Small Business Success: On Being Nimble

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.

Assisted by
Tom Byler, KSBDC Consultant
Kansas SBDC at PSU
Chanute. PSU KSBDC NCCC Outreach
620.431.2820×285 | pittstate.edu/bti/sbdc
tbyler@pittstate.edu

Small Business Success: Advanced Advice

Advanced Systems Homes, Inc.: 2015 Kansas SBDC at PSU Emerging Business of the Year

Advanced Systems Homes, Inc. – a custom modular home building business – has been building new homes for customers in a 100-mile radius of Chanute, Kansas, for over 40 years.

Their overall business goal is to continue to be a leader in their field and grow into new areas of business.

After several years of dealing with a stagnant economy, and with housing in a major slump, the Luebbering family owners (father Stanley and sons Darin and Scott), felt the need to look for outside consulting to help them grow the business. That’s when they started working with Kansas SBDC consultant Tom Byler.

Tom worked with the team by evaluating the company’s financial information, marketing efforts, and ideas for improving efficiency in all areas of the business. Tom also introduced the idea of the team working with a business coaching pilot project of the regional Prosperity Foundation.  The project allowed Darin to bring in MORF Consulting at reduced cost to the company to help them delve deeper into operational areas that Tom had helped the owners identify. Tom still continues to work in collaboration with the MORF team and Advanced System owners as needed to make progress on their plans to improve efficiency as they work toward growing the business.

The secret to our success is hard work. We have a saying around here that we live by: You can’t finish if you don’t get started, so let’s get to work. Darin Luebbering

We asked the team at Advanced what their advice would be for themselves and for others interested in venturing out on their own. Here’s what they shared:

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself before purchasing/opening/expanding your small business? “Learn the financial aspect of running a business early on. Being a hard worker and expert at your craft is not enough, you also need to have a good understanding of the financial side.”

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting a business today? “Becoming a professional at a specific job is very important in starting a business.  Learning a trade, or becoming a professional manager while working for another business is very helpful before stepping out on your own. Understanding the financial side of business is also very important.  If you do not know how to read a financial statement, then you will not be able to understand your business and how to run it efficiently.”

What advice would you give to someone currently in business today? “Work hard. Listen to your customers and strive to give them what they want.”

Learn more about Advanced Systems Homes at advancedststemshomes.com, on Facebook, or by calling 1-800-444-9652.

Assisted by
Tom Byler, regional director and consultant
KSBDC at PSU
Pittsburg. PSU KSBDC | 620.235.4920
pittstate.edu/bti/sbdc
ksbdc@pittstate.edu

Kansas SBDC to recognize 16 successful Kansas small businesses

[Press Release]

HAYS, Kansas — The Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC) statewide network has announced the 2015 Existing and Emerging Businesses of the Year. Each of the eight Kansas SBDC regional centers have selected one emerging and one existing business for the award.

In total, 16 Kansas small businesses will be recognized at a ceremony in Topeka on Tuesday, March 10. The businesses were selected from more than 2,392 businesses that received Kansas SBDC services in 2014.

“The selected businesses were given careful consideration by our Kansas SBDC regional directors and consultants,” said Greg Panichello, Kansas SBDC state director.” Collectively, the Kansas SBDC team feels these 16 small businesses are excellent examples of small business innovation, growth, and success in the midst of economic recovery.”

For the evening celebration, Jared Broyles, KSNT News Anchor/Reporter, will serve as this year’s Master of Ceremonies.

 

Existing Businesses of the Year

Garden City Propane, Dennis and Risa DeVaney, Garden City

CS Gas, Inc., Karen Horinek, Atwood

Leading Edge Aerospace, LLC, Stan Unruh, Wichita

The Merchant, Lisa Boyd, Topeka

The Walter’s Farm, Becky and Carroll Walters, Burns

McDonald Marketing, Brad McDonald, Bonner Springs

Enhanced HomeCare, LLC, Randy Block and Cindy Singer, Overland Park

Advanced Systems Homes, Inc., Darin Luebbering, Chanute

 

Emerging Businesses of the Year

Women’s Specialists of Liberal, PA, Dr. Lamberto Flores, Liberal

Kingsbury Service, Marty and Rhett Kingsbury, Smith Center

ReJuvv’ Spa, Tracie Gordon, Winfield

Kansas Regenerative Medicine Center, LLC, John Farley, Manhattan

Flint Hills Music, Thomas Silkman, Emporia

Cat Clinic of Lawrence, Dr. Jennifer O’Driscoll

Velo+ Maps Coffee, Vincent Rodriguez, Lenexa

Art in Iron, Mike Hill, Garnett

About Kansas Small Business Development Center

The Kansas SBDC network provides existing Kansas small businesses, start-ups, and pre-venture entrepreneurs with no-cost business consulting, low- and no-cost training, and resources for every stage of the business life cycle.

The Kansas SBDC network is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the state of Kansas. The network receives funding from and partners with higher education and economic development organizations. The Kansas SBDC is nationally accredited through America’s Small Business Development Centers. The statewide host for Kansas SBDC is Fort Hays State University.

For more information on the Kansas SBDC Network, visit kansassbdc.net or call 877-625-7232.

 

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If you’d like more information about this event, please contact Lisa Roberts at 785-296-6514 or lsroberts@ksbdc.net

Program facilitators in Kansas needed

searching for facilitators

Good facilitation is like beauty or even leadership, hard to describe but you know it when you see it. – Tim Fulton, nationally recognized consultant and advocate for small business

 

The Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC) network is actively seeking program facilitators for small business education programs delivered throughout the year. Some programs are one day or less in length; others involve a series of programs delivered over several weeks.

At the Kansas SBDC our focus is on growing Kansas entrepreneurs. Our program attendees will be entrepreneurs, small business owners and decision makers, as well as other individuals that work within the small business and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Kansas.

Do you have what it takes to facilitate some great events? We need program facilitators with the following qualifications:

 * extensive small business/entrepreneurial experience

* experience leading business teams

* a belief that the smartest people in the room are the participants

* an ability to be very flexible with the structure of the learning process

* a willingness to challenge participants in the programs

* a comfort level with being vulnerable

*desire to make a profound difference through entrepreneurship

We need program facilitators with the following skills:

*active listening

*guiding focused discussion

*guiding groups toward an agreed-upon set of outcomes

*helping groups define outcomes – set priorities

*people management

If this sounds like you, please contact Lisa Roberts at 785.296.6514 or email lsroberts@ksbdc.net.

 

Audrey Spirit, LLC

audrey spirit

Audrey Spirit LLC is an inspiring example of a business born out of passion, need, and love.

In 2011, Donna Yadrich lost her beloved 15-year-old daughter, Audrey Grace, from complications of serious medical problems.  Although appreciative of the tremendous care Audrey received during her countless hospitalizations, Donna observed that generic hospital gowns stripped young patients of their youthful attitude and personal dignity.  Street wear worn in the hospital required a nurse to unhook and re-hook medical lines just to change in to a clean shirt.  During Audrey’s final hospitalization, Donna made customized t-shirts that were both “hospital-friendly” and also expressed Audrey’s spunky personality. After 25 years in the medical field, Donna experienced a lapse in employment after Audrey’s death.  That is when Donna decided to launch Audrey Spirit LLC, a clothing manufacturer that continues her daughter’s mission – to make difficult times that hospital patients face as personable, comfortable and empowering as possible.

The first line of Audrey Spirit apparel includes xamtees™; these therapeutic t-shirts help nurses get around invasive medical devices without having to disconnect them or contort the patient’s body into uncomfortable positions.  Most importantly, the clothing looks “normal.”  Donna worked with an apparel designer to develop original, patent-pending designs for high quality garments that are comfortable and useful in medical environments.

With the help of the JCCC KSBDC, Audrey Spirit LLC marked its first commercial sale of xamtee™ therapeutic garments to a local children’s hospital in 2013. Donna explained that “without the support and guidance of the KSBDC, I would not have found a U.S. manufacturer to produce the garments that are being worn today by children fighting cancer and other critical illnesses.”  Donna has been meeting with Elisa Waldman of the KSBDC on a regular basis since 2012.  According to Donna, “Elisa provides an unmatched dimension of practical and visionary support for my small business.”

Convincing seasoned healthcare professionals to support a new venture, like Audrey Spirit LLC, and to embrace an innovative new product is challenging in the healthcare industry. Donna spent many months forging relationships within the healthcare system. She organized beta tests and meticulously surveyed patients, nurses, and doctors to gather feedback and suggestions for improvement of xamtee™ t-shirts.  Now that the t-shirts are available for sale, Donna continues to champion the needs of her customers by seeking payment for Audrey Spirit xamtee™   through medical insurance.

Donna has taken full advantage of KSBDC offerings including QuickBooks courses, business plan review, and in-depth assessment of financial goals and projections. Donna believes that “having the confidence through preparation and the numbers to support my financial projections directly reflects the efforts of the KSBDC. Elisa required me to stop avoiding unknown details and create a five-year sales plan. As a result, Audrey Spirit LLC won a $5000 award in a local pitch contest!”

Donna is an outstanding example of an entrepreneur who is succeeding as a result of determination, hard work, persistence, and the support of seasoned professionals. When Donna is asked for advice from new business owners, she always tells them that “every obstacle is an opportunity.” Donna truly practices this advice, and she remains busy identifying opportunities and designing future medical industry products worthy of Audrey’s legacy.

About Audrey Spirit
Owner:  Donna Macan Yadrich
Nature of Business:  Therapeutic Garment Manufacturer
City: Kansas City, Kansas
County: Wyandotte
Phone/website: (913) 980-6282   www.audreyspirit.com

About our consultant Elisa Waldman

Elisa Waldman brings her past experiences as an attorney and a retail store owner to her current position as a consultant for the Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC) at JCCC. Prior to joining the Kansas SDBC in 2005, Elisa earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her law degree from George Washington University. Elisa practiced law in the Kansas City area with a focus on land use and business litigation, and she worked as the Advocacy Manager and in-house Counsel for the Academy of General Dentistry in Chicago, Illinois. While in Chicago, Elisa also taught as an adjunct professor at DePaul University Law School. She is currently an Adjunct Instructor of Business Law at Johnson County Community College.

Elisa left the practice of law to pursue her creative and entrepreneurial interests by opening Paint Glaze & Fire, Inc., a retail paint-your-own pottery studio in Overland Park. Elisa opened her small business with the assistance of the Kansas SBDC.  During her eight years of ownership, Elisa was responsible for all areas of business operations including marketing, finance, technical training, employee relations and customer service. In 2000, Elisa opened Successful Studio Consulting Inc. and has assisted over 200 pottery studios in opening their doors throughout the United States and Canada. Upon selling her studio, Elisa joined the Kansas SBDC as a full-time consultant.

Art In Iron

art in iron

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. art in iron

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. His advice to other potential small business owners is

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.

His advice to small business owners is to view every new person met as an opportunity to do business, and to actively expand their network daily.

SECRET TO SUCCESS

View every new person met as an opportunity to do business.–Mike Hill

About Art in Iron
Owner: Mike Hill
Nature of Business: Ornamental Ironwork
City, County: Garnett, Crawford County
Phone: 785-304-0825
Website: Hillforge 

Meet our consultant Tom Byler 

tom byler kansas sbdcTom Byler splits his time working as a consultant with the Kansas SBDC at PSU and ESU working out of his office in Chanute. Tom has expertise in sales development, manufacturing, and organizational management. He enjoys working behind the scenes with his small business clients and visibly supports their success. Tom  can be reached at: tbyler@pittstate.edu or 620-431-2820 ext 285.

Entrepreneurship at work in Garnett

Kansas SBDC client success story: HayesBrand Molding in Garnett, Kansas

With experience working in the plastics business most of his life, Gary Hayes decided to start a business of his own using his knowledge and expertise.

As HayesBrand Molding, his dream was, and continues to be, for his family to carry on his legacy in this field. HayesBrand growth has led to full family involvement in the business and continues to fuel its successful growth. Gary’s daughter Marci, and son-in-law Shane, have helped Gary realize his dream while Gary’s wife Cheryl, and youngest daughter Jessi, have joined HayesBrand as the business has expanded to its current level of 12 full-time employees.

Entrepreneurship at Work

HayesBrand was drawn to the KSBDC with the purpose of gaining additional knowledge and recommendations on methods to improve the business. The Kansas SBDC at PSU in Chanute provided expert consulting and connected the team with other resources that could identify, analyze, and evaluate potential business opportunities. Economic Gardening and Innovation Engineering were two key tools that provided help. As a result of in-depth market research, HayesBrand added a new packing and shipping business to their company’s service offers.

HayesBrand stays current on changes in their industry, seeks guidance from peer companies that been successful in their fields, and keeps an open mind to expanding outside their core. This Garnett, Kansas, company stays active in the community and raises the level of awareness of other businesses in the area to promote and support entrepreneurship in Kansas.

HAYESBRAND SECRET TO SUCCESS

“Retain pride, yet allow downfalls; remain humble and appreciate your upraising. Who we are today came from the growth we went through yesterday. And with honest integrity, success is inevitable in this life. We call this our family business.”

It’s about knowing the right time

right time to start a businessThey say that timing is everything. We’d add that knowing the right time to start a business is priceless.

Rafael Figueroa know that he wanted to not only be successful in business and provide better for his family; he wanted to leave his own legacy.

He knew he wanted to use his skills and experience working with a regional heating and refrigeration company to start his own business. He had the industry knowledge and knew what it took to do the actual skill work of the business, but to be successful, he recognized that it would take learning the business side of things.

He had heard a little about the Kansas SBDC through Liberal Area Chamber of Commerce in Liberal, Kansas and on the radio and decided to contact Mike O’Kane with the Kansas SBDC at GCCC in Liberal. He didn’t know where to start and needed some help. Working with O’Kane, he quickly learned what he’d need to not only get the business started, but what it would take to make it successful. Because HVAC is a highly-regulated industry O’Kane took the time early on to work with Figueroa to research all the licensing and certifications necessary to operate the business.

After their initial work together Figueroa decided that the timing wasn’t ideal. And, while it’s tough for many individuals wanting to get started, he waited patiently until the timing was right.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Stay motivated, keep a positive mind set and be proactive in growing your business.–Rafael Figueroa

Figueroa didn’t give up his dream. Instead, he used the time to acquire his Master’s Certificate in Mechanical Contracting – something that by working with O’Kane early on he realized he’d need to obtain a City of Liberal business license. He used the time to save additional money and increase his owner’s equity so he wouldn’t have to take out any loans to get the business started.

When Figueroa was ready to launch he felt confident contacting O’Kane again to get help with the process.

Together they got the ball rolling and quickly obtained an FEIN and applied for the Kansas Department of Revenue sales tax certificate. They discussed record keeping and payment solutions as well as the overall organization of the business. Early on he decided to hire an accountant for bookkeeping, freeing his time to concentrate on working at the business.

In addition to the free consulting provided by O’Kane, Figueroa took advantage of the “Steps to Start-Up” seminar led by O’Kane at the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School and where O’Kane’s office is located.

Working together to get Heco Heating and Cooling off the ground in Liberal, Kansas, has been rewarding for both men.

Figueroa believes that by waiting for the right time to open his business he was successful from the start. By working with the Kansas SBDC and Mike O’Kane he was better prepared by realizing early on the timing wasn’t right. And for O’Kane this was great to experience. “It’s rewarding to see an entrepreneur plan for their business before they open and to see him become successful,” shared O’Kane. “I think Rafael is a great example for aspiring entrepreneurs who have recognized that they needed help and asked for it, used recommendations, and works hard and plans for growth in his business.”

And success has been good for the Liberal community. Since opening in 2013, Figueroa has purchased two service trucks and grown to add four full-time employees.

Figueroa has some great advice for other entrepreneurs, “Don’t be afraid to get help from a professional. Don’t hesitate to get started.” And for individuals currently in business today, “Stay motivated, keep a positive mind set and be proactive in growing your business.” Figueroa shared his keys to success: “Self-motivation, drive, follow your own road.”

 

About HECO Heating and Cooling

Business Owner: Rafael Figueroa
Nature of business: HVAC
Business: Heco Heating and Cooling
1510 N Fairview Ave
Liberal, KS 67901
City, County: Liberal, Seward County
Phone: 620-253-2123
Website: http://hecoheatingandcooling.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HecoHeatingAndCooling

 

About our consultant

Mike O'KaneMike O’Kane | consultant with Kansas SBDC at SCCC/ATS in Liberal

Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Ft. Hays State University. He has 35 years’ experience in retail management and operations, including the position of President for two retail companies and is himself a former small business owner. Mike has expertise in sales, financial management and analysis, and cash flow projections.

Mike enjoys working with small businesses to help them start, run and grow their business. He can be reached at mike.okane@sccc.edu or 620-417-1955

Hey Machinery Company, Inc.

Hey Machinery Company, Inc.

Any business that has been around for 85 years clearly has the ability to stand the test of time.  Hey Machinery Company, Inc., also known as Hey Wheel, has spanned four generations of family owners so far. Hey Wheel sells re-purposed aircraft tires for off-highway, agricultural use.  They also manufacture rims and centers.  Their products can be found on tractors, grain carts, feed wagons, and other agricultural implements all over the country.

Will Hey started the business in 1929.  Mr. Hey was a dealer for International Harvester, who also did custom threshing, house moving, lumber sawing, and anything else he needed to do to make the business go in the early days.  In 1938, Will Hey mounted an aircraft tire to a rim to be used off-highway, which proved to be a key development.

The business has been located on its current Baldwin City site since 1962.  Right around that time, Hey Wheel manufactured their first bolt-together wheel, which expanded the potential uses of aircraft tires.  Rather than disposing of  tires that don’t pass rigorous pre-flight inspection, Hey Wheel makes it possible for farmers and OEMs to use these tires, cost-effectively, in ways that make sense.

Long-standing family businesses face a number of unique challenges.  Hey Wheel approached the Kansas Small Business Development Center at the University of Kansas (Kansas SBDC at KU) for assistance with valuation and family succession/transition issues.

“Our KSBDC Consultant was easy to work with and completed a difficult assignment for us in a timely fashion,“ according to Bob Hey.  With careful planning, hard work, and the right assistance, Hey Wheel plans to be around to celebrate even more birthdays.

SECRET TO SUCCESS

 In our business, customer relationships are everything.  Whether it’s farmers or OEMs, we pride ourselves on meeting customers’ needs in the areas of price, quality, and delivery time. –John Hey

About Hey Machinery Company, Inc.

Owners: Bob Hey, John Hey, Bryan Hey
Nature of Business: Wheels, rims, aircraft tires for agricultural use
City, County: Baldwin City, Douglas
Phone: (785) 594-3441
Website: Hey Wheel

About our consultant Will Katz | Kansas SBDC regional director and consultant

Will has undWill Katz Kansas SBDC at KUergraduate majors in Philosophy and Russian to go along with an MBA and CVA (certified valuation analyst). Will has expertise in valuation, financial analysis, and non-traditional sources of capital. He loves working with small businesses because each one is a unique snowflake and a novel learning opportunity.  Will loves playing guitar, riding motorcycles, and spending time with his family.

Will can be reached at willkatz@ku.edu or 785-843-8844.

 

The American Dream is alive and well in Cottonwood Falls

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The American Dream is alive in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas

The American Dream is still alive. Living where you want to live. Working where you want to work. Many of us dream about it, a select few of us make it happen.

“I’ve been a mechanic all my life and had gained experience and expertise over the years. I saw an opportunity in my community to buy an existing mechanic shop and along with this, an opportunity to make a living in my home community without having to drive to a job away from home every day,” shared Dustin Maddox. “I knew I had the expertise to provide excellent service and saw the chance to own a business of my own.”

For Dusty, this dream became a possibility when he heard that the local automotive repair shop was for sale.

To find out not only what was involved in buying the business, but to decide what a fair price for the business would be and what it would take to be successful he would need some help. Dusty had heard about the Chase County E-Communities program. The Chase County E-Communities program is a program offered by the Chase County Economic Development, Inc Committee to encourage entrepreneurial activity in Chase County. It was created through a Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship Tax Credit program in 2008. Qualifying entrepreneurial projects may include start-up businesses, as well as existing business purchases and/or expansions.

To potentially take advantage of the low-interest loans offered by the e-communities program and evaluate the opportunity to purchase the existing automotive repair shop in Cottonwood Falls, Dusty knew he would need help to get his plans on paper and with the application. To get help he contacted the Kansas SBDC at ESU in Emporia and began working with Lisa Brumbaugh, regional director and consultant. Lisa was the perfect consultant for Dusty’s needs. She had extensive expertise in financing, the process of buying and selling businesses, as well as business valuation – a key to determining initially the value of the purchase.

Lisa provided consulting free-of-charge to Dusty and together they worked on his plans and financial projections. They dug deep into analyzing the market he’d be serving, how he’d maximize billable hours, what taxes the business would be responsible for, and critical expense estimates associated with running the business. They left no stone unturned and investigated everything he’d need upfront to avoid any later surprises.

Several solutions and quite a bit of insight can be generated as part of the business transition (buy/sell) consulting process. Kansas SBDC consultants work with potential buyers of existing businesses to determine a range of purchase prices using recognized evaluation standards. Then as consultants they evaluate how this price range would impact future cash flow of the business helping the client, or potential future buyer, determine if and what is feasible to pay for the purchase. Consultants work with clients to estimate potential fluctuations in sales due to seasonality, what form of legal ownership would work best, and what types of items to be aware of during the actual business buy/sell transaction (i.e. sales contracts needed, list of assets being purchased, etc.). Future profit/loss and cash flow projections often become a make or break point for the buyer to determine if financially the business, once purchased, can be successful.

Lisa worked with Dusty guiding him through the process. She knew that he’d benefit greatly by getting his plans on paper and she could help him out tremendously by pointing out things he may not have thought about as a future business owner.

By working on financial projections early on Dusty was better prepared to not only own the business, but purchase it at a fair price. And on March 10, 2014, Dusty’s Repair went from dream to reality.

Dusty was able to successfully transition the business for himself and his community. The business has surpassed all income projections. The community now has a mechanic and general welder available full-time five days per week. An increase over the previous limited service hours provided by the business he purchased.

And Dusty’s family wins too. The Maddox family can raise their three children in a community they love.

Now what made this truly a success was something you probably don’t hear often. Dusty knew he wanted to own a business in his community, but he was very realistic about his expectations and was not stuck on owning this business at any cost. He wanted it to work the way it should and was prepared to walk away if realistic projections didn’t prove the business could be financially feasible.

By reaching out and getting help and being prepared to walk away, Dusty laid the groundwork to build a long-term successful and a needed business in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas.

Dusty’s Repair is a perfect example of what a small business can mean to a community, how much a community can lend its support through e-community financing, and a supportive local bank. It’s the story of how a small town rural Kansas resident can find a way to live and work in his own community and realize the American Dream.

Dusty’s keys to success:

“Be known and trusted by people in your community. And have a great location that’s visible from the highway and easily accessible.”

About Dusty’s Repair:

Business owner: Dustin Maddox

Business name: Dusty’s Repair LLC

Address: 101 Union St, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845

Phone: 620-273-8693

About Kansas SBDC consultant

Lisa Brumbaugh, Kansas SBDC at ESU regional director, shares her industry knowledge and experience by consulting in addition to managing the regional center. Lisa has expertise in financial analysis, business valuation, business planning, and business transition. Lisa can be reached at lbrumbau@emporia.edu or 620-341-5308.