Jacob Condon, co-owner of Broyles Transfer and Storage in Kirksville, didn't follow a conventional path to business success.
He didn't earn an MBA. In fact, his major wasn't in business but in English from Truman State University in Kirksville, earned in 2005.
His most recent professional experience wasn't with a local banker or CPA, either, but one of the largest and most geographically dispersed entities in the world.
Condon recently returned from Qatar, an oil-rich emirate on the Persian Gulf, where he served as a first lieutenant with the 175th Military Police Battalion, providing critical site security, convoy escort missions, transportation and other duties on U.S. military bases.
And the road less taken doesn't stop there. Condon didn't stick close to his home in Minnesota to start a business. Before he and his wife, Heather, bought Broyles Transfer and Storage, he was working in Ottumwa, Iowa, commuting 65 miles one way each day. They agreed that was too far and began looking for something closer to Kirksville.
Heather, a Truman State University psychology major and realtor with the Century 21 Whitney Agency in Kirksville (who also does bookkeeping for the transfer and storage business), knew that Broyles was on the market. The couple approached the owner, who agreed to sell. They in turn agreed to keep the firm's name.
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Learn about small business resources for veterans.
The temperature in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the hometown of Nilson Goez, CEO and president of Infinite Energy Construction, is a balmy 75 degrees. It's spring.
In Kansas City, Infinite Energy Construction's home, it's a cold and rainy fall day with temperatures hovering around the 40-degree mark.
Goez didn't come here for the weather, however, but for a doctorate. And he got much more: a family, an established place in the community and a vibrant, multi-million dollar general construction business with contracts from such vendors as Whiteman Air Force Base in Sedalia, Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and Fort Irwin in southern California.
Goez didn't start life as a construction executive. He comes from a poor family in Brazil that valued education, and he took advantage of the opportunities that came his way. Those included earning two degrees in electrical engineering — a bachelor's degree from the Universidade Federal do Pará (the university of the state of Pará, north of Rio) and then a master's degree from the Escola Federal de Engenharia (Federal Engineering School) in Itajuba state, west of Rio. He had such drive that he then flew all the way to chilly Missouri to earn a PhD in electrical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology.
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You have a great idea for a new business or for expanding an existing business. You could strike off on your own. Or you could take a FastTrac course through the MO SBTDC. FastTrac courses are offered to address the needs of start-up and existing companies and can help you at any stage of the entrepreneurial journey.
If you have an idea for a business but need a plan, FastTrac New Venture is for you. In this series, participants look at all aspects of a proposed company, exploring the feasibility of the business concept and how to develop a viable business plan. Participants also learn about start-up issues and how to address competitors, legal matters, marketing and financial management. Participants don't just learn about business, they work on their own business endeavors throughout the course. And MO SBTDC counselors are available to help long after the courses are over.
If you currently own a company and are looking for proven strategies and processes to facilitate its growth, you need FastTrac GrowthVenture. This series is targeted to existing businesses who want to develop a plan for growing their companies. Hindsight is 20/20, and participants will use that knowledge to create a framework and a plan to improve business performance. Facilitators are knowledgeable entrepreneurs-practitioners attuned to the issues that influence business decisions and are able and willing to provide one-to-one coaching to move your business forward.
Innovative Kemper Military School redevelopment project in Boonville wins national university economic development contest
An innovative approach to a community and economic development project has been nationally recognized by the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) with the 2012 Award of Excellence.
The project, entitled "Kemper Military School Redevelopment Project: Repurposing historic structures, maintaining community values," facilitated by Boonville resident Jim Gann, director of technology business development at the University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship housed with the University of Missouri SBTDC in Columbia, was developed as an approach to use the 46-acre Kemper Military School campus, which closed in 2002.
"Winning this prestigious award is a great honor," said Max Summers, director of the MU Extension Business Development Program, the administrative home for the SBTDC and the University Center. "It speaks to the dedication, imagination and persistence of Jim, our organization, State Fair Community College, the city of Boonville and other partners in growing Missouri's economy by smart, sustainable means. This project is a model of effective redevelopment that can be replicated nationwide."
Also on hand to celebrate the award were Senator Kurt Schaefer; Brent Bates, vice president, State Fair Community College (SFCC), which is leasing the former Kemper library; Julie Thacher, mayor, City of Boonville; and Sherri Kempf, legislative assistant to State Representative Caleb Jones.
The loss of the Kemper Military School cost Boonville its sole institution of higher education and hundreds of cadets as well as positions for instructors and administrative support staff. Through a series of planning sessions and meetings with educational administrators and city officials, a partnership was established through which SFCC opened a new campus on the Kemper grounds in September 2012.
The campus is expected to draw hundreds of students, many of whom will be local residents who no longer have to commute, and up to 50 part- or full-time jobs.
State Fair is the second tenant of the repurposed campus. The city of Boonville purchased the grounds in 2003, converting some green space to football, baseball and other playing fields and leasing a building to the Boonslick Heartland YMCA. That facility now serves 2,700 members and supports 48 part- or full-time staff.
Other potential tenants are being reviewed for suitability and best fit to fully rejuvenate the campus, maintain its historic appeal and attract more investment.
For media coverage, visit boonvilledailynews.com/article/20121101/NEWS/121109853/1001/NEWS
The state of Missouri was recently awarded more than $1 million in competitive funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide export assistance programs and to increase the number of Missouri small businesses that export their products.
The $1,017,448 in funding, an increase from last year's $977,742, is a critical component of the Missouri State Trade and Export Promotion (MO STEP=UP) Grant Program, part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, to carry out export programs that assist eligible small businesses. MO STEP=UP is administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development Office of International Trade and Investment (MODED).
The MO SBTDC is assisting MODED by providing a "New to Export" module of MO STEP=UP training statewide. In 2012, the MO SBTDC provided three-month training programs in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Cape Girardeau that helped dozens of small businesses craft realistic export plans.
Larry Dill, director of the MO SBTDC International Trade Center, provided much of that training and says the number of sessions will be increased next year to reach as many small businesses as possible. Additionally, MO SBTDC will be offering training targeted at economic development professionals in Missouri.
"This is a roll-up-your sleeves, hands-on training," said Dill. "The end result is that a company has a concrete plan and is ready to export."
MO STEP=UP export training is divided into four phases: Phase 1 provides an overview of best practices and the mindset of successful exporting; Phase 2 incorporates a company site visit with customized market research; Phase 3 includes sessions on growing international business, building an overseas infrastructure, international logistics, international legal considerations and export regulations; and Phase 4 provides participating firms with one-on-one coaching, information and resources as well as critical analysis and evaluation of their export development plan.
Dill said that all companies that go through the training can expect one-to-one coaching, training, referrals and support long after the formal training is concluded.
Here are three examples of Missouri small businesses that have benefitted from the program.
- A family-run, licensed manufacturer of branded apparel doubled its export sales in the Pacific Rim as the result of MO STEP=UP training and aggressive exporting strategies. The company has grown from a garage to more than 300 employees operating two shifts and occupying a 305,000 square foot production and sales facility. Currently, the company exports to more than 70 countries and is poised for expansion into new international markets such as Australia and Brazil.
- Following MO STEP=UP training, a machine parts tooling company with no previous foreign trade experience recently made its first overseas sale. This company previously received unsolicited inquiries from Romania, India, Russia and South Korea but was uncertain how to respond. The MO SBTDC has helped the company develop a strategy to take advantage of these opportunities.
- The new owners of a specialized healthcare manufacturer developed an export plan and a foreign market selection matrix as the direct result of participating in MO STEP=UP training. This firm also recently posted their first export sale of $80,000 to Bangladesh.
For more information, contact Dill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, watch the training calendar for upcoming MO STEP=UP Export Training dates and locations.
SBA loan volume reached $30.25 billion during fiscal year 2012, with a hike in lending in almost all states. The dollar volume was the second largest in SBA's history. Only the previous year, at $30.5 billion, was higher.
Of that $30.25 billion, $484 million was loaned in the western Missouri region alone, a 16 percent increase over FY2011's $418 million.
The 2012 fiscal year was Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012.
In the western Missouri region, which includes the Kansas City metro area and Springfield, 909 loans were approved in FY2012 from 107 Kansas City and 45 Springfield banks that participated in the SBA's loan programs.
The top three SBA lenders in the western Missouri region in FY2012 were:
- Alterra Bank — $17,555,900
- U.S. Bank, NA/SBA Division — $12,967,300
- EDC Loan Corporation — $11,710,000
SBA loans for the eastern district of Missouri, which includes St. Louis, Columbia and Cape Girardeau, totaled $286 million in FY2012. This amount is 11 percent higher than $259 million in 2011. In 2010, that amount was just $191 million.
The top lenders in the eastern district were:
- Commerce Bank — $28.7 million
- Midwest Regional Bank — $22.6 million
- St. Charles County Economic Development Corp. — $18 million
The SBA says increased loan volume is one sign of an improving economy.
The IRS recently reworked the small business portion of its website, among other pages, aggregating all small business documents and information into one location at irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed.
Entrepreneurs can request an EIN number, find a webinar or a schedule F and learn how to depreciate property values and expense travel costs, all under one digital roof. Users can also view or download many documents.
The page also features a breakdown by industry and profession from agriculture to trucking to help these business owners with management, payment and taxation issues.
Perhaps the most useful feature of the new site is an A-Z index that makes searching for the information you need more convenient.
As a bonus, many pages are now available in Spanish — and Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.
The U.S. Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is making its patent and trademark examining manuals more accessible through new, user-friendly search tools found at tmep.uspto.gov and mpep.uspto.gov, respectively.
These new tools are part of a larger, agency-wide effort to better connect innovators to the USPTO's many free resources and to make the agency's procedures as transparent as possible. They also allow inventors to easily navigate thick manuals using a table of contents or perform searches ranked by relevance and search terms highlighted in the body of the document. Inventors can also print or export sections to PDF.
The primary benefit of the new system, however, is that the manuals can be updated within hours, not months, meaning users can find the answers faster.
According to the U.S. Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development, veterans own approximately 2.4 million businesses across the country — or 9 percent of all of America's companies. Those businesses generate about $1.2 trillion in receipts and employ nearly 6 million workers. Broaden the definition to include businesses in which veterans are at least half owners, and the numbers rise to 3.7 million businesses, $1.6 trillion in receipts and 8.2 million employees.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that retired service members are at least 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than individuals without active-duty military experience.
At the same time, the veterans returning now from engagements in the Middle East are struggling with unemployment at rates well over the national average. Because many returning veterans have both the skills and motivation to continue serving their country by building a business and creating jobs for themselves, their neighbors and other veterans, entrepreneurship can be the answer for many.
However, determination, talent and motivation must be coupled with education, assistance and technical support. Fortunately, there are many resources available to assist veterans who are also prospective entrepreneurs.
The definition of "brand" varies depending on which marketing guru you talk to, but essentially it's anything that identifies a good or service as distinct from those of other sellers — the things that customers recognize and consider an advantage over other choices in the marketplace.
Let's say you've established a brand. How do you grow it?
One option is to stretch the brand into different categories by creating new, spinoff products that seem like natural outgrowths of the existing product.
Many brand extensions do very well; consider the soft drink market. Others, such as the Colgate Kitchen Entrees, should never have been considered. (What were they thinking? A toothpaste brand extending into frozen meals.) Just for fun, read about the top 25 biggest product flops of all time.
Here are five tips to extend your brand.
- Companion products.
These are products offered alongside parent brands. For instance, Bic has defined itself in the pen, lighter and disposable shaver businesses with durable, attractive plastics. Now Bic has moved into the kayak, boat and windsurfing business, too. Will it work? It may.
The Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers and Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers offer a variety of outstanding educational opportunities throughout the year. Here are highlights of some upcoming events.
The Quality Coach! in association with Missouri University of Science & Technology and East Central College, Center for Workforce Development proudly present the Learn it, Live it, Leader-Shop for senior and mid-level managers, to be held at the Small Business & Technology Development Center, Innovation Technology Park, 900 Innovation Drive, Suite 200, Rolla, Mo., from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5. The center is across the street from Phelps County Regional Medical Center.
Whether you are a seasoned manager or new to management, this workshop will help you navigate the sometimes treacherous path of leading and managing. The coaching team will provide participants with practical principles and best practices in an environment where leaders learn from one another.
Fee is $155 per participant or $145 if three or more individuals from the same entity attend.
Learn it, Live it, Leader-shop is a series of events:
For more information contact Robert Davis at 573-341-6272 or email email@example.com.
The IRS presents "Business Law 101: Legal Considerations for Starting a Business" from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, 4747 Troost Avenue, Suite 213, Kansas City.
The workshop, part of UMKC's Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic, will focus on limited liability corporations (LLCs): what they are, why you may want to become an LLC and how to achieve LLC status. The discussion will also include implications for federal taxes and filing.
The IRS will also provide small business materials and publications.
There is no fee for attending this workshop.
The workshop is free. For more information, please contact Judy Sharp, UMKC Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic, at 816-235-6341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accredited Member of the ASBDC
Association of Small Business Development Centers.
Representing America's SBDC Network
Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
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