Hard work grows a business

hard work grows a business

Dexter Pfeifer, owner of Pfeifer Landscaping, has demonstrated how hard work can grow a business. He created the business because of his love of landscaping and desire to own something of his own. What started as a passion has developed into a full-fledged landscaping business with a complete list of services including, but not limited to installing and repairing sprinkler systems, lawn maintenance, and landscape design. During the colder months, the business even offers snow removal services.

The business is located in Colby, Kansas, but has expanded to serve much of Northwest Kansas. Mr. Pfeifer reflects, “The greatest challenge was getting started.” His Kansas SBDC consultant sat down with him and went through the business plan and loan process step-by-step. “It taught me a lot about business and marketing I did not know before. It helped me look at the business at a different angle,” explained the owner.

Mr. Pfeifer is constantly surprised by the demand for services. One of his biggest successes has been the positive response to the business’ quality work. Even as the business grows, Dexter is planning for future expansion. His advice for budding entrepreneurs, “Make sure your heart is in it. Make sure this is something you want to put 80-100 hours a week into and still wake up with a smile on your face, ready to go to work.”


“Working hard. When it comes down to the business you don’t have any days off. you learn from your mistakes and get better the next day.”

Owner: Dexter Pfeifer

Nature of Business: Landscaping Service

City, County: Colby, KS

Phone/E-mail: (785) 462-0134  /  pfeiferlandscaping@gmail.com

Structure: Sole Proprietorship:

Began: 2012

Employees: 3 full-time, 3 part-time

KSBDC Consultant: Megan Horinek

Get to Know the Consultant:

Selection Process Guidelines for a Job Candidate

photo of job candidate selection process

After conducting effective job candidate interviews, it’s time to select the candidates you believe will provide the best possible match for the job duties and culture of your small business.

And, as we both know, this is no easy task. And it can be very expensive.

Did you know that a study by the Society for Human Resource Management estimated that it can cost a company $3,500 to replace an employee that is only paid $8 an hour? When a business makes a bad hire, this can cost the company not only thousands of dollars in wages, time spent training, etc., but can introduce a candidate that may negatively affect the workplace through lost production, performance, and more.

So, how do we lay the groundwork for a good selection process that increases the likelihood of a good hire and reduces the chance for a bad hire?

Here are a few guidelines that can serve as a basis to ensure you hire the right person from the beginning and utilize a fair selection process.

  • Anchor yourself to the hiring criteria. In the selection process, it’s important that the hiring criteria you first established serves as a strict guide throughout the evaluation process. It’s acceptable to change the criteria, but the changes made shouldn’t be done to better accommodate one of the candidates in particular.
  • Avoid “top of mind” syndrome. Stay alert to any unnecessary factors that can cause distortion may help you avoid selecting some candidates over others for the wrong reasons. An example of “top of mind” syndrome might be selecting a candidate that was interviewed later in the hiring process because he is fresher in the minds of the interviewer and not because he was more qualified than another.
  • Make checking references a priority. Inform the candidate that you’ll be checking references. This could help ensure that the answers the candidate provides during the interview are truthful. Also, checking references yourself is a great way to gain insight from a former supervisor on how to best manage the individual should they become your employee.
  • Administer pre-employment tests. These tests can help determine if an applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position and can be a good prediction for how the applicant will perform and behave in the workplace.
  • Run a background check on the potential candidate. This is done to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews. There are many different pre-employment background checks that can be done, however, a word of caution, it’s important to know the laws governing these background checks to avoid any legal issues.

The selection process can be long and difficult with loads of responsibility for the recruiter in charge of making the final decision. While we’ve provided a few guidelines that can help ease the selection process, remember there is much more information that can be discussed about this process.

There are many local consulting services that can help a business out with the selection process including the Kansas Small Business Development Center and the Management Development Center. Other general websites including the Society for Human Resource Management, Workforce, and the conversational HR Bartender blog can provide tips and ideas as well.


About our Author

Saul Sanchez is a Human Resources undergraduate student studying at Fort Hays State University. He blends his classroom education with real world learning working with FHSU’s Management Development Center (MDC) as a student intern. He takes his learning one step further by guest blogging about small business HR issues via a co-operative learning opportunity developed between the FHSU MDC and the Kansas SBDC.

Dr. Mirta M. Martin to begin her FHSU Presidency on July 1

Board of Regents names new president in special meeting on Fort Hays State University campus

[Notification from FHSU, 05/02/14]

Today, the Kansas Board of Regents announced Dr. Mirta M. Martin as the ninth president of Fort Hays State University. The Board voted to approve the appointment and officially introduced the new president during a special meeting in the Fort Hays Ballroom of the Memorial Union on the FHSU campus.

Martin will begin her presidency on July 1.

“Selecting a president is about identifying the person that fits the university. In assessing the candidates, we focused on who would embrace and enhance the traditions and achievements of Fort Hays State University,” said Fred Logan, chair of the Regents. “The Kansas Board of Regents is fully supportive of this new president and the direction she will lead Fort Hays State University into the future.”

Mirta M. Martin, Ph.D. (first name pronounced MEER-tah), has served as dean of the Reginald F. Lewis School of Business at Virginia State University since 2009. She has also held various higher education leadership positions throughout her career such as special assistant to the chancellor, executive vice president and associate dean, among other positions. Dr. Martin received her Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Richmond, Richmond, Va., and a Bachelor of Science from Duke University.

“The future of the nation lies in the pursuit of academic excellence,” said Martin. “Progress is not possible without vision, leadership, and trust. As your president, my priority is to enable you to become your best self.” She continued, “I believe my selection as president is an affirmation of the Regents’ and Fort Hays State University’s commitment to entrepreneurial leadership, opportunity, diversity, and innovation.”

“Dr. Mirta Martin is the personification of the American dream,” said Logan. “She has been successful in every challenge she has ever faced. She will be successful at Fort Hays State University.”

Following the Board’s announcement, Martin and her husband, John, were introduced to members of the FHSU and Hays communities during a reception.

The announcement of Martin comes after five months of work by the FHSU Presidential Search Committee. Members of the committee received public recognition for their efforts.

“A special thank you to the members of the FHSU Presidential Search Committee,” said Logan. “These individuals made a commitment to help the board find the best candidates from around the nation to lead this fine institution and we recognize that commitment today in naming the ninth president of Fort Hays State University.”

For more information, contact Breeze Richardson at 785-291-3969 or brichardson@ksbor.org, or the Fort Hays State University Office of University Relations at 785-628-4206 or universityrelations@fhsu.edu.

About the Kansas Board of Regents: The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (seven public universities, 19 community colleges and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, and career and technical education programs. The Board also authorizes private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas, and administers the Kan-ed network, a program for facilitating and promoting distance learning and telemedicine in schools, libraries and hospitals. Visit the Kansas Board of Regents online at www.kansasregents.org.

An article announcing Dr. Martin as a finalist was previously published by the Hays Post.

The statewide host for the Kansas SBDC is Fort Hays State University.