Local entrepreneurs believe the recovering economy means the time is right to jump into starting a business. We're talking about everything from chains, to husband and wife teams, to businesses out of people's homes, such as Coupon Madness Magazine. They all hold the same belief; good business survives in any economy.
Fred Strothman is a former judge who didn't need to work but, "I will have to tell you, retirement didn't stick," says Strothman. Strothman knew this might not be the best time to start a business. "The economy is pretty tough right now, but all economies come back," he says. Running a business isn't easy. "We had phones that didn't work, we had credit card machines that didn't work," explains Strothman. However, Strothman pursued his passion of starting a distillery, even though it's a tough industry. "Our task is to make the best spirits we possibly can, and the marketplace will take care of itself," says Strothman. The J.F. Strothman Distillery, Inc. has been in business two and a half months now. "We have to be inventive, we have to have new products, we have to come up with things other folks aren't doing." Strothman believes if you love what you do, you'll never get bored. "There is an excitement to it, there is the greatest amount of creativity, and unless people are consumed with creativity, I don't think they know what I'm talking about," comments Strothman.
Splish Splash car wash is a larger business, but managers weren't worried about competition. "Competition breeds a better car, a better product, everybody benefits from us being here," explains assistant manager Damon Strong. Strong shares the same passion as Strothman. "It's really exciting, we service so many people, and get to see a lot of regulars every single day," he says. These entrepreneurs say the secret to success is innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction.
"I've always been interested in community and economic development," says publisher and entrepreneur Bob Rubin. Rubin moved to Grand Junction from New York in December. "Reaching out and communicating with businesses throughout the community takes a lot of tenacity," says Rubin.
Rubin started Coupon Madness Magazine from his home. "A magazine like Coupon Madness Magazine is an opportunity for businesses to reach out to their customers and their future customers," says Rubin. What wakes him up in the morning is, "the idea that what I'm doing is going to help businesses create more business," explains Rubin. These entrepreneurs understand the key to success in the long run is an open mind. "We're learning every day, we're learning how to use some new equipment, but we're doing really well with it," says Strothman. They also share a passion that never burns out.
You're probably aware of national chains also coming to the valley, such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Noddles and Company; just more evidence that things could be looking good for our economy. If you're interested in starting a business, you're encouraged to contact the Chamber of Commerce, or Business Incubator. They offer counseling, financial advice, and help for aspiring entrepreneurs.
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