Archer Appliance CEO Completes Goldman-Sachs Business Program
Kevin Erpelding, owner and CEO of Archer Appliance in Washington says his involvement in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program has enabled him to work “on my business rather than in my business”. And while the program has been quite time consuming, it has been worth the effort, he said.
It all started when Washington Chamber Executive Director Michelle Redlinger contacted Erpelding and encouraged him to submit an application to get into the program. He applied in the fall, was interviewed later in the year and was accepted early this year. The 32 scholars in the class from across the state represent a diverse range of business and industry.
The rigorous 100-hour program is administered through the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Ankeny and involves class work there as well as online learning. The end of the class work had to switched to all-online due to the Covid 19 virus.
Erpelding said he will be making some changes in his operation as a result of the class…some subtle and some more noticeable. He said one of the biggest benefits of the program is working in small groups with small business owners from across the state who are facing the same kinds of challenges.
The curriculum focuses on practical business skills such as negotiation, marketing and employee management. Students also learn how to put their businesses in a better position to access needed capital. Other subjects covered include:
- Diagnostics and Skillsets:
- Financial Statements Workshop;
- Money and Metrics;
- Growth and Opportunities;
- Feasibility and Risk Assessment;
- Understanding Your Market;
- Forecasting For Growth;
- Operations and Processes;
- Operations and Valuations and
- It’s the People.
To participate in the program, students must have been owners of a business for at least two years with revenues of at least $100,000 in the most recent fiscal year and employ as least two people.
“10,000 Small Businesses in Iowa continues to create a powerful community of growth-oriented entrepreneurs,” said Katherine Jollon Colsher, National Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. “Now more than ever, strong partners like DMACC and the entire community college network across the state are critical to keeping our small businesses healthy and on track. We are humbled by the business owners’ perseverance and dedication and their unwavering commitment to their families, their employees, and their communities.”
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses has over 9,700 graduates from all fifty states, including Iowa, and is offered at no cost to those accepted. Sixty-seven percent of alumni report increased revenues six months after graduating, 47 percent report hiring employees during the same time period, and nearly 88 percent of graduates do business with one another.