When Rich Starbuck contacted the West Michigan Region SBDC for help with a business plan in 2000, he didn’t know he’d be entering a working relationship that would last through all stages of his business’s growth. For two years Starbuck and his SBDC consultant, Dave Sayers, worked on a business plan that would allow him to receive the financing needed to purchase an existing machine shop’s assets and start his own.
On the day Starbuck Machining opened in April of 2002, owner Rich Starbuck recalls running machines as fast as they could get them started.
“We literally moved our first machine into the shop, hooked it up and had somebody run it while we went and got the next one,” Rich laughs. Since that day twelve years ago, both the staff and the machine equipment at Starbuck Machining have never stopped moving, and never stopped growing.
Since this Holland, MI based business opened Rich Starbuck and his son Aaron Starbuck have grown Starbuck Machining from six employees to twenty-seven, and currently have $3 million in sales. Starbuck Machining manufactures products for the agriculture, aquatic, automotive, electronic, security and oil industries, and are government sub-contractors of military armor. Most of their sales come from within Michigan, but they are beginning to do business in other states as well.
However, Starbuck Machining’s growth hasn’t always come easily. The company’s success is ultimately a testament to the Starbucks’ dedication to their staff, as well as their trade.
“There were times when we would call the SBDC and just say ‘help’,” says Rich. “Dave Sayers was always ready to take a look at our finances, our projections, and to offer knowledgeable advice as to where we could make changes to become more profitable.”
Starbuck Machining’s relationship with the SBDC also helped during 2008 and 2009, a time when the economy forced many small businesses to close.
“A lot of businesses moved out of the state during 2008 and 2009, and a lot of skilled workers left as well,” Rich reflects. “Dave Sayers and the SBDC were there for us during this time and helped us navigate our growth.”
Both Rich and Aaron Starbuck point to their staff when asked what has made their business successful.
“We have an awesome crew of employees who we treat like family. We always tell them that we’re in this together, and we celebrate our successes together.”
Starbuck Machining has been chosen by the SBDC as the West Michigan Region’s Best Small Business of 2013. They will be honored for this achievement at Michigan Celebrates Small Business in May 2014.
For more information on Starbuck Machining visit http://www.starbuckmachining.com