FARMINGTON — Chelle Maurer is like most business owners; she wants her business to grow.
She and her husband, Robert, started E3 Power & Water earlier this year, and they’ve gone from renting a sled, complete with generators and water, to bringing electricity and water to rural area. The couple focused their marketing on oil and gas companies that were actively drilling and needed electricity and potable water for their needs.
Chelle Maurer said she would now like to sell the sled nationwide to other oil and gas drilling companies. More importantly, the couple wants their business to be successful, especially since, according to the Small Business Administration, about half of all small businesses close before they reach year five, and only a third make it to 10 years.
With the aim of helping established businesses take the next step beyond the start-up phase, Four Corners Economic Development and the Boston-based nonprofit Interise jointly launched the Grow SMART program in Farmington. Chelle Maurer recently enrolled in the seven-month course and hopes the class will help her focus on where to market her company’s product.
The class is designed for businesses that have been in operations for at least three years, have at least one employee and have more than $250,000 of revenue a year, according to a press release.
Georgia Grimlich has been teaching the program for two years.
“I hope that they will be able to grow their business,” she said, adding that would improve the economy of the San Juan County area.
The program is a StreetWise MBA curriculum, which is offered in 35 cities across the country, according to a press release.
Julie Rasor, Grow SMART program manager, said she hopes the program will help local businesses.
“We recognize that 80 percent of job growth in our community comes from existing businesses, and what better way to serve them than to provide this opportunity to support their planned growth,” she said.
Class participants will develop a three-year growth plan, Grimlich said.
“There’s a smart way to grow. You have to plan it,” she said.
She noted she has 25 years of experience as a banker and has seen companies fail because they grew too quickly.
“It’s not just more, more, more sales, because that could get you in trouble,” she said.
Other aspects of the class have students focus on the process of bidding for government contracts, different types of funding for businesses and how to monitor a company’s financial health.
For Chelle Maurer, she hopes the class will help her company take the next step as it tries to expand its sales into industries outside oil and gas drilling.
“All I can do is try, get up and do it,” she said.
The class started May 27. Julie Rasor, Four Corners Economic administration and operations director, said interested people may still contact her for enrollment for this session.
For more information about the Grow SMART program, contact Four Corners Economic Development at 505-566-3201 or at 4cornersed.com.