Steamrolling to Success
When the Bevans family, of St. George, opened a small retail copy and printing shop 20 years ago, they probably had little inkling of what their modest operation would eventually become.
Two decades later, son, Josh Bevans and his wife Stephanie, now the owners, are managing Steamroller Copies, the original company and a newer sister company, Design To Print. With over 70 total employees, the two companies are evidence that what may appear to be a routine small business can be expanded into something much more significant over time.
“Our business is printing, but we don’t view ourselves as printers,” says Josh. “We view ourselves as marketing partners. Our goal is to help companies make money. Our motto is: Help companies succeed – if they succeed, we succeed.”
Indeed, the companies have had some unique clients with demanding projects. In 2002, Design To Print won a contract to create large banners for the Salt Lake City Olympic Games. Following that success, the company has received contracts to produce large billboards for several Las Vegas businesses and is currently working on a project for downtown Manhattan.
After the Olympic Games project, Design To Print invested in a large project printer. Capitalizing on the grand format the printer outputs, the company has done projects for billboards and cityscapes throughout the U.S. In addition to large-scale print projects, the company has a network of 3,000 distributors throughout the country that sell Design To Print products.
Despite the many successes, company fortunes haven’t always been positive. One of the most significant challenges the Bevans have faced is coping with the economic downturn. “In 2008, when the economy fell apart, we experienced a real dip in our revenue,” relates Josh. “We turned to the Small Business Development Center at Dixie State College for help, and they are the reason we are still here.”
SBDC counselors worked with the Bevans to evaluate their situation and then proposed some strategies that helped the business turn the corner, survive and thrive. Partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the statewide SBDC network specializes in working with established small companies to help them with a wide variety of business issues and challenges.
“Steamroller Copies and Design To Print are cutting edge businesses for both our region and the global market,” says Len Erickson, Director of the SBDC at Dixie State. “They offer high quality printing and design, and have picked up some amazing contracts.”
You might say the two companies have steamrolled both the recession and their target market through hard work, determination, and with the help of the SBDC.
Steamroller Copies/Design to Print
67 East St. George Blvd.
St. George, UT 84770
1549 South 1100 East
Salt Lake City, Utah
Lying face up in the deep Argentine powder of Las Leñas, Stephan Drake thought there has got to be a better way to ski. Disappointed in the commercially available snow skis, this epiphanic moment began a sixteen year journey of creativity and experimentation which resulted in an entirely new material and design for skis.
Today, Drake is the Founder and President of DPS Skis. This Utah Company is the only manufacturer of pure carbon fiber skis in the world. The company’s innovation and dedication to skiing has resulted in market success and double digit growth. Drake employs ten people in the Wasatch Valley with plans to increase that to 14 next years. The company manufactures its signature premium skis in Ogden with plans to open a new facility in Downtown Salt Lake City. “We want our Salt Lake facility to be a part of the DPS brand,” says Drake. “We envision a place where people can come and see their skis being made. People coming to Park City could tour the facility, buy a pair, and head for the mountains. That is what it is all about.”
DPS ships skis to half a dozen countries worldwide. Growing the company from scratch has not been easy. “Our journey is marked by a sense of perseverance. It is a rocky road, and we really bootstrapped it.” Drake contributes his early success to youthful naivety and the timely arrival of debt finance. Drake’s export expansion was funded by an SBA guaranteed Export Express loan from Zions Bank. “Finance has always been one of the biggest challenges,” says Drake who thinks he probably could not have gotten the loan without the SBA guarantee.
As a 6-year old, David Utrilla had no idea his early entrepreneurial career as a street vendor would eventually take him half-a-world away from his native Peru to America. Yet, 18 years later in 1994, David realized that unless he escaped the political turmoil and terrorism in Peru, his future would be very limited.