Quentin and Shasta Shurtleff are oil field entrepreneurs. After years of working hard and learning the industry, Quentin started making a little money on the side by pumping and doing roustabout work. A “pumper” is the person that makes sure the oil flows to the right place at the right time. A “roustabout” is the backbone of the industry. These are the men that work where “the rubber meets the road,” they are a jack-of-all-trades. The job may be laying pipeline on one day and the next day delivering a drill bit that weighs more than a car.
Quentin made a name for himself in the oil patch through hard work and dependability. When the energy industry finds that combination, it doesn’t let that person get away. After working many long weekends for someone else, the Shurtleffs decided that it was time to open their own business.
They were referred by Zions Bank to Mark Holmes at the Vernal Small Business Development Center (SBDC). “I’ve seen this scenario play out many times over the last 17 years.” said Holmes. “There’s a dedicated worker that sees an opportunity and pounces on it. That’s what the Shurtleffs did.”
The SBDC assisted with a business plan, financial projections, and loan packaging. “When we were preparing to go out on our own we knew we wouldn’t be able to sit around waiting for the money to start rolling in. The SBDC helped us in the process of getting a business loan.” A short time later Q&S Contracting was formed and growth soon followed. Now with more employees and more contracts, Shasta says the biggest challenge is meeting the growing needs of their clients and financing continued growth.
What is their secret to success? Shasta says, “hard work, honesty, fair prices and total dedication. It becomes your life.” With a secret like this, there is a bright future for Q&S Contracting.
Shasta describes the benefits of being self-employed. She says, “it’s the freedom to decide who we work for, what our hours will be and choosing your own fate.” If this sounds like the path for you, Shasta advises “do your homework, be patient and don’t do it to get rich. Expect a life change and most importantly, don’t forget why you wanted to start in the first place.”