After graduating from the Sevier Valley Technology Center in Machine Tool Technology/Welding in 1996, Alan Hart began working in industry where he honed skills as an expert machinist. He also observed the workings of the business ventures for which he was employed. Then, in 2003, he started Red Hills Precision – a custom machine shop in Richfield, Utah. Hart began by purchasing needed equipment and building a shed around it on his property and proceeded to operate this small home-based business while maintaining his other fulltime employment. The company struggled. Year after year, huge overhead and the many other challenges associated with finding, scheduling and completing the custom jobs took its toll. “I nearly lost my house over it,” said Hart, as he recalls the years of this uphill battle.
Having become an expert in his field, Hart took employment as an instructor of machine tool technology at Snow College and continued to operate Red Hills Precision as a side business generating $15K to $20K per year. Then, in 2011, he decided to make a renewed push to significantly grow this venture. Hart met with Keith Church of the Utah SBDC in Richfield. During that initial visit, Church recommended that Hart think seriously about the vision of his company, set goals and outline a plan for growth. He suggested that Hart and his wife, who also plays an active role in the business, enroll in the SBDC’s small business growth training program, FastTrac NewVenture. The Harts followed Church’s advice. Even though Red Hills Precision had been operating for 15 years, they treated this as a fresh start and conducted business planning as though they were starting a new venture.
As they proceeded through the class they worked closely with Church on completing assignments and their efforts paid off. In the past three years revenue at Red Hills Precision has increased by 50%. They now have three employees and are in the process of planning an expansion into a 3,000 square foot shop with additional equipment.
Through their growth, Hart has stayed true to their core competency of serving a niche market with precision work as their name implies. They work in numerous material types from aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel to various types of plastics. While the majority of their clients are in Utah, they have served customers from Kentucky to Oregon.