by Shawn Strasburg
Imagine 8.1 million businesses averaging 3.6 million dollars in revenue a year. According to Smbtn.com if you add a website that average boosts to 5.03 million dollars a year. You drive by a portion of these businesses nearly every day, Applebee’s, The Minnow Bucket, McDonalds, Jims Hobby Shop, and the list goes on. An entrepreneur who drives by these businesses may question, how can I do this better, or what do people need that none of these businesses are offering. All this in hopes of catching a niche in our well funded American economy.
Research, marketing, networking, and mentoring are all important to an entrepreneur. As part of the Intro to Entrepreneurship course here at NPCC we interviewed a local entrepreneur so we could gain firsthand knowledge of small business. Here is some advice from Dave and Carlyn Burkholder, owners of Ellett’s Automotive located here in North Platte.
Dave and Carlyn believe in personal integrity in business and feel that customer service is the highest priority for their business. They believe that high quality work is a must and if or when problems do arise, the problems must be dealt with in a way that leaves the customer satisfied. They feel their business is by customers who are pleased and return to do business in the future.
No negatives to being a small business owner? According to Dave and Carlyn that is how they feel. They said that there were certainly different aspects, but they did not feel any more stress as took on the responsibilities of ownership. Loss of fixed wages, employee well being, loans, taxes, and regulations were not burdens in their minds. They did admit that they “took home their jobs”, but not in the way most do. They said that they enjoyed planning the business and discussing the future and felt that business meetings went better at home, as they were not distracted by the job.
I felt that I came away from this project with a tempered perspective on entrepreneurship. If I learned anything it was that knowledge is perhaps the greatest tool available to the small business owner and I learned much from this encounter.