A small manufacturer finds his niche in rural America.
Name: Dave Hill
Business: Falcon Industries Inc.
Location: La Junta, Colorado
Dave Hill was one of the founders of Falcon Industries in 1981 and began by manufacturing couplings for the oil field industry, which was booming at the time. The company has since had to diversify, and now specializes in manufacturing air cylinders for belly (bottom) dump trailers. Hill talks about Colorado’s business climate, NFIB and reaching the youth in his community.
Tell me about Falcon Industries.
We’ve always been both a conventional machine shop and CNC (computer numerical control) shop. Our niche is orders that are too small for the big shops and too big for the manual operations. One of the main products we manufacture are custom-made cylinders to fit the individual needs of each customer.
We also have a small local manufacturing group that has put together an annual event for middle schools in the area to tour one or two of the local businesses and see how parts are manufactured. It’s really gratifying to see young people so interested and challenged by what we’re doing. We’re also really pushing for students to be introduced to physics at an earlier age. It’s such an important foundation to have.
What makes Colorado a good place to do business?
It’s home, and I suppose that’s the biggest thing. We’re rural America, and that makes it easier to find people that will have exposure to an agricultural and manufacturing background and will work well with the company. Tax-wise, Colorado is worse than some states, but better than many.
What could Colorado do better?
Any time a state can make the cost of doing business less, it’s a better deal. Part of the problem is the paperwork hassle you have to go through just to stay in business as a small business owner. What really bothers you is how much of it is just to satisfy the bureaucrats.
Why did you get involved with NFIB?
NFIB appealed to me because it keeps abreast of the things we need to know about, when, as business owners, we may not have the time or resources to find it on our own. NFIB keeps us informed of what’s going on, and we have a representative that helps to support small business in the state.
What do you like about owning your own business?
There’s always a certain pride in being able to run your own business. It’s a challenge to get up every day and make something happen, but a worthwhile challenge.