At CSUF Entrepreneurship we teach that entrepreneurship is not just about creating something from nothing, it is also about continuously improving upon what already exists. And that is exactly what Jonathan Mulvihill ’16 has done.
Jonathan, a retired Marine, is now the President of Thin Metal Sales, the company that his uncle founded back in 1976. The US Small Business Administration recently did an excellent article on how Jonathan has instituted some important improvements to his company but this stuck out to me:
Jonathan became the General Manager in 2015, but as events of thesba.go
time wouldprevail, the high availability of low coststeel from China used bycompetitors caused sales to shrink that year. By persevering and maintainingsound business principles, the company went on to experience moderateincreases in revenue for 2016 and 2017 at which time Jonathan becamea majority owner in partnership with his father. When steel tariffswere imposed in early 2018, he found his company in a uniquely favorableposition. This event triggered numerous thin metal buyers in industries such as consumer products, medical devices and aerospace to rush to his competitors and make their purchases in advance of the tariffs, which in turn caused many to run out of product. Thin Metal Sales had plenty of inventory and they were able to bring in new customers when their competitors were unable to supply to them. This allowedthem the opportunity to retain these new customers by maintaininglow pricing and providing high qualitymaterials and service. 2018 saw an impressive 40% increase in sales. product.
Hard work and determination helped this CSUF Entrepreneurship graduate position his company to rebound after the recession and competition from foreign companies and even thrive. And this is the exact type of thing that we teach in the classroom. First, understand your business and all that goes into it (i.e. your customers, competitors, suppliers, tariffs, etc.) and then build your business to be as strong as possible.
Well done, Jonathan!
We are dedicated to helping the next generation of entrepreneurs develop the skills that they need to compete locally and globally. The CSUF Entrepreneurship program does many things,