Minority Entrepreneurs

Ask SCORE

            I’m a retired sales and marketing guy who’s recently purchased a local convenience store. What are some of the key numbers I should be monitoring to successfully manage the business’ finances?

About the Author

            This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration.

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Cash Flow Template in Excel 

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Bailey'z

Bailey’z debuted at a trade show in November 2012, to great demand and acclaim. Customers and shop owners loved the quality and uniqueness of their products. Though they had a strong debut and nothing but positive feedback, CEO and lead designer, Ondiya Pruitt, spent 2013 improving the product line.

“I sourced out better materials, changed the patterns and construction on some of our products, and switched from having our products sewn by several home sewers to two manufacturing facilities (that adhere to our strict handmade and quality control guidelines.) These were paramount moves for the company, because I wanted to ensure that we launch with a bang. Moreover, the consistency and turnaround times, with my home sewers, were problematic. Now, with my manufacturing facilities in place, we are able to keep up with demand and grow faster. Also, since keeping my products made in America is extremely important to me, I chose two U.S. companies to manufacture our goods, one of which is employee-owned! Our company’s niche is handmade luxury gifts and accessories for babies and young children. So an obstacle for us was to provide superb quality, handmade, luxury goods, that are made in the U.S.A, while still remaining competitive with the many other companies who aren't. My SCORE mentor really helped me with my strategy and approach to this issue! I can now proudly say that we are offering the best of the best products in our market at the most competitive prices! Now, after a long year of improvements and learning experiences, we are set to launch in boutiques, gift shops, and online stores in April 2014.” Website at www.baileyzkids.com

 

Owner/Founder
Ondiya Pruitt
Year Company Formed
2012
My Successes

I measure my business successes based on many things including the obstacles that we overcame to get to this point. Early on, I had many debacles with my home sewers that cost me thousands of dollars; however, giving up was not an option! In turn, these numerous errors caused me to regroup and seek out larger and more reliable manufacturing! This was vital to our success, because we can now meet large demands with quick turnaround times. Additionally, I now have overseers in place, during each production run, to insure quality control! Another huge success for me was being able to accomplish my businesses goal: providing superior quality products that are handmade in the US at competitive prices. In my opinion, this is one of my biggest feats, because accomplishing this mission took a lot of diligence, negotiating, and patience! Since I believe that true luxury starts with the materials, a huge challenge was sourcing out the best of the best fabrics and fibers to construct our goods! I was previously a customer of a well known US based luxury fabric supplier; however they closed their doors, since many companies shied away from using luxury materials, with the recent recession. When this occurred, I was forced to source out my own luxury materials because, of course, they refused to give up their source. After searching, searching, and more searching, I finally located their exact sources. This allowed me to continue to use the finest Turkish terries and chenille etc, during the crafting of our products, all while cutting out the middle man! This also allowed me customized fabric compositions, to truly make our products unique! Direct sourcing, hands-on training, mentoring, and careful cooperation with my manufacturing facilities have allowed me to accomplish my goal of providing the best of the best US made infant gifts and accessories at competitive prices! My final measure of success is that now, after a long journey, we will be launching in several stores in April 2014! We will also be featured in blogs and publications around our launch date!

What's Great About My Mentor?

My mentor, Ramesh Barasia, is amazing! He is extremely knowledgeable and kind, and he really cares about my company’s success! He is a great asset for me and a factor in my success. His friendly, professional, and caring nature really put me at ease and made me feel comfortable coming to him with any business issues or questions. SCORE has truly been a godsend for me, throughout the years!

How SCORE Helped

Score has helped my business tremendously. My mentor advised me on business and marketing approaches and techniques, helped me determine wholesales prices and sales strategies, introduced me to business contacts, and gave me lots of general business advice. Previously, SCORE introduced me to one of Atlanta’s top patent attorneys, who mentored me and helped me write a provisional patent application. That experience was also invaluable, because two of my companies current products are patent pending and I now have the know how to write patent applications and patents myself!

Ask SCORE

             I’ve been an independent media and public relation consultant for almost a year. As a first-time self-employed tax filer, what business deductions am I entitled to?

 

About the Author

         This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly
70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one
business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit
merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer

One of the most common business structures used to start a business is the sole proprietorship. But sole proprietorships/Doing Business As (DBAs) aren’t popular because they’re essential or even helpful—it’s because they’re simple to form. There’s no formal action required to start a sole proprietorship, and many people own them without even knowing it. For example, if you were to start building and selling rowboats out of your garage, you would be a sole proprietor. There is legally no distinction between the business and you, the owner. Sole proprietorships are formed automatically—all you need to do to form one is sell something. In many cities, states, and counties, you can register a Sole Proprietorship business name (aka: a DBA) for as little as $5. But with a sole proprietorship/DBA, you reap all the profits and you carry the weight of all your debts, losses, and liabilities. 

About the Author

Drake Forester, Chief Legal Strategiest - Northwest Registered AgentDrake Forester is the chief legal strategist at Northwest Registered Agent, LLC. Throughout his career, Drake has researched many complicated nonprofit compliance issues and provided whitepaper and publications for many leading nonprofit organizations in the United States.

After you’ve filed formation documents to create your business (i.e. Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization) and have gotten your paperwork back from the state, you’re ready to open your doors, right? Now what? 

There are a few more requirements you should consider before you are fully ready to operate:

Initial Reports:

There are a handful of states which require initial reports and tax forms to be filed, as opposed to waiting to file an annual report. These states and their requirements are as follows—

About the Author

Drake Forester, Chief Legal Strategiest - Northwest Registered AgentDrake Forester is the chief legal strategist at Northwest Registered Agent, LLC. Throughout his career, Drake has researched many complicated nonprofit compliance issues and provided whitepaper and publications for many leading nonprofit organizations in the United States.

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