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Northwest SBTRC Success Story

Janette (“Jan”) Keiser, PE, JD - J. Keiser & Associates LLC - A certified MWDBE

Business success is usually measured in quantitative terms; that is, increases in revenues, profitability and the number of employees, or decreases in the costs of goods sold, overhead or debt.  The numbers only tell part of the story.  Success can also be measured in qualitative terms; that is, how the business benefitted its business owners, employees, customers and the community. 

JKA benefits its employees.  JKA employs multiple immigrants, refugees who came to this country seeking safety and opportunity.  Several employees had professional careers in their home country but were challenged to translate these credentials and experience to the U.S. market.  JKA put them to work on transportation projects where they are gaining experience in the U.S. construction market and is helping them gain U.S. credentials. 

JKA benefits its customers.  JKA is working, as a subcontractor, on three major public works projects, two of which are part of a complex transportation program.  JKA has served its prime contractor customers so well, both customers expanded JKA’s scope of work.  This allowed JKA to earn additional revenues as well as provide capacity-building experience to JKA and its employees.

JKA benefits its community.  JKA’s owners are passionate about giving back to the community and have done so through their volunteer efforts with, and financial contributions to, the National Association of Minority Contractors, Tau Beta Pi, a national honor society for high-performing engineering students and Rotary International.

JKA benefits its owners.  JKA’s financial success has enabled its owners, marriage as well as business partners, to pay off old business debt, jettison unprofitable lines of business, and leverage their profitable lines of business for a more sustainable future.

How has the Northwest Small Business Transportation Resource Center helped JKA? 

Their support enabled JKA to:

  1. Better organize its financial records and engage the services of a CPA.  This helped JKA to better understand and focus on its best avenues of profitability, plan for tax efficiency and more effectively manage its cash flow.
  2. Enroll two JKA employees in a certified apprenticeship program.  This enabled JKA to participate in public projects which required apprenticeship hours as part of contract compliance.

I think the moral of the story is that growth for the sake of growth, does not a successful business make.  Business owners must think and act strategically, with a focus on profitability.  To do this, we need access to professional resources that can help us collect as well as interpret our financial and operational data.  The SBTRC has helped us immeasurably with gaining this access.