Success Stories

Freedom to Choose

There are many reasons people opt to become small business owners.  Some individuals choose business ownership because of the freedom it provides:  Freedom from a boss who may not believe in you, freedom to fail or succeed by your own efforts, the freedom to design your own destiny.  The woman at the helm of Haass Construction, Colleen Haass, started the company in the late seventies in her garage for just that reason.  Colleen wanted the freedom and opportunity to show what she was capable of doing despite the fact (and perhaps even because of) she is deaf.  Although Colleen was born deaf, she wasn’t diagnosed with profound sensorineural hearing loss until she was ten years old.  Determined to succeed in life, Colleen taught herself to speak and rather than learn sign language, she has developed her lip reading ability almost to a fine art.

Haass Construction developed at a slow pace in part due to the fact that many people grew impatient when trying to communicate with... Read More

 

Tanna Parker is the owner of Imagine That Signs and Graphics.  Tanna entered the male-dominated sign industry in 2010, when she started her own woman-owned business.

Tanna earned a business degree and has gained industry experience by managing a signage and marketing materials company.  Based on this experience, she decided to start her own business, so she could use her ideas to develop her own signage and other products.

Tanna needed help meeting the challenges of starting a new business.  She learned about the pros and cons of different legal structures, and decided that being a sole proprietor was right for her.  She also needed to know the cost per square foot for lease space and choosing the best location.  Fortunately, her parents, a real estate broker and an appraiser, were available to help her with these business decisions.  Next, she purchased the equipment, including the software and media to run the very large printing and screening machinery.... Read More

 Scott Hecht started Wyoming Completion Technologies, Inc. (WCT) in Powell, Wyoming, in August of 1998 because he believed his designing and manufacturing of oil field down-hole tools would benefit the oil industry.

Shortly after going into business, oil decreased to $9.50 a barrel.  Oil drilling virtually ceased.  Faced with aggressive competition from large businesses and the challenge of rural living, Scott found himself relying on his other business, Western Engineering, Inc., to pay the bills while building WCT.  WCT continued to expand even during the oil bust and to produce down hole tools for established customers in the United States as well as many foreign countries. 

Scott acknowledges the contributions of agencies and individuals in the success of WCT.  Several of SBA’s Capline/FA$TRK loans allowed his business to grow and ship fifty percent of his annual sales outside the U.S.  With the guaranteed SBA loans, Scott had the seasonal cash/credit on terms he... Read More

Janet Sowell felt drawn to work with small children since she was 16 years old, and in August of 2004 she started making plans for her own pre-school. She began Giggles and Wiggles with just six employees, a small child learning center, and a background in Elementary Education. Janet had the idea that pre-school age children should be given an education, and not just a safe place to play. She also believed that a full-day pre-school Monday through Friday was not just something to make money, but a way to help children make learning connections. Janet explained, “The more connections a child can make before the age of five, the better, as we lose them each day thereafter.”  Janet’s child learning center provides many options for parents of pre-school and school age children. For example, Giggles and Wiggles offers a full day pre-school that runs from 8:30am – 3:30pm, summer programs, and before/after school programs for school age children.

Starting the business did not... Read More

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