2003 Existing Business of the Year
In 1991, John and Jane Guion had forty-seven years of combined experience in the retail furniture industry when it became clear that the best choice for them was to start their own business. Prior to that they learned that the business they both worked for would be sold or liquidated and they contacted the Emporia State University SBDC for assistance in planning for either the purchase of the existing store or the start up of a new furniture and appliance store. The pros and cons of each alternative were discussed and the SBDC consultant explained the business planning process, the expectations of lenders, and how the Guion’s could prepare themselves to capitalize on either situation when the time was right. They worked closely with the SBDC to develop financial projections, ensuring adequate capitalization of the new business. In October, 1991, Guion’s Showcase was in business with eight employees and 20,000 square feet of retail, office, and warehouse space. After approximately two years in business, the store expanded to include an additional 25,000 square feet. Many further enhancements have been added along the way as well. Today, the Guion’s have a highly successful family business which includes their sons; Mike- General Manager, Doug-Office Manager, and Jim-Service Manager. Since starting the business the store has shown impressive increases in sales and profits which have far exceeded expectations. Guion’s Showcase proudly serves an eighty-mile trade area and employs fifteen people. A retail establishment of this quality is truly an asset to Emporia, the surrounding area, and the State of Kansas.