Name of business: Hill Manufacturing
Owner: Cheryl Hill
Date established: 1976
Employees: 52, including staff with affiliated companies Hill Equipment Manufacturing and Hill Aerospace
Description: Creates superior-quality machine parts
What are the three best things about being a business owner?
What I love about being in Oklahoma is that it has been a very friendly and open state to be a business owner. I absolutely love the weather. ... It's conducive to many types of businesses because of all the types of terrains across the state. Whatever dream you have, whether it's being the president of a great university or a rancher or the owner of a meat-packing plant or manufacturer, we have the atmosphere to help people achieve their dream.
The other thing is that the universities and tech schools are so helpful when you need training, whether it's office training or technical training. They also are providing wonderful research, whether it's figuring out what to do with cedar mulch or being on the cutting edge of changing the life of a diabetic.
Also, we are not as industrialized as Pennsylvania and the eastern and northern states, so I feel like there is still a lot of growth opportunities in those areas for our state.
What's the most challenging part of operating a business?
In Oklahoma, airport service to other major cities seems to be limited. And the biggest problem is we do not have a trained work force to fill the job openings that we have.
What advice would you give others considering being small business owners?
The first is to have some staying power. You need more than a credit line and your 10 percent down to start a business. You need to be able to stay through the good times and the bad.
Also, be in connection with your gut, and I do mean your gut because when something doesn't feel right be sure not to ignore that feeling. Explore why you have that feeling.
And my last thing is: Go for it. You'll never know if you don't try.
Oklahoma Governor’s Conference on Small Business
Dates: Oct. 13-14
Time: Oct. 13: 10 a.m. golf tournament tee-off; 5-7 p.m. chamber after-hours trade show. Oct. 14: 7:30-8:30 a.m. registration; 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. conference.
Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa
Potential workshop topics: Marketing strategies using social media, apps for today's business, access to financing, permitting solutions, tips for rural entrepreneurs, safety programs and training.
Keynote speakers: Dan Danner, president of the National Federation of Independent Businesses; Anthony Mulligan, CEO of Advanced Ceramics Research and inaugural member of the Small Business Innovative Research Hall of Fame.
Registration: 918-280-2611 or tulsaworld. com/govcon