(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri Western’s Entrepreneurship program is helping established businesses continue to operate after the original owners decide to retire.
Tom Duggins has owned the Frame Station since 1978. Now he is searching for someone to take over his business.
“I’ve been at it 40 years. I'm getting older, getting a little more cynical,” Duggins said. “It’s time to move on and pass it on to somebody younger and hopefully get them in and get them trained. Get them on the way to a future for themselves and this small business.”
Missouri Western State Unviersity’s Entrepreneur program has created a solution for Tom and other business owners that want to pass on their establishments.
“People either get to the retirement age or health, or something happens where they don’t know what to do with their business, so they just close the doors,” Annette Weeks, Director of Entrepreneurship said. “We created a web page where they can post their businesses and people can go and see the opportunities.”
Business Succession is a website that matches young entrepreneurs looking to purchase a business with successful businesses whose owners are wanting to sell their establishments.
“The person willing to sell is wanting to assure the success. They are worried about their clients, they want their clients to be served,” Weeks said.
The program focuses on keeping successful business open in St. Joseph, offering financing and business mentoring for first time business owners.
“If they need to get financing, help bridge them into ownership. And support them after they are a business owner, because there are many things that come along after that we can assist with,” Weeks said.
The website currently has nine businesses willing to train and mentor prospective buyers to insure their clients are happy with new management.
“Tom [Duggins] is willing to stay on. He is willing to mentor, and train them [the new owner] how to make frames. So someone buying that right now doesn’t have to know how to make frames, he is willing to train you,” Weeks said.
The program is available for anyone in the community wanting to purchase a business or pass on their work to a first time entrepreneur.
“If you are a business owner thinking about retiring in the next few years, get connected to us now. It is our goal, to sustain businesses by transferring ownership to the next level,” Weeks said.
For more information on the Business Succession program log on to https://csb-cfe.missouriwestern.edu/biz-opps/ .