As I sit down to write this, it has been nearly 10 years since starting SureFire Ag and four years since SureFire Electronics. You know the adage about time flying when you’re having fun. It most certainly has been fun, and challenging of course, but if I had to use one word to describe it I’d say it has been inspiring.
In the beginning, our first and foremost goal was to make a good living and raise our families in our hometown of Atwood, Kansas. As founders of SureFire we’ve all spent time away from home gaining valuable experience. I believe our roots, and those outside experiences, have given us a sense of perspective and vision. I’d like to think it’s a little bit like the pioneering spirit that our ancestors had when they settled this area, and like our fore-bearers, we are committed to building something that endures and leaves a legacy.
Over the course of the past 10 years, the collective vision of the founders was to transform our business into one of an “ownership culture.” In the beginning, it was certainly about what we wanted in a company, but it was also about what we didn’t want. One of our strongest beliefs is that people who are truly empowered can make great decisions. We started with the right people, we live a shared vision of empowerment and open-book management, and it is working out in a way we had only hoped it would in the beginning.
We are truly blessed to have started SureFire at the right time in the agricultural economy in 2007, and enjoyed several years of tremendous growth with a strong ag market. As the ag economy began to change, we realized that we would need to make changes as well to keep up. A lot of those changes involved product diversification, but a significant part of it was making sure we not only develop great products, but that we are truly a great value to our customers as an organization.
There is great satisfaction when out of the blue I get a message from a customer that says, “you should be proud of your employees, they take care of me like nothing I’ve ever experienced.” It reassures me that the employee ownership culture has taken hold.
With the completion of our first ever product catalog, along with our Dealer Value video, it makes me proud. It is also satisfying to know that our business is grounded in many great relationships built on the value that we provided to our farmer and dealer customers everywhere. This is the right foundation to have as we look to the future to determine what our customers will need from us not just tomorrow, but five years from now, and beyond.
Co-Founder & National Sales Manager