50+ Entrepreneurs

1. Go to the website of the Maine Secretary of State: http://maine.gov/sos 2. On the left-hand side is a menu, click on “corporations”; 3. When the corporations page opens on the left hand-side, depending upon what you want to do, click on either “Business Corporations” or “Limited Liability Companies”; 4. When the appropriate site comes up scroll down to the document(s) needed: • With respect to Business Corporations at least two documents will be required: • Form MBCA-6 “Articles of Incorporation”; you will also want • Form MBCA-3-NCRA “Appointment of a non-commercial clerk” • With respect to Limited Liability Companies one document will suffice: • MLLC-6 “Articles of Organization”

Community Recreation Centers Find Success Through Collaboration

Collaboration with the competition. For some businesses, it would be a radical — and sometimes unthinkable — idea. Not for Karen Mailen and her colleagues at the recCenters of Lancaster County. The group, made up of four recreation facilities in four different communities, is a collaboration designed to capitalize on shared resources and to enhance the marketability of each center.

Owner/Founder
Karen Mailen
My Successes
Collaboration with the competition. For some businesses, it would be a radical — and sometimes unthinkable — idea. Not for Karen Mailen and her colleagues at the recCenters of Lancaster County. The group, made up of four recreation facilities in four different communities, is a collaboration designed to capitalize on shared resources and to enhance the marketability of each center.
The idea for the alliance came out of a conversation Karen, executive director of the Lititz Rec Center, had with a local businessperson. The discussion turned to the challenge that many firms have with corporate recreation center memberships—a single facility might not be easily accessible to every corporate location or to every employee.
For Karen, who as a former YMCA program director had often shared ideas and resources with other YMCAs, the solution came naturally: create a coalition of recreation centers that offered standardized products and services, making each facility more attractive to corporations and individuals. 
To offer the best possible package, the fledgling group would include centers that offered similar services, such as a fitness center, a gym, and swimming facilities. As a result, along with Karen at the Lititz Rec Center, the group includes Alan Houck from the New Holland Recreation Center, David Lloyd from the Ephrata Rec Center, and Barry Newton from the Hempfield Area Recreation Commission.
From the start of the process, team members were receptive to the idea of collaboration. Karen says, “They were all very open and very helpful. We have a similar mindset.”
One result of the joint effort is the recAlliance program, which allows a member of any one of the four facilities to receive a discount on fees at the participating centers. As a result, a member of the Hempfield center can take discounted classes that may be offered only at Ephrata or New Holland.
In addition, the group recently launched a corporate membership program in which a company’s employees receive a discounted rate to join any recCenter facility. Since all the centers are available in the program, it makes it easier for an employee to find a convenient location, whether it’s near the workplace or one that’s closer to home.
The recCenters of Lancaster County is starting to see a return on their joint efforts. Karen says, “All of our centers are seeing growth in their memberships.” The group’s collaboration on an advertising campaign has also raised the profile of each facility. “We’re able to do television ads, something that we could never afford to do independently.”
Karen credits the group’s success to the assistance of SCORE Lancaster, a non-profit business mentoring service. To help build upon her initial vision, SCORE assembled a task force that included counselors Pete Faber,  Bill Graham, Dave Heckel, and Larry Merris. Karen says these mentors played a critical role in facilitating decision-making among group members. “It’s sometimes hard to get everyone to the same place. SCORE mediated and helped us move forward, even when we couldn’t all agree.”
With SCORE’s assistance, the alliance established their official name as well as a common logo. The process, which took place over a half-dozen work sessions, also included the creation of a marketing plan.
Karen says, “We were very thankful for SCORE’s help and support, and they did it at the perfect price for us — free.”
What's Great About My Mentor?

 To help build upon her initial vision, SCORE assembled a task force that included counselors Pete Faber,  Bill Graham, Dave Heckel, and Larry Merris. Karen says these mentors played a critical role in facilitating decision-making among group members. “It’s sometimes hard to get everyone to the same place. SCORE mediated and helped us move forward, even when we couldn’t all agree.”

How SCORE Helped
With SCORE’s assistance, the alliance established their official name as well as a common logo. The process, which took place over a half-dozen work sessions, also included the creation of a marketing plan.
Karen says, “We were very thankful for SCORE’s help and support, and they did it at the perfect price for us — free.”

MicroSpring Bacteria Business is Booming

For most of us, the word bacteria conjures images of infections and other unpleasantries. Yet one Lancaster County entrepreneur is putting specialized bacteria to work for his clients.

Owner/Founder
George Pearson
My Successes
For most of us, the word bacteria conjures images of infections and other unpleasantries. Yet one Lancaster County entrepreneur is putting specialized bacteria to work for his clients.
 
George Pearson, owner of MicroSpring International LLC, sells microbial cleaning products to several industries, including pest control and food service. The cleaners are rich in earth-friendly bacteria that digest fat, oil, and grease. This green technology eliminates the need for chemical cleaners and produces only water and carbon dioxide as by-products 
Beginning in 2009, George began to form the foundation for his start-up. In fact, it took about a year of planning and legwork to set up the enterprise. It was during this process that George realized he needed additional resources to help build his vision.
 
That’s when he contacted the non-profit business mentors at SCORE Lancaster, where he was paired with counselor Jerry Glenn. The entrepreneur credits Jerry, along with several SCORE co-counselors, with setting him up for success. George says that one of the first things his mentor did was establish a weekly task list. With clearly defined objectives, this former medal-winning member of the Quantico shooting team directed his focus onto building the company. He says, “The list made it so much easier and took so much stress off of starting the business. Once I had the tasks finished, Jerry and I would meet and he’d give me more tasks. Before I knew it everything was set up.”
 
Despite his efforts, George encountered challenges that required him to adjust the original plan. Initially, for example, he’d envisioned owning his own lab where he could manufacture the products. He says, however, that Jerry asked him to consider outsourcing production to a laboratory with the resources to manufacture the formula. After exploring the possibility, George contracted with a lab, allowing MicroSpring to maintain control of production as well as cost. He says, “Jerry helped coach me as far as working out the agreements and building the relationships. He also helped me build my negotiation skills. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him because they don’t teach negotiating in college.”
 
As the company continues to grow, George is now directing his focus on the next phase of MicroSpring’s business plan, which includes expanding sales into a broader range of industries. He will also continue to put his resources to work by maintaining relationships with Jerry and the rest of the SCORE Lancaster team. George says, “Many small businesses don’t do well and end up collapsing. SCORE is there to help ensure success for business start-ups.
What's Great About My Mentor?

 “Jerry helped coach me as far as working out the agreements and building the relationships. He also helped me build my negotiation skills. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him because they don’t teach negotiating in college.”

This thirty-two page primer on Cash Flow will help you understand and manage Cash Flow by explaining the working capital cash conversion cycle -- the cash flow cycle

Entrepreneur’s Guide: Starting and Growing a Business in Pennsylvania is a 108 page booklet filled with current information about free services, check lists, helpful tips and licensing procedures. Because the information in this guide is not intended to be the final statement on any subject, you will also find addresses, web sites and telephone numbers for contacting business-related agencies.

'Positive Doing' and a SCORE Mentor Chicago Condos Online Finds Success

After 32 years as a magazine editor, Ric Cox had investments in nine Chicago-area condominiums. Not ready for retirement, Cox had an idea for ChicagoCondosOnline.com, a web site that would provide a wealth of data on the area’s condominiums.  After contacting SCORE, Cox was able to get the advice and resources he needed to make his ideal web site a reality.

Owner/Founder
Ric Cox
My Location
Chicago IL
United States
Year Company Formed
2005
My Successes

Acting fast helped Ric land Midwest Real Estate Data, the regional multiple listing service, as his major client.  Volunteer mentor Jerry Hicks offered a valuable critique of Ric’s business plan, leading him to re-examine his strategy.

 “The improved business plan won me a $1,000 award from the City of Chicago and strategic advice from MBA candidates at the University of Chicago,” Ric says. 

ChicagoCondosOnline.com has become a valuable resource to Chicago’s real estate community. More than 40,000 agents and loan originators access the site regularly for information on more than 13,000 condominium buildings in Chicago. The business has also been featured in the Chicago Tribune, BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal and other publications. Waxman also continues to assist Ric as a member of ChicagoCondosOnline.com’s Board of Advisors.

What's Great About My Mentor?

Ric found the answers he was looking for, and much more, at Chicago SCORE’s downtown office. There, he was matched with volunteer mentor Elaine Waxman, the former owner of a real estate firm who had also held senior sales and management positions with one of the giants of the Chicago real-estate market.

“What a connection!” Ric says. “Elaine’s first recommendation was to complete the web site.  It was a big risk, but SCORE connected me with a web developer who saved me tens of thousands of dollars in development costs.”

How SCORE Helped

The fact that Ric has been successful is hardly surprising. He spent more than a decade working with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who advocated the “power of positive thinking.” But when it came to building a successful business, Ric found that SCORE offered the “power of positive doing.”

 “I’ve had a dozen sessions with mentors, not counting phone calls and e-mails,” Ric says. “We focused on strategic planning and marketing. It was all free! Who knows what this mentoring would cost on the open market.”

Simple Steps for Starting Your Business”

 

Is Starting a Business Right for You?

Attend this comprehensive series of workshops to help you test your new business idea and gets you started on the right path. Free one-to-one counseling is also a part of the workshop process.

 

Join us for five three-hour sessions that help you understand the basics of:

  • the concepts involved with assessing a business idea,

  • marketing your product or service,

  • understanding business financials and how they work, and

  • how to fund and finance your business.

 

Session 1: Start-up Basics (Free) , October, 25th 4 to 7pm

This introductory workshop focuses on the basics of testing your business idea and identifying the key factors that influence start-up success. Start-up Basics provides you with an overview of the skills and tools you need when deciding to start a business. In this session, you learn about: the advantages and disadvantages of owning a business, the most profitable form for your business, and the fundamentals of formation, organization, marketing, cash flow and funding sources.

Session 2: Business Concept, Nov  1st , 4 to 7pm

The second workshop focuses on your business concept and step-by-step guidance in researching your idea, your market, and your competition. At the end of the Business Concept workshop, you are able to: identify your target markets, describe your products and services, and collect key competitive information to support your feasibility plan.

 

Session 3: Marketing Plan, Nov 8th, 4 to 7pm

The third workshop provides you with an introduction to marketing communication methods and tools to maximize your customer reach. The discussion in the Marketing Plan workshop covers pricing strategies, positioning, the difference between features and benefits, and different marketing strategies. At the end of this session, you will know how to: outline your marketing strategy, test your marketing message, choose the right sales channel, and exercise your marketing strategy.

 

Session 4: Financial Projections, Nov 15th, 4 to 7pm

The fourth workshop uses exercises to help you better understand financial concepts. This session reviews sales and prices, financial risks and rewards, true start-up costs, ongoing operating expenses, setting benchmarks for tracking progress and the organization of all your financial information. Using a hands-on approach, you learn how to use our financial model to forecast sales revenue and build solid pro-forma financial forecasts.

 

Session 5: Funding Sources and Next Steps, Nov 22nd, 4 to 7pm

The final workshop offers information on how to finance your small business. In this session, discussions include sources of funds, accounting the six C's of credit, banking relations, ratio analysis, and monthly preparation and review of financial statements. A bank loan officer will give an inside view of how a banker assesses the merits of business plans and loan application. At the end of the series, you have all of the tools necessary to decide whether or not to launch your small business.

 

First session free. Attend all five for $125.00.

 

Register for Simple Steps for Starting Your Business in Fort Wayne, IN  on Eventbrite

Create A “Get Moving” Marketing & Sales Plan

Summary

Guide for a Marketing and Sales Plan

Want a plan that focuses your time and money?  Rather than complex, time-consuming, dust-collecting volumes, you need a plan that gives you structure and flexibility. You need a live guide that you can look to for direction, and also for options. In this webinar we will help you focus in the key actions and key measures that can help you guide your business into the New Year.

Developing a Customer Contact Plan

Summary

Regular, meaningful contact with customers and prospects should be the engine for generating new business for your company. But who has the time?  And what is the best way to communicate?  In this webinar we talk about ways to efficiently drive sales by “touching” Customers, Prospects and Referral Sources in a planned, focused approach.

Savvy Social Media

Summary

How do you use Social Media to grow your business without sapping all your time and resources?

Jeanne Rossomme from RoadMap Marketing will help you drive Social Media as a deliberate piece of your marketing and sales plan.  We start with you and your goals and use Social Media when and if needed to get there.  Aviva Goldfarb will join us to share her amazing success through the smart use of social media.

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