Entrepreneur talks about helping other small businesses be successful.
Name: Rick Fowler
Business: My Favorite Printer Inc., Inspired Management Services Inc.
Location: Colorado Springs
What is the history of your printing business?
I’ve been in print media and overall media for 49 years. My Favorite Printer is in its 17th year in the Colorado Springs area. We do basically all forms of printing, specializing in B2B clients, and were just named Vendor of the Year by the American Advertising Federation Colorado Springs. This was the inaugural year of the award, so we are really blessed to have been chosen.
One thing that sets our business apart is, because of the number of years we’ve been in business, we really try to help small businesses get a solid foundation and be successful. Our motto is: “Your success, our passion,” and that’s what we’re all about, helping small businesses succeed.
What makes Colorado a good place to do business?
Colorado as a whole, compared to California or other states, is definitely more small business oriented. Both the city government of Colorado Springs as well as the El Paso County government is small business friendly, and it really helps that they consider legislation that will not be onerous for small businesses.
What could Colorado do better?
Really consider what is positive legislation for small business, listen to the community and not go off on tangents that aren’t really going to help small business. A lot of time, because people haven’t worked in small business, they don’t have an idea of what’s positive and what’s negative. Business owners need to talk to people and get involved. They don’t realize the effect they can have.
How did you get involved with NFIB?
Initially we were involved with doing regular voting on issues that were important to us. About four years ago we got involved with a Day at the Capitol with an NFIB host in Colorado each year. That Day at the Capitol has been really important to me in helping to make our business voice heard and to get direct feedback from members of the Legislature. It has really proven beneficial to our business to have that level of input, and it’s really important for the politicians to hear feedback directly too. It doesn’t take that long to make a positive impact. I’d rather use my talent for a few hours here and there than live with negative effects for years to come.
Tony Gagliardi and Stephanie Wentz of NFIB have been a great part of my experience. Tony is just a great resource that NFIB has in state here, and he is tireless in representing small business.
What advice would you give to other small business owners?
I would encourage any of the NFIB members in the state to come to Denver for the Day at the Capitol. Because the stronger we become, the more the lawmakers will realize the importance and significance of our voices. There’s strength in numbers. Just that one day, get involved, and it will really have an effect.