Hal Shelton shares his experience and tips through his new book released January 15 to help business owners succeed.
Published Feb. 16, 2014
The SCORE Small Business Success Podcast features interviews with the best and brightest in the world of small business, covering topics such as business plans, financing, marketing, human resources, SEO, social media and more. In this podcast, Mike O'Malley explains the pricing to maximize profitability and value pricing for your small business.
What's a fair price for your product or service? How do you determine that price? Should you alert customers about rising costs? How often does pricing change? Get answers to these questions and more from Mike O'Malley
Published Feb. 11, 2014
The SCORE Small Business Success Podcast features interviews with the best and brightest in the world of small business, covering topics such as business plans, financing, marketing, human resources, SEO, social media and more. In this podcast, Yext's Tyler Donahue explains how you can make the most of your online presence and attract new customers to your small business.
How do people see and use your business online? What are the ways a small business with a local storefront can benefit from online advertising? What are the best free tools to use? Get answers to these questions and more from Yext's Tyler Donahue.
How SCORE Helped
SCORE is parent organization for SCORE Mpls
The Tivoli Theatre is owned and operated by Owen County Preservations, Inc. a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 corporation governed by a seven member Board of Directors. OCP is dedicated to preserving and increasing the awareness of Owen County’s rich architectural and historical heritage. The organization’s motto, Linking the Past With the Future, refers to our county’s history as seen in the architectural style, craftsmanship, and material used in earlier times by those who settled the county.
Formed in 1991, OCP strives to save and maintain these important and often endangered structures in Owen County by encouraging the preservation of our heritage while planning for the future growth of the communities in Owen County. We value the older buildings and items of historical significance throughout the county and have made it our endeavor to promote their preservation and restoration. We also see the importance of planning for the future through educating and involving the entire community.
The restoration of the Tivoli Theatre embodies the spirit of OCP and has become our largest undertaking to date. Through the presentation of films, performing arts and entertainment events, the Tivoli Theatre’s mission is to provide quality, affordable programming and serve as a gathering place for residents of Spencer and the surrounding area. As a celebrated historic landmark working toward a sustainable future, the Tivoli aims to inspire downtown revitalization and enhance pride in the community.
24 N. Washington St
How SCORE Helped
Very early in the Tivoli Project, OCP began developing a business plan that would ensure the successful operation of the theater after the renovation was complete. While it was recognized that the theater would be the primary source of revenue, it would be necessary to augment that revenue from other sources. A key factor in doing so would be to maximize the utility of the building by incorporating spaces that could be rented independently from the theater, per se, or used to bolster the functionality of the theater. It was also recognized that we would require an experienced theater director since none of the OCP directors nor it's membership had such experience. The theater director would need to be a paid employee of OCP with a staff of volunteers under his or her direction. A business plan was developed accordingly and reviewed by SCORE members Mike Spinks and Tad Wilson. They provided several essential recommendations that were incorporated into the plan along with a few other changes that resulted from additional research suggested by the SCORE members. A revised version of the plan was put together and again reviewed by Mike and Tad. They recommended a few more minor changes that were incorporated into the third version, which they reviewed and "blessed". They advised that the business plan is a "living document" and will need to be changed as situations develop, but provided us with the confidence that we needed to proceed. As they predicted, two more minor changes were made before the business plan was "published". Owen County Preservations is very grateful for the invaluable assistance provided by SCORE, and in particular Mike Spinks and Tad Wilson. The Tivoli business plan allowed us to attain the confidence of the Cook Group as a viable custodian of their investment, capable of operating the Tivoli Theatre as a successful business. It also provided the confidence needed by Owen County State Bank to provide us with an unsecured line of credit to use for start-up capital that was required to hire a director, purchase supplies, and meet other financial requirements necessary to start the operation. Our business plan was key to our success, and SCORE participation in its development was key to the success of the business plan.
Owen County Preservations, Inc.
At times, an organization dedicated to helping others may require some help of its own. Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County (UGM-TC) is a united Christian organization and ministry dedicated to providing support and rehabilitation for the homeless in the Fort Worth community and has been committed to doing so since 1888. UGM-TC is no small operation – it is a six-acre campus with many buildings and 60+ employees who served 880 clients last year. In 2012, a few UGM-TC staff members sought the help of SCORE Fort Worth for guidance in tackling low-level managerial issues and a new undertaking for the organization: a major capital campaign to build a 60 bed women and family facility. But after a few months of collaboration, the SCORE Fort Worth mentors realized that there were more pressing issues that needed addressing – namely Human Resource management from the top. They were on-hand to help.
As of June 2013, Tarrant County’s homeless population had grown 10 percent since 2011 to 2,390, and the number of people living unsheltered more than doubled to 281, according to results of a January count by the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition. The count found 338 homeless families with children, up from 292 in 2011. To address the needs of this family population, UGM-TC announced plans to build the Scott Walker Women and Families Services Building, named for a commercial real estate developer and mission volunteer. The 39,707-square-foot building will have five rooms where two-parent families can stay with their children while getting back on their feet, five rooms for single men who are caring for their children and 28 rooms for single women who are participating in the long-term program. A 12-bed overnight dormitory will be for single women who walk in on a daily basis. That brings the capacity for single women at the Union Gospel Mission to 68 beds. It is scheduled to open in September 2014.
While living at the mission, homeless clients work with the staff to acquire the tools, education and support they need to become self-sufficient. Residents work with case managers to address factors that led to homelessness, including domestic violence, physical and mental health issues, and substance abuse. Clients stay an average of six months.
A capital campaign for the $8.2 million project is underway. The mission raised $5.9 million, and the Oklahoma-based Mabee Foundation has pledged to donate the last $1 million when the mission raises $7.2 million.
How SCORE Helped
SCORE Fort Worth embarked on a comprehensive study of UGM's staffing, management practices and general administrative functions with the goal of helping to improve the organization. From there, the team of mentors and UGM-TC staff met once a month to complete the organizational analysis.
As time wore on, it became clear that upper level management of UGM-TC had far larger workloads than could be managed. The SCORE mentors’ job became helping the small group at the top find ways to let go of some of the day-to-day tasks and allocating responsibility to other staff members. With these newly defined goals in mind the mentors spent increasing amounts of time looking at the staffing situation and reworking job descriptions.
At the beginning of the meetings together the need for high-level HR staff was mentioned but it was put to the side because of limited funding. For many months it was put off, but by spring 2013, UGM-TC’s Board of Directors approved a staff position for an HR director. It started as a part-time position, but in just a few months developed into a full time position. Special meetings were also held to work on a clear and usable organization chart.
Many times when an entrepreneur has a great idea, business guidance is needed to get it from conception to market. That is where a mentor from SCORE can help.
Steven DeFonzo, owner of From the Hearth Pizza, a catering company based in Carrollton, received help from Jemal Harris, a freelance consultant and director of operations for Peninsula SCORE, with his business plan. DeFonzo needed funding to purchase a mobile brick oven.
Local artist Marin Camille remembers the first time she bought lingerie. She will tell you that it was the perfect thing and the right occasion, and it is an experience she wants you to have. Marin has also always wanted to design her own line of vintage lingerie, and this year, that lace-and-silk fantasy is becoming reality.
SCORE Celebrates 50 Years of Empowering Small Businesses
Encourages all consumers to shop small & local on November 30th
There are approximately 22 Million U.S. Military Veterans and another 2.3 Million Active and Reserve Military Personnel to thank this Veterans Day and while this may feel like an overwhelming task, I believe entrepreneurs are positioned uniquely to make a real difference today by going beyond raising the American flag and doing something tangible to help Veterans.