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Stocking Up

You get more than financing when you tap your 401(k) to buy stock in your business.

This story appears in the April 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

After nearly 20 years in sales and sales management for a large manufacturer of printed forms, labels and electronic printing systems, Jim O'Brien was getting antsy. The business plan he was writing in his head was getting more and more detailed. And when the future of the company he was working for began to seem less than certain, O'Brien, along with five fellow salespeople--Paul Hoffman, Jeff Porter, Mike Ryan, John Talaga and Sue Sharkey (pictured, left to right)--made the jump to form Print Management Partners Inc., a Des Plaines, Illinois, company that, not surprisingly, brokers printing services and also offers electronic printing and forms-management services.

O'Brien's business plan showed the company needed about $500,000 during the first year of operation for office equipment, an inventory of forms, and to fund receivables. In theory, Print Management Partners was ready to roll, but O'Brien wasn't ready to hold the grand opening until he knew the business could be funded.

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