Entrepreneurism proves habit forming for founders of firm developing new magnetic force control technology
Have you ever known anyone convicted of serial entrepreneurism?
Of course not. It's not a crime. But if it were, there are two enterprising guys in the Kansas City area who'd be serving life sentences. You won't find their mugs plastered among the FBI's ten-most-wanted at your local post office, but P.J. Piper and Joe Flynn are prime suspects in the commitment of a basic entrepreneurial philosophy: If you succeed at one business, why not try another?
At their Greenwood, Mo.-based tech firm QM Power Inc., the pair is working to develop and market a new magnetic force technology to revolutionize the way manufacturers and customers design and use electrical motors, generators and actuators. QM's new approach to magnetic technology has implications for improvements in power and industrial tools, electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, wind turbine and hydro power generation, and electric generators used by the military.
Before they joined forces in 2006 both of them ran their own businesses ... Piper as a founding partner in a nanotechnology firm producing high-performing insulation, and Flynn plying his expertise as an electrical engineer specializing in magnetic and electromagnetic devices.
Now they are running with QM Power. The new company's breakthrough motors, generators and actuators are based on a novel yet simple magnetic circuit that provides higher power, efficiency and reliability for electromagnetic applications, most often without an increase in cost, according to Flynn, chief technology officer for the company.
The circuit, which Flynn invented, is called parallel path magnetic technology—PPMT. Due to the unique arrangement of magnets, a PPMT motor generates up to four times the force for a given electrical input compared to conventional systems at low-end speeds. At variable speeds the PPMT design yields 27 percent more power.
Read the complete QM Power success story with additional photos.
Most people have heard that there is no free lunch. But this summer that might not be true for some small business owners according to Kathy Macomber, a business development specialist with MU Extension SBTDC in Barton County.
The Missouri Next-Generation Jobs Team provides talented, motivated young adults (ages 16-24), for summer employment and pays their wages.
"Small business can do good by hiring a young adult this summer and do well with additional labor with no additional wage expense," says Macomber.
In exchange, the small business provides a learning opportunity to young workers who have been matched to the position by the Next-Generation Jobs Team.
"Providing a summer work experience helps develop the next generation of trained workers and provides an additional labor resource to the business. The youths gain work experience and the ability to consider career options," says Macomber.
Both potential employers and eligible youths can sign up for the program online at transform.mo.gov/summerjobs or by calling toll free 1-800-592-6020 (available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday).
This opportunity is only available between now and Sept. 30 and some eligibility requirements apply.
A successful business is the dream of many Americans. But, did you know that according to the SBA's Office of Advocacy, more than 50 percent of businesses fail in their first four years? And one of the leading causes of failure is lack of capital.
So, what steps can you take to monitor capital and improve the odds that your business will succeed to a ripe old age?
One of the key contributors to success appears to be the owner's ability to understand and use his company's financial statements. Making it in today's business world requires more than occasionally looking at the bottom line on income statements. It involves understanding and interpreting what the income statement, balance sheet and some key financial ratios really mean to the success of a business. It involves using that information to make informed business decisions.
The first step in making good use of your financial statements is to acquire a good knowledge of what the reports are really telling you. The income statement is your best starting point. Also called a P&L, profit and loss statement or an income and expense report…it is the summary of events that happened over a period time. It provides a report of revenue and expenses and is required for tax purposes. The income statement tells how the business is doing and how profitable it is. Information from the income statement can be used to make better informed decisions about your company's pricing, margin maintenance and expense control.
The income statement is good for showing information at a point in time, but how do you know if your numbers are good or bad? One thing you can do is look at trends by comparing dollar amounts from year to year, or month to month. Another option is comparing your results with others in the same industry. The best resource for industry data is the trade association for your type of business. When that is not available, another resource is industry standard information from RMA Inc., available at most libraries, MO SBTDC offices and University of Missouri Extension centers.
Read the rest of this article on the understanding financial statements.
Moniteau County business closes environmental loop, cashes in on waste
Reducing waste is a daunting challenge for many businesses trying to go green, but Loganbill Enterprises Inc. in Moniteau County has turned waste into a profit maker. For owners Rick and Joan Loganbill there is no such thing as waste. LEI makes cedar and pine bedding materials for poultry barns. Instead of paying someone to haul off the scraps, this husband-wife team creates marketable red, mocha, black, and golden mulch from it.
"It's like a closed loop," explains Joan, "It's complete recycling because we use a by-product of our shavings to create a new product for the customer."
In addition to internally recycling their own leftovers, the Loganbills use waste wood slabs and pulpwood from nearby saw mills. Moving one step further, the Loganbills have incorporated a compost production operation into their business. Compost adds valuable nutrients and organic matter to gardens and landscaping.
"Unfortunately," Joan observes, "we can't afford to buy back the mulch we sell to turkey farms because turkey manure is too expensive."
However, the Loganbills aren't giving up that easily. They have plans to buy horse manure for their compost operation so they will be able to provide not only the shavings and the mulch for farms, but the fertilizer too. The prospect excites Joan, who takes pride in the closed recycling loop that she and her husband's business has created.
Continue reading about how Loganbill Enterprises turns waste into profit.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More small businesses are eligible for U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loans, meaning greater access to much-needed capital in this tough economy, as a result of a recently adopted temporary alternate size standard for the agency's largest lending program.
SBA's alternate size standard for its 7(a) loan program went into effect in early May and will remain through Sept. 30, 2010. As a result of the temporary change, more than 70,000 additional small businesses—including auto and RV dealerships, auto industry suppliers and others—could be eligible to apply for SBA 7(a) loan.
"This is just one more step we are taking to make sure small businesses have access to capital to keep their doors open and employees working during these tough economic times," said Karen Mills, SBA administrator. "We have seen signs that small businesses that are just outside the traditional 7(a) size standard are being shut out of the conventional lending market. This temporary change will help those businesses weather these tough times and help move our nation closer to economic recovery."
The temporary 7(a) loan size standard will parallel the standard for the agency's 504 Certified Development Company loan, and will allow businesses to qualify based on net worth and average income. The net worth for the company and its affiliates cannot be in excess of $8.5 million and average net income after federal income taxes (excluding any carry-over losses) for the preceding two completed fiscal years cannot be more than $3 million. The alternate size standard is available at the offices of The Federal Register and has been published as an interim final rule.
The temporary change to the 7(a) loan size standard is not unprecedented. SBA took similar actions in 1993, as a result of the recession of the early 1990s, and again in 2005 as part of a program aimed at helping small businesses in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This change also means more small businesses can take advantage of benefits made possible through the Recovery Act. On March 16, the SBA implemented two key provisions of the Recovery Act that raised the guarantee on 7(a) loans to 90 percent and reduced fees for borrowers. Since then, the agency has seen average weekly 7(a) loan volume increase by more than 25 percent and new SBA loans made by nearly 450 lenders who had not made loans since October 2008.
For more information about SBA's revisions to its small business size standards, visit www.sba.gov/size/indexwhatsnew.html and click on "What's New about Small Business Size Standards."
...How many small businesses are there?
In 2007, there were 27.2 million businesses in the United States, according to SBA Office of Advocacy estimates. Census data show that there were 6 million firms with employees and 20.4 million without employees in 2005. Small firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.9 percent of the 27.2 million businesses (including both employers and non-employers), as the most recent data show there were slightly more than 17,000 large businesses in 2005.
...Now you know.
Activity rate increased among many groups including immigrants, women and older Americans and in all regions except Midwest, reports Kauffman Foundation
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - New business formation increased in 2008 but, in what may be a potential harbinger of the current economic recession, U.S. entrepreneurship rates increased for the lowest-income-potential and middle-income-potential types of businesses from 2007 to 2008; it decreased for the highest-income-potential types of businesses.
This is one of the shifts in firm formation trends found in the recently released annual Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, a leading indicator of new business activity that provides the earliest documentation of new business development across the United States. Analyzing matched monthly data from the Current Population Survey since 1996, the Kauffman Index allows comparisons of new business creation over time.
"The overall pace of entrepreneurial activity did not suffer during the recession in 2008, which is great news. This is consistent with historical patterns, to the extent we understand them, which indicate that entrepreneurial activity is largely insensitive to the economic cycle," said Robert Litan, vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. "So far, at least through 2008, this pattern is holding up."
Overall, the 2008 entrepreneurial activity rate increased slightly from 2007. An average of 0.32 percent of the adult population (or 320 out of 100,000 adults) created a new business each month—representing approximately 530,000 new businesses per month—as compared to 0.30 percent in 2007. While entrepreneurial activity has remained generally consistent over the past decade, the Kauffman Index points out important shifts in the demographic and geographic composition of new entrepreneurs across the country.
Read the remaining key findings.
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