ADDRESS: 262 NW Polk Ave, Corvallis, OR
OWNER: Kay Dee Cole
YEARS IN BUSINESS: Nearly 3
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 1 part-time
WHAT THEY SELL: Financial Planning
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Sound financial advice and education charged by the hour, which is almost unheard of.
Kay Dee Cole is a Corvallis native who knows the community well. A Certified Financial Planner, Kay Dee founded Clarity Wealth Development—a firm that focuses on planning for individuals, families, and businesses. Whether the client is planning for retirement, savings, estate planning, saving for college or making other financial decisions, Kay Dee helps her clients face those decisions with confidence.
Kay Dee, when and why did you decide to start your business? I started this business in October of 2010. I was working for another financial services firm in the area that wasn’t as focused on financial planning and helping people as I would have liked. I wanted my independence in order to help people the way I felt it was needed.
Tell us more about your services. I offer financial planning, by the hour or by assets under management. It really depends on your needs. My hourly approach is rather unique. I offer objective advice with a holistic approach to planning. I provide personal service and education to help you develop a solid strategy.
What are your specialties and favorites? I love the opportunity and the challenge of sitting down with a family and mapping out a personalized strategy for them to meet their goals, and then watching them achieve those goals.
What does being featured as the Local Business of the Week mean to you? For the small, independent businesses, the local awareness campaign is important. It is difficult to budget the cost of marketing, so any exposure is very much appreciated. I enjoy reading about other businesses and am grateful that I’m now being featured as the Business of the Week.
What challenges have you faced as an independent local business owner? Economies of scale, which is a practical concept. Basically, size matters. I chose Corvallis for its livability and family ties, but the challenge with a smaller community is that there aren’t as many opportunities for business growth as in larger cities. I don’t have much in the way of an advertising budget, so local contacts and referrals are what I rely on.
What do you feel is the impact of local independent businesses on Corvallis? It’s great that we have this many local, independent businesses in Corvallis. The money stays locally and the support is enormous.
What is your relationship to the community? I have a committed relationship with Corvallis. I grew up here, graduated from CHS and OSU, left for a time, and then chose to return here. I’m a member of Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, CIBA, and am a strong supporter of the Benton County 4-H program.
How many people do you employ? have one part time employee, Emily Schroff. My goal is to grow the business and have a couple more planners join me in my office.
How important is sustainability to you? Sustainability is growing a business that is continuing to thrive in a local economy. Having a good business model that keeps strong through all business cycles is sustainability.
Please give us your one-sentence take-away message about your business.
I hope my clients see how much I truly enjoy financial planning and feel confident about the plans they have with me. As a cancer survivor, I believe in financial planning and hope to help others be prepared for whatever life throws at you.
(Interview and article by Debra Hascall – June 16, 2013)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).