Persistence is key when starting up a business

Nicole King

Persistence, starting early and money are three key points in starting a business.

“No one ever told me you needed money to start a business,” said Tim Eippert, president of MC Sign Company.

Eippert gave suggestions on becoming a successful entrepreneur and shared stories of his entrepreneurial experiences to an audience at the “Fireside Chat with an Entrepreneur,” a lecture that is part of the Michael D. Solomon Lecture Series hosted by the College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management.

“I would drive by signs at night to see if their lights were in need of repair,” Eippert said. “I would call the companies the next day and ask if I could fix their sign. This is how I received much of my business.”

Eippert is a Kent State alumnus and sought his first entrepreneurial opportunity while still in college. In 1994, at age 24, he purchased MC Sign Company and has transformed the company from a regional entity to a national company serving customers in signage, lighting and project management services.

Eippert spoke about his persistence and how it was imperative in helping him grow his business.

“I once went to a client’s office who did not have time to talk to me, and I sat in his office from 8:30 until 3:30,” Eippert said. “He finally came out and said he could see me, and he became one of our customers.”

Eippert said to take several things into consideration when venturing into your own business.

“It is good to take risks, but take risks that are educated,” Eippert said. “You need to surround yourself with good people because you have to realize that you can’t do everything on your own. Find people who are smart and passionate about your company and what they do.”

Eippert said being involved with Kent State is so important.

“Use Kent State and the staff to make you better,” Eippert said. “These types of events are the experiences you’ll take through life. I wish that the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation was here when I attended Kent State because it’s awesome.”

Gwen Haney, Kent State alumna, said she thinks these events are beneficial to students.

“Students get to hear from entrepreneurs with real-life experience,” Haney said. “The more experience you get, the more successful you will be.”

Contact College of Business reporter Nicole King at [email protected].