CSUF Entrepreneurship Alumnus Shines in Family Business

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 Mulvihill ’16, President of Thin Metal Sales

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 the time would prevail, the high availability of low cost steel from China used by competitors caused sales to shrink that year. By persevering and maintaining sound business principles, the company went on to experience moderate increases in revenue for 2016 and 2017 at which time Jonathan became a majority owner in partnership with his father.   When steel tariffs were imposed in early 2018, he found his company in a uniquely favorable position.  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 allowed them the opportunity to retain these new customers by maintaining low pricing and providing high quality materials 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!

CSUF Entrepreneurship

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, including: consulting projects where students serve up fresh strategies to actual businesses, competitions for students from middle school to grad school, helping entrepreneurs go from concept to launch, frequent seminars and office hours for entrepreneurs and professionals, and much more. Interested in becoming a part of the CSUF Entrepreneurship community? Reach out to us at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu for more information! CSUF Entrepreneurship depends on the support of the community, please go here to donate.

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