It’s the dream of every entrepreneur. It’s the goal of every startup. It’s what every small business strives for. The premise that at some point in the future, what started as an idea, that turned into a plan, that developed into a business will be worth millions of dollars. West Michigan entrepreneur, Daniel J. Bowen knows exactly what that is like.
Bowen founded the Byron Center based startup, Aspen Surgical, in 1999. At the time Aspen was a single operation that specialized in disposable medical products. In 2006 Aspen was sold to a larger entity and Bowen retained a minority share of the business. After relocating to Caledonia, Michigan and acquiring other medical supply entities, Aspen now employs 300 West Michigan employees and more than 700 worldwide. Recently Aspen was sold to Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. for $400 million in cash.
In just 13 years, this Grand Rapids entrepreneur was able to create an entity that is now worth $400 million. There was a lot of sweat equity that went into building Aspen. Aspen also was able to quickly expand after 2006 off the work of other individual entities. It appears there was a definite, well executed strategy employed by Bowen, who now heads Dempsey Ventures, a holding company that invests in medical products.
With football season getting underway it only seems appropriate to quote Paul “Bear” Bryant, who said, “It's not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters." This translates to entrepreneurs. Each one has a great idea and ambition to make that idea into a business. The difference between those that reach the level of Bowen and those that toil in obscurity is planning. Straight-line planning is not always available for entrepreneurs. Being able to see the big picture and adjust the plan to reach the ultimate goal will always be important. Maybe Bowen got lucky and stumbled his way to success but the more logical reason for his success is that he stuck to his plan.
Source: “Aspen Surgical sold for $400M” by Brian Edwards of MiBiz