the hotel, the airlines, all of the audiovisual, the packets, the meeting materials, the registration, everything to the tours and the activities and the evening events and all of the extra things that go with a convention and meeting like...

JUDY: There aren't any companies that are meeting planners that have a full fleet of guides, like we do, that are lovely--you've seen them they're outstanding and yet can technically go ahead and take care of the registration and those kind of issues.

HATTIE: OK. So it's a one-stop shop. That's how you're going to position yourself against your competition.


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