When Misael Jordan came to the United States from Panama in 1999, he found construction work drilling underground to lay cable, conduit and electrical wiring. He worked his way up to foreman, and in 2011 decided to follow his dream to start his own company. Misael and his wife Lisa founded Jordan Drilling Solutions, providing directional drilling services. When they tried to secure an equipment loan, the banker referred the couple to the Small Business Development Center at the University of St. Thomas for help with business planning.
After meeting with SBDC consultant Dick Helgeson, the couple put together a three-year business plan, secured the equipment loan and learned QuickBooks. Lisa continued working at her full-time job, giving her nights and weekends to the couple’s new business, Jordan Drilling Solutions. Within two weeks of the company’s official start, Misael hired a full time employee and the company had its first contract.
“If it wasn’t for the SBDC, it wouldn’t have been easy to start the company,” said Lisa Jordan. “I have a business background, but I’ve never started a business. I didn’t know the next step. Dick told us about all the paperwork we needed to file, and systems to learn… all the steps somebody wouldn’t know.”
In just its fourth year of operation, the company has grown to run two five person crews of full-time employees, from April-December, working 60-70 hours a week in the summer. The plan is to continue its path of measured growth in the coming years, and provide more good-paying jobs to the community.
“Our employees make a decent hourly wage,” said Misael. “We hire a lot of people in their young 20s, who decided not to go to college. We’ve trained them and given them opportunities to make pretty decent money.
“You can see they now have their own apartments and trucks, and I see the progress they’re making. It’s very rewarding for us.”
The Twin Cities SBDC works with more than 200 established businesses annually, helping with financials, marketing, securing loans and more. Each year it also helps launch 20-25 startup companies, like Jordan Drilling Solutions. Those who are interested in the SBDC’s startup help, should attend Smart Start for Business.