Wolfden Products began about five years ago when Alex Wolford decided he wanted to have control of his own destiny. Wolfden Products makes lightweight replacement carbon fiber composite parts to replace heavier steel parts.
Among other items, Wolfden Products makes replacement parts for leading race car teams throughout the United States and Canada. The company also creates and helps design custom molds and patterns to meet customers' needs.
Wolfden Products currently has eight employees and as a result of an SBA 504 loan they were able to move to a larger facility.
When asked how his business affected his life and what advice he would give someone starting a business Wolford said, "Your business becomes a major portion of your life, and you need to learn to balance your business life with your personal life. Be prepared for the long haul, it doesn't happen overnight. Make sure you're an authority on both your business idea and the industry in which you hope to make your mark. The key to really gaining respect is doing what you say you'll do and providing the absolute best product or service you can."
He added, "When something seems impossible to accomplish, I try to think of ways to get it done. I also try to reinvest profits back to the business rather than taking them for myself. In this way, I think the overall business will benefit. You also must have the discipline to spend the time needed to get all the work done."
With the help of a SBA loan, Bill Foley purchased a community landmark: the German Village Music Haus.
The business has been in existence for more than half a century, and Bill worked there as a luthiere (a person who works on stringed instruments) for 26 years before purchasing the German Village Music Haus.
The company has an international reputation for luthiery and amplifier repair, and carries high-end instruments for the discriminating player, as well as quality affordable instruments for the beginning player. Personalized instruction is also available to the store's customers.
Currently, the business has three part-time employees and six teachers.
"Your business is only as good as the people working there. Get the very best people," Foley advises other business professionals. He adds that there are three words that lead to success: "Work, work, and work."
"This article and the accompanying photograph do not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity."
After studying and working in many other hotel chains, Neil Pandya started the planning process to build his hotel in early 1999. He signed a contract with Microtel in early 2000, and was opened and ready for business on March 1, 2001. The hotel contains 11 suites, 30 doubles, and 23 single units.
Before receiving SBA financing, Pandya who was in his mid-20s, was turned down by many banks due to his age. He persevered, believing that if he were self-employed he would not have to work as hard as he had in the past. That did not turn out to be the case in the early days, though.
It has been only recently that he has been able to step back, he said. Even today he does much of the work, including bathroom cleaning. He has no employees, but contracts out for work he does not do himself, Pandya said.
He said the business has not adversely affected his personal life because he has a great wife who has been very supportive. He attributes his success to hard work and doing "whatever it takes."
His advice to someone thinking about going into business: "Have all your ducks lined up, family, financial, etc. Be prepared, it's not as easy as you think."