Kingsbury Service: 2015 Kansas SBDC at FHSU Emerging Business of the Year
Sometimes the first opportunity is not always the right opportunity.
When the father/son team of Marty and Rhett Kingsbury were presented with an opportunity to buy a small business they were excited about the prospect of striking out on their own. Both had years of experience working in a larger company but still wanted to direct their own destinies.
To get help, they reached out to Pam Barton, Smith Center economic development director. She referred them to Ron Newman, director and consultant at the Kansas SBDC at FSHU.
Ron helped the Kingsburys evaluate the business opportunity. Predominantly he and the Kingsburys focused on the performance of the business that was being offered for sale. Together they realized that the business wouldn’t help the Kingsburys reach their personal and business goals in the short or long-term.
But all wasn’t lost. Both Marty and Rhett learned a great deal in the process including a more in-depth understanding of the financial aspects of owning and operating a successful small business. They were able to refocus and develop a clearer picture of what they were looking for in their future business.
Shortly after they were approached with the first opportunity a second opportunity presented itself that was a more ideal fit. With a stronger knowledge of financials and still working with Newman, the team developed a solid business plan and financials. “We were able to formulate a projected business plan to see if it was a plan that we were able to be comfortable with.”
The father/son duo obtained funding and in 2009 Marty and Rhett opened Kingsbury Service in Smith Center, Kansas.
Not unlike many small businesses they have changed their focus as they’ve found how to best serve customers in their local market. Initially, their thought process was to focus on agriculture equipment service. Over time they’ve expanded their service to work on a variety of motors from weed eaters to electric scooters to cars and trucks. “Knowing the needs of the community and to be able to focus on those needs to strengthen your business plan to provide for your community” is key, shared Rhett.
Kingsbury Service has grown the family business to now employ five full-time and one part-time family members through a shared interest and commitment to the business.
Marty and Rhett both credit the work they did with the Kansas SBDC to making their business a reality.
When we asked them what advice they’d give someone thinking about starting a business today, they had some
“Definitely don’t be afraid of taking a risk and talk to the Kansas SBDC.” – Rhett and Marty
“Make sure you have a bank that is willing to work and grow with you.” – Marty
“Don’t get discouraged when the first person you turn to for help turns down your idea of opening your business – keep your dream in focus!” – Rhett
Learn more about Kingsbury Service visit them on Facebook or call 785-686-4199.