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Mike Rich

Mike Rich

Mike Rich


Advisor Mike Rich is new to the SBDC advisor network bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience from a previous career. Rich retired the Federal Government in 2013 after 35 years of service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he administered the Colorado River Salinity Control Project and other programs.

Rich managed an annual budget of 1.5 million and supervised a 15 member staff. “I was also on the National Training Team teaching “Managing for Excellence”. He incorporated principals from “Managing for Excellence” when he taught the Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs class in Cortez in 2014 for the SBDC.

Rich has lived in Montezuma County since 1984 and operates Arriola Sunshine Farm with his wife selling produce and grass-fed lamb. The couple has 60 lambs, some sheep and some rams. They sell them as breeding animals and as butcher animals.

His experience lends itself to specializing in consulting with start-ups in the agriculture industry but he explains, “Agriculture is not just farming. It’s more involved now and involves selling retail and wholesale to restaurants and providing value added services.”

He finds that the issues start-ups face regardless of the industry are very similar. He’s worked with various businesses in different stages of start-up and growth. He credits his career with teaching him the skills of organization, critical thinking, looking at and analyzing data and the ability to see the big picture. He uses all these skills to serve the businesses he consults with.

Recently, Rich was working with a client who wants to open a food and beverage establishment in Cortez. They looked at financials and projections to accurately assess what the start-up costs will be. They researched location, menu and what it would cost to remodel to meet their needs. Research included learning about the prices being garnered by other similar establishments and advertising costs.

The client knows that establishments serving affordable food and locally crafted beer are booming in Colorado now and with access to the number of tourists visiting the area for various reasons, they determined their business could be a success.

Rich likes using the Business Model Canvas with clients since it incorporates all the aspects of running a business that need to be considered. It is a less linear approach and provides a more interrelated perspective.
He shares, “Being a part of the SBDC Business Advisory Network provides me an opportunity to put the management skills I gained in my career to use. I enjoy giving back to my community by helping people be successful with their businesses.”


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