The founder of Lifetime Products wasn’t trying to build a better pole — the first complete basketball system you could raise up and down with a broomstick.
To focus specifically on adjustable basketball systems a separate company was created named Lifetime Products, with the name inspired by the goal of building a durable and lasting product. Today, Lifetime Products, Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of basketball hoops. It’s also the leading manufacturer of folding tables and chairs in the United States. But their reach extends beyond the States. Lifetime sells products in more than 70 countries around the globe.
The company has applied innovation and cutting-edge technology in plastics and metals to create a family of affordable lifestyle products that feature superior strength and durability. In addition to basketball systems and various sporting goods offerings (playsets, soccer goals, tetherball systems, etc.), Lifetime manufactures a host of innovative products that outfit the lifestyles of today’s Americans. Their lawn and garden offerings include sheds, composters, deck boxes, outdoor furniture and in 2010 the company expanded into watersports with family-friendly kayaks and paddleboards.
While the company’s growth record is impressive (15 employees in a 32,000 square-foot space in half a warehouse in the Clearfield, Utah Freeport Center to more than 1,400 employees and over three million square feet spread over 30 separate buildings), what may be even more startling is that 14% of Lifetime’s employee base has been with the company for more than 10 years. Likewise, the majority of Lifetime’s manufacturing is done in the U.S. — keeping jobs in Utah and supporting the local economy.
Commitment, innovation and quality are key to the company’s success and growth, and Mountain West Small Business Finance is proud of the role they’ve played in Lifetime’s history and success.
As Mark Whiting, CFO of Lifetime Products, Inc., explained: “The founders actually used six personal credit cards to finance the startup. Later we utilized bank asset-based lending to grow. The Mountain West Small Business Finance piece was crucial, filling the financing gap between startup and bank.”
To make the leap from startup to thriving small business, Lifetime Products used financing facilitated by Mountain West Small Business Finance. This was a crucial step along Lifetime’s path to become the immensely successful company they are today. Lifetime is one of the over 4000 small businesses who have been able to bring their innovative ideas to fruition through an SBA 504 loan from MWSBF. Through the funding of those 4000 businesses, MWSBF has helped to bring over $1 billion dollars of new capital into the economy.