Art in Iron: 2015 Kansas SBDC at PSU Emerging Business of the Year
Mike Hill has a love for metal art which he developed into a business idea— Art In Iron.
As he began his ornamental ironwork business in 2012 in Garnett he realized he needed assistance in getting pointed in the right direction from the beginning. That’s when he contacted the Kansas SBDC at Pittsburg State University and began working with consultant Tom Byler. With Tom’s help, Mike developed a business plan which he admits resulted in starting an entirely different business than he originally envisioned, but found the process very educational. In addition to assisting with the business plan, Tom assisted with obtaining financing for the startup, equipment purchasing decisions, and most recently UPC barcode licensing.
Today Mike has a growing business in a tough economic environment. One of the challenges he continually faces is creating products efficiently with a decent margin. When he “gets it right” he considers this a great success. Because of the outside support he has utilized, he has been able to avoid certain pitfalls with Art In Iron by anticipating problems before they happen.
Mike also attributes the success of his small business, Art In Iron, to finding something that the large companies cannot do. Small businesses such as his can be nimble, creative and quick to adapt to changing markets and the business environment.
As for his advice to other potential small business owners, Mike shares:
“Don’t be afraid to change the business plan radically if needed since it is just a guide.”
“Be incredibly careful with startup capital as it will be gone quicker than expected. If every penny is not watched carefully, the business can be in trouble before the owner realizes it.”
“View every new person met as an opportunity to do business, and to actively expand their network daily.”
Learn more about Art in Iron on Facebook, at hillforge.com, or by calling 785-304-0825.