2005 Emerging Business of the Year

Stanton County Hardware, LLC

  • Owner: Gary Adams, President
  • Nature of Business: Hardware, Appliances, Lumberyard
  • City: Johnson
  • County: Stanton County
  • Phone: 620-492-6240
  • Email: sctv@pld.com
  • Business Structure: LLC
  • Business Began: 2003
  • Employees: 11
  • KSBDC Consultant: Patricia Veesart

Secret to Success:

"Work with good people - find the resources that are in place to help you get the job done! Everything is easier with the right network of support."

The local hardware store/lumber yard was about to close which would cause people to drive 20-30 miles whenever they needed any kind of hardware or lumber. Gary Adams, as a contractor, didn't like the situation and felt he could grow a much-needed business in the area. He and Eric Schiffelbein, who worked for the store that was closing, worked together on the idea and were referred by their local Chamber of Commerce Office to the Kansas Small Business Development Center based at Garden City Community College. "Our consultant helped us put together a business plan and several sets of financials in order to analyze the possibilities and our alternatives. She talked to us about every area of the business from potential sales to marketing to employees." They worked out the details with several financing options and chose to work primarily through private investors. When investors reviewed their plans, several thought the projections were ambitious but were willing to take a chance. Stanton County True Value store has already exceeded their expectations in just over two years. "We've certainly grown into a different store than we first expected," stated Adams, "but we listen to our customers and we try to supply their needs." In addition to hardware and lumber, they have appliances, furniture, housewares, cleaning supplies, tools, building supplies, electrical and plumbing supplies, and paint. They also have a heating and air conditioning department and do special orders for their customers. The business started with ten employees, three of those were part-time, and now only one of eleven employees works part-time and the two full-time bi-lingual employees meet the needs of their Hispanic clientele. The store continues to grow in response to the requests of the community. "We want to take care of the people in our area, and because of their support it has made our business a success. We appreciate having the resources of the KSBDC available."

"I don't think this business would have started without the help of the KSBDC. The paperwork was overwhelming but my consultant helped to simplify the whole ordeal. She put it into focus when I didn't know where to begin."