The Commercial Appeal from Memphis, Tennessee on September 8, 2003 · 11
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The Commercial Appeal from Memphis, Tennessee · 11

Publication:
Location:
Memphis, Tennessee
Issue Date:
Monday, September 8, 2003
Page:
11
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i t i t I i i I i i I i i i I I Monday September 8 2003 The Commercial Appeal t t Jkt f 2S A y4MpJ A Tool Time ByAlWotfe Jonathan Dewey of Medtronic Sofamor Da nek checks out a sextant used in spinal surgery at Premier TooL n Edited madhiiiiiiislte meedledl Medical industry provides steady flow of jobs ByMarkWrtw watson0gomemphisxDm The growth of Memphis's medical device industry has kept the Mid-South’s small machine-tool businesses buzzing with activity But the region's limited pool of trained workers has impaired the growth of those machine shops Premier Tool grew from a ones’ man tool shop started by Bruce 1 Conley on May 1 1993 m 1100 square feet to employing 68 people at its 34000-square-foot Bartlett location Pact Manufacturing grew from a two-person shop in 1999 to 12 workers today said Rob Dyer one of the owners Both companies grew based on their work for local and national medical device manufacturers such as GE Smith & Nephew Medtronic Sofamor Danek and Wright Medical Conley said his company’s largest piece of work is for spine surgery instruments for Medtronic Sofamor Danek "It seems like it has kind of been recession-proof” Conley said "People might forgo a new car or a new toy of some sort but if they don't nave their health they’re going to do whatever it takes to feel better" But Memphis's medical device industry could grow even Caster if more skilled machinists were available he said “We’re looking for qualified machinists” Conley said “They’re kind of hard to come by down here They’re not educating these young guys out of high school" To overcome the shortage of trained machinists Conley interviewed six top vocational education graduates at Bartlett and Bolton high schools and hired two of them “We’ve trained them" Conley said “That has been a good avenue for us as far as grooming our own talent" Conley has also grown his own workers His wife Denise serves as office manager and one son Tommy operates a lathe while another son Thyior is a process engineer Dyer mostly hires people who have worked for one of the local large medical device manufacturers such as Wright Medical or Smith & Nephew "If we had more people we could push more product out the door faster and get more busi- AT A GLANCE Premier Tool Headquarters: 2975 Brother Blvd Bartlett Tbp executive: Bruce Conley president Business: Maker of suigical instruments medical devices and prototypes No of employees: 68 Sales: NA IMephone: 386-7723 Web site: None Pact Manufacturing Headquarters: 1756 Thomas Road Tbp executives: Bob Bursi and Rob Dyer co-owners Business: Maker of suigical instruments medical devices ana prototypes No of employees: 12 Seles: NA TMephone: 382-0609 Web site: None ness" Dyer said “It’s sort of a circle The smaller companies have to try to compete with the huger companies like Smith & Nephew Sofamor Danek and Wright Medical” Smith & Nephew spokesman Andrew Bums said his company has recruited workers from Warsaw Ind which has the nation's largest concentration of medical device manufacturers If Smith & Nephew needs work done that the Memphis-area machine-tool shops can't get done in time or under certain strict specifications it gets the work done elsewhere “We are a fast-growing global company and we do look beyond Memphis if they aren't here” Bums said “We have used vendors in Lansing Mich Boston and Warsaw Ind Thanks to FedEx if we have a special need It arrives the next morning by 10 am” State vocational institutions used to train people on obsolete machine-tool equipment Conley said If the state would provide up-to-date equipment and knowledgeable instructors virtually every graduate could get a good job Conley said Machinist pay ranges from $12 to $22 at Premier Tool he said “If they can get an opportunity to be trained and taught they’ll never have to worry about getting another job" he said “It may not be in their town but there will always be a need for machinists” — Mark Watson: 529-5874 Be realistic in business expectations Owning company means lots of work As the fertility of entrepreneurial soil im- proves in the 21st Century ’ your chances of meeting a starry-eyed human being babbling on about the prospect of becoming a business owner also increase Probing for the object of this person's entrepreneurial infatuation will precipitate the what where how and when ques- tions and ultimately the most important one: Why do you want to own a business? Answers to this question unfortunately often produce what I call “The Myths of Small Business Ownership” Here are four Myth 1: “When I’m an owner I'll be my own boss” That’s right you won’t have an employer telling you what to da But you'll JIMBLASINGAME Small Business Advocate trade that one boss for many others: customers landlord bankers IRS regulators even employees In today’s marketplace there is less bossing and more managing and partnering In a small business everyone must wear several hats and the dominator management model doesn't work well in this multitasking environment Myth 2: “When I own my own business I won’t have to work as hard as I do now’ This is actually true — you will work much harder Corporate CEO Ramona Arnett said it best: “Owning a business is when you work 80 hours a week so you can avoid working 40 hours for someone else” The irony is you will actually WANT to work harder when you understand that everything In your business belongs to you even the Irritating frustrating and frightening challenges of ownership These will take on a new perspective when you realize that you also own die opportunities you turn those challenges inta You'll turn the lights on in the morning and off in the evening not because you want to work more but because you won’t want to miss any part of your dream coming true Myth 3: “When I own my own business I can take a day off whenever I want” Well maybe You may find that your business has such a compelling attraction that you won't want to take off as much as you might think If you love to play golf you may actually play less as an owner than you did as an employee Not because you won't love golf anymore but because the love of your business might actually exceed that of golf Whatever interests you have as an employee will likely become jealous of your business Myth 4: "When I own my own business I’ll make a lot of money” If the only reason you want to own a business u to get rich you probably won’t be a happy owner Brace yourself: The National Federation of Independent Business says the average annual income of small business owners in America is about $40000 You actually could get rich but it’s more likely that you’ll just make a living Being a successful owner first means loving what you da Pursuing wealth should be secondary and ironically Is more likely to happen when in this subordinate role Write this on a rock For maximum small business success dispel the myths of ownership Jim Blasingame is the host oThe Small Business Advocate Show and author of Small Business Is Like A Bunch Of Bananas Find Jim’s show online at wwwjbsbacom Like it or not lawyers fill a need TIPS Scnpps Howard News Service your paper In the form of a business plan I have to keep saying this because our economy needs you and your new business — whatever it is If you have been reading the economic indicators you are aware that 2004 looks to be one of the greatest growth periods in recent history and if you sit on the sidelines whining about your “job’ you will miss out on your chance to be a star If you need help with your plan visit your Small Business Administration (SBA) It can and will helpi But this isn’t about starting a business per se it’s about the legal tangles we entrepreneurs weave when we don’t want to do business with pie in a profession that has a neys pot business owner) you need the input from someone well-versed in the legal community or you run the chance of being put out of business by some absolutely innocent thing you did somewhere along the line that comes back to bite you in the pocketbook Often that bite puts you out of business and you still need an attorney So what to do? 1 Determine where you need legal advice Again the SBA can help through the Small Business Development Centers (SBDQ Women’s Business Development Centers (WBDQ Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the many other services it provides for you Your need may be in the laws of patents copyrights licensing franchising wages human relations or any of the legal quagmires our politicians heap on businesses but that’s another topic Your concern should be directed toward keeping within prescribed bounds and making a profit 2 Look for an attorney who is a fast mover one who gets right to the point lime is not always on your side so you need someone who will get right down to business A good attorney should be able to develop a written action plan for you within a few days If he cannot or will not do this you have the wrong attorney 3 That new graduate with a still-wet sign out in front may offer to do your job for $25 an hour but it will take anywhere from three to 10 hours for him to gather the knowledge an experienced attorney already has in the memory bank A way to leam the experience of an attorney is to type “attorney listing’ in your Internet search engine and check credentials One site that many attorneys use is wwwmarti-ndalecom but there are others A senior partner can often save you money even though his fee may be higher than others in the firm That person's vast experience and knowledge can often cut right through to the heart of the matter and save you both time and money in the long run 4 Beware the 10 am-4 pm attorney If that’s all the time he wants to give you don't want that person Sometimes key or critical events in your case take place before or after the regular workday so you need an attorney who is available Your case is timely and important to you and should be timely and important to your attorney 5 There are attorneys who feel they should walk 10 inches above the pavement You don't need them You need someone who will make an effort to get along with you and your staff but at the same time be tough when the situation calls for toughness You want an attorney who will make the effort to understand your position but offer the legal advice and guidance you need not necessarily what you want You need an expert 6 You are not just hiring an attorney you are hiring a staff In complicated matters an attorney without a support staff is already Dehind the curve and may never catch up You need to know there are adequate resources available to your attorney to properly carry out your task Paul 7 Mlenko is a Small Business Success Consultant based in New Mexico Additional tips and suggestions are available at wumtulenkocom or call (toll-free) 1 -866- TULENKQ lb report Business news: 529-2321 or cabanewsSgomemphiscom Business editor Sonny Albarado: 529-2703 or albaradogomemphiscom To send news: Fax to 529-2384 or mail to Business News 495 Union Ave Memphis TN 38103 Deputy Business editor James Overstreet: 529-5893 orjoverstreetgomemphacom 'i' i :o t'l ri (I rt '"A 0 'll y M n r i !a 1 b i'i t i -f! 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