Michelle Whitsitt January 4, 2009 Writing Assignment # 1: Interview a Business Owner Due: January 7, 2009 For my interview I decided to pick the owner of the company I work for. The owner’s name is J. Kent McNew and he is the owner of Eastern Petroleum Corporation. The company is a petroleum distributor of gasoline primarily through gas station outlets. Eastern Petroleum Corporation is a Maryland corporation and its corporate office is located in Annapolis, MD. Mr. McNew sells products in MD, VA, DC, and some in DE.
The scope of the business is done in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States. Eastern Petroleum is an S-Chapter corporation, which means S Corporations do not pay any income taxes. Instead, the corporation’s income or losses are divided among and passed through to its shareholders. The shareholders must then report the income or loss on their own individual income tax returns. Mr. Kent said that he’s always had an entrepreneur spirit and it started way back when he was in grade school.
He stated in his school each class had to sell garden seeds and he always sold the most in his class, so that inspired him to go into business. He worked for Hess Oil Company while attending the University of Richmond, realizing while selling products to his customers he wanted to go into business for himself. So he started the company called “Eastern Petroleum Corporation”. To come up with the corporation’s name he sat down with a legal pad and just wrote down different names that came to mind.
He didn’t want to name the company after himself because his father had a company called the McNew Brothers, and since he was based on the East coast he came up with Eastern Petroleum Corporation. Mr. McNew also came up with a company color which is yellow, because he wanted everyone to see the gasoline trucks on the road and he knew yellow would draw people’s attention. While talking with Mr. Kent he stated some of the advantages of being a corporation compared to other business forms were to protect you as an individual from law suits and taxes.
Also the stock as a corporation you can sell shares of it and have multiple owners, and the legal flexibility is an advantage because with the other business forms they can sue you personally and with a corporation then can go after your company instead of you. But one disadvantage was double taxing because as a corporation you have to pay taxes twice a year and with other business forms there only getting taxed once. The challenges for Mr. McNew are his human resources meaning finding the right people to work for you as well as having a good company that people want to work for.
But I noticed that with the economy and people getting laid off everyday that it’s tough to be any Human Resource Dept or an owner of a company. Another challenge is find the right account structure for the business regarding the capital and finances. It’s also a challenge in this day and age and in this type of market to stay competitive with your sales and marketing of your product. The reward of owning a business in Mr. Kent’s prospective is self satisfaction to say that he actually owns his own company.
Also psychological rewards along with financial rewards and seeing other people prosper and develop within the company. It also lets him give back his time and talents to do good things within the community on different committees. He stated 5 key’s to success that you need in order to run a successful business. The first one is perseverance through the good and the bad times. Also have integrity to take care of your customer and your employees. Have confidence in yourself that you can run a prosperous and successful business.
Make sure you a well educated and know the skills of the field of business you’re going to take on. Lastly, have fun and enjoy what you do. My whole insight on the interview was getting a better understanding what it take to want to own and run a business. You can’t just wake on morning and say I want to run a business. It takes time and effort along with a lot of stressful moments. But if you want it bad enough if you work hard it will all pay off in the end. It also let me learn different things about the man who I work for, like where he came up with the name and color of the company.
But as I compare this interview to some of the information I’ve read in my textbook there are more advantages and disadvantages to being a corporation compared to other business structures. The first advantage is the ownership change, it’s easy to change owners of a corporation all it takes is selling the stock to someone else. The disadvantage would be the extensive paper work you have to file in order to start the corporation. After interviewing my business owner it made me think about if I were to go into business what business structure would I want ,and what would I name my business ,and what rade would I use. I decided on naming my company “Whitsitt & Associates, I would have a business structure of sole-proprietorship and I would have the trade of owning a financial company. In conclusion I enjoyed this first project of interviewing the owner of my company. It gave me a better understanding about what it takes to be a business owner; it let me get a small taste of what life is like in business owners a shoe. It also taught me a lot of new and interesting things I didn’t know about the history of the company.