Success Story Archive

The business owners and entrepreneurs that we assist are the driving force behind Iowa’s economic growth. Our SBDC personnel are very dedicated and diligent and always do their best to help Iowa’s businesses to flourish and grow. Each entrepreneur is unique and has a great story to tell. Have fun reading these stories and be sure to check out each company’s website or Facebook page for even more information.

GTS, Lenox

The Iowa Small Business Development Center at Southwestern Community College provided business training and customized counseling to Mike Garner so he could secure financing to purchase a metal fabrication and tooling shop in Lenox.

Mike Garner is extremely thankful for the history he shares with the Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwestern Community College. In mid 2009 Mike, the shop foreman at Bowman Machine, was approached by the owner of the business. Mike had worked at the company as shop foreman since 2003 and the owner wanted to know if he was interested in buying the business. Mike sought advice and assistance from Dave McLaren at the Iowa Small Business Development Center, to see if the proposed purchase price was valid and to find out what it would take to secure financing for the purchase.

Dave helped Mike put together a business plan and financial package for the purchase and Mike soon secured local financing to purchase the business. Mike’s new company, GTS, opened January 1, 2010. The company provides metal fabrication and tooling to further manufacturers in southwest and south central Iowa and northwest and north central Missouri.

The Small Business Development Center then provided assistance in setting up the new company’s in-house accounting systems using QuickBooks, which includes inventory management, bidding, invoicing, and monitoring financial performance relative to annual budgets. Mike attended the SBDC’s QuickBooks workshops and was further counseled by SBDC Consultant Brandi Shay, who assisted him in setting up the financial system for his business. "With Brandi’s help, I was able to complete tasks with a press of the button," Mike explained. "Prior to her assistance, these tasks took hours to complete."

Mike says his business has been a tremendous success, with revenues significantly above projections. "I could not have done any of this without the assistance I received from the Iowa SBDC,” says Mike. The new business continues to grow and in 2012 he added two new employees, for a total of six employees, with plans to add up to two more in 2013.

Mike Garner will always be thankful for the assistance he received from the Iowa Small Business Development Center and continues to work with Dave McLaren as he grows his business. "I owe a lot of my success to assistance I have received," he commented. "The Small Business Development Center helped in securing the financing for the purchase of my business, helped set up an accounting system that works for me, and continues to provide guidance as the business grows."