Our heros have always been entrepreneurs or as we like to call them Gopher-preneurs. It takes a special kind of person to start a business, one who accepts their call to adventure. Running a business is never easy, but it does have advantages. In this article we get an inside look at Shipman Enterprises. Their story is inspiring and just might get you to start your business. Shipman Enterprises was created by Brett Shipman. This is his ninth year in business. We asked Brett what got him started in business. He explained to us that he always enjoyed working outside and seeing a nice looking lawn when I was done. Business ------------------------------ Q: What did you do before you started your business? A: MANAGER OF MCDONALDS RESTAURANT (AND I STILL AM) Q:Years in business? A: 9 YEARS Q: Business motto? A: (DON'T HAVE ONE YET) Q: Biggest advantage/disadvantage of being your own boss? A: NOT GETTING MY COMPANY LARGE ENOUGH TO BE MY OWN BOSS 24/7- 365 Q: Favorite entrepreneur and company? why? A: DONALD TRUMP - SEEMS LIKE EVERYTHING HE DOES TURNS TO GOLD! Q: 1yr, 5yr and 10yr goal? A: 5YR - MAYBE MY COMPANY WILL BE BIG ENOUGH FOR ME TO WORK IT FULL TIME Q: How many years until you made your first profit? A: 3 YEARS Q: Best decision you have ever made / worst? A: BEST ... BUYING GOPHER! WORST - NOT TRACKING ADVERTISING $$ VERSES RETURN Q: Greatest achievement so far / biggest regret? A: ACHIEVEMENT .. 157% INCREASE THIS YEAR OVER LAST YEAR (35% THANKS TO GOPHER) REGRET .. NOT BUYING GOPHER SOONER Q: Toughest obstacle so far? A: ALOT OF CHEAP COMPETITION IN A VERY SMALL TOWN Q: What makes your company stand out? A: ONLY ONE IN TOWN WITH PROFESSIONAL LOGO ON MY TRUCK AND EMPLOYEES IN UNIFORM Q: What is your favorite business book? A: GREEN AND GROWING (MCDONALDS BOOK) Q: Why do you feel most new businesses fail? A: NOT ENOUGH CAPITAL/FAILURE TO REALIZE COST OF DOING BUSINESS Q: What is the most important business lesson(s) you have learned? A: YOU HAVE TO HAVE GOOD CREDIT! Q: What are your (1-10) business rules that you follow? A: DO EVERY JOB AS IF IT WERE YOU OWN LAWN. DON'T CHARGE FOR SERVICES YOU DIDN'T DO. ERROR ON THIS SIDE OF THE CUSTOMER. NEVER GET TOO BIG TO BE PERSONAL BUT DON'T FORGET YOU ARE ALSO PROFESSIONAL. AN OUTSTANDING JOB AT A REASONABLE PRICE WILL ALWAYS BEAT A CHEAP JOB ONLY 1/2 DONE! NEVER, NEVER TALK DOWN YOUR COMPETITION!!! Q: If you could talk to someone just starting out, what advice would you give? A: HAVE GOOD CREDIT AND CAPITAL. BE SURE TO MAKE A BUSINESS PLAN AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IT COST TO DO BUSINESS. Q: Finish this sentence: My dream is to.....? A: OPERATE A VERY SUSCESSFUL SERVICE COMPANY AS MY ONLY JOB AND HAVE A DECIENT LIVING DOING IT. Life ------------------------------ Q: Favorite musical artist? A: 38 SPECIAL Q: Do you vote, which party? A: YES I VOTE, BUT I DON'T CLAIM A PARTY. Q: Who has influenced you the most? A: MY DAD. Q: If you could do anything right now, what would you be doing? A: ON A NICE VACATION WITH MY FAMILY. Q: Do you do anything to "give back to your community?" If so, what? A: MY COMPANY SPRAYS ALL THE DOWNTOWN MAIN STREET AND 1 BLOCK OF SIDE STREETS FOR THE BUSINESS WHO ARE TOO LAZY TO KEEP WEEDS OUT OF THE CRACKS OF THE SIDE WALKS WHICH MAKES OUR TOWN LOOK SHABBY FOR FREE FOR THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. (THEY DO GIVE ME FREE ADVERTISING IN THE PAPER MONTHLY FOR THIS SERVICE THOUGH). PERSONALLY, I AM AN AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR AND A MEMBER OF THE LOCAL CIVIL DEFENSE SO I VOLUNTEER LOTS OF HOURS AS A MEMBER OF OUR STORM SPOTTER NETWORK. Fun ------------------------------ Q: Current pet project? A: UPGRADING MY AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE TO THE HIGHEST CLASS. Q: Dream vacation spot? A: AUSTRALIA Q: Dream car? A: HUMMER Q: What is your ultimate toy? A: ICOM-7800 (RADIO THAT COST $15,500 THAT I WILL NEVER AFFORD) Q: What's next on your purchase wish list? A: 4-WHEELER FOR SPRAYING DITCHES. Our thanks and best wishes go to Brett Shipman and his company, Shipman Enterprises. We hope this is your best year yet. Could we write about your story? Please visit this post and respond via email or PM. Reprint permission granted in part or whole when the following credit appears: "Reprinted with permission from www.gophersoftware.com (©2004 Ditech 888-606-5150)."