Steve Strauss looks at the trend that is dominating the world, Entrepreneurship.
Faithful readers of this column (thank you very much!) know that every year I post a two-part Top Trends in Small Business piece. It is always interesting to see what is coming down the pike, and it is equally interesting to notice how much, and how little, the list changes every year.
It can be challenging enough to open one retail shop, let alone two within six months.
But that’s what Antoinette Lafayette did with her business, Pink Frosting Cupcakes in Coppell and Irving. Lafayette felt confident enough to take a risk on a second location so quickly because she was prepared for the opportunity.
“Because I planned so well for it, I had a great chance of succeeding,” she said of starting her new business. “I refused to open the door until I went over everything.”
Rue Reynolds and Toni Reynolds
180 Thunderbird Drive
What's Great About My Mentor?
Bob is honest, straightforward and conveys a genuine desire to see our business flourish. He was
invaluable in finding shortcomings and offering suggestions for shoring up weaknesses in our business
plan. His philosophy that our plan should answer all questions before they are asked went a long way in
demonstrating to investors that we “did our homework” and gave great thought to mitigating risk.
As the company continues its steady growth, we will continue to seek guidance from Bob and SCORE to
navigate the pitfalls of business growth and expansion.
How SCORE Helped
It took several years of research and a focused business plan to secure the funding required for the
company to commence operations in late 2011. Currently, the company has a client roster numbering
in the hundreds and provides boarding & daycare services to over 450 dogs each month on average.
Our Grooming has also become a very strong revenue stream and continues to grow on par with our
After months of market research and formulation of our business plan we met with SCORE to have a
thorough review. Since we would be using our business plan to secure startup capital we wanted to
make sure we had all the bases covered and that our plan demonstrated that our idea was lucrative,
logical and had provisions for risk mitigation. Our SCORE counselor was able to identify key weaknesses
in our plan that had to be addressed before going forward.
An added benefit of working with SCORE was the broad knowledge base held by their counselors;
regardless of the problem we faced whether it be in marketing, finance or accounting there was usually
a SCORE counselor who could lend aid or at the very least, introduce us to someone who could.
I started my refrigeration repair business six months ago and am now at the point of
needing to interview candidates for my first employee. I’ve never done this before. What tips can
What makes a small business owner successful? Entrepreneurs that survive and thrive share commonalities. They seem to be cut from the same mold. Each excels at certain areas while utilizing similar tools. This month’s SCORE infographic sponsored by Zipcar looks at what makes a successful entrepreneur. Download this infographic to learn more about what experience is most helpful, who successful small business owners turn to, and why these entrepreneurs always seem to be a step ahead.
No matter the small business, each entrepreneur faces one similar issue: Pricing. Are you out pricing your customers? Are you under pricing yourself? Is the difference between a year in the red or the black as simple as your price tag? This month SCORE helps you find the answers to these questions.
Few people are better qualified to discuss this issue than Ann Logue, who spent 12 years as a financial market analyst before turning her talents to writing. She also shares her expertise as a lecturer in finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago, teaching both undergraduate and MBA students about corporation finance and international financial markets. Ann will go over the finer points of pricing to help you maximize your pricing for profitability.
Pricing is something that all small businesses wrestle with, particularly those just getting started. What are the fundamentals for determining the ideal price for a product or service?
Managing a business - and keeping track of numerous employment laws - is a major challenge in today's sea of regulations. According to the report, "Small Business Problems & Priorities", compiled by the National Federation of Independent Businesses Research Foundation., the federal government alone proposes approximately 150 new rules every year that cost business owners over $100 million per rule in compliance costs. To successfully navigate the currents of law, employers need to be alert to the laws and regulations specifically related to their businesses. Learn more in this e-guide, sponsored by Paychex.
Delores Rodriguez is an idea person. In 1998 Delores found herself working in a high pressure job with a Fortune 500 company, putting in lots of hours, and traveling too much. Too much that is, for her two children at home. So Delores came up with a great idea for a business - corregated boxes. Well, not just boxes, but corregated packaging, plastic corregates, foam fabrication, returnables and washable totes.
Let’s say your nephew lives in California and he’s working on a project car, 1969 Olds 442. He need a front bumper, and you happen to have one in your barn that you’d love to ship to him, but you don’t have a clue about how to package it. It’s not like you can throw it in a box and call UPS. This baby needs specialty packaging. Something that won’t allow the bumper to shift or get damaged in transit. That’s where Delores, and Whisper Creative Products comes in. Give them the specs on your bumper, and they’ll make a custom package for it. A package strong enough to ensure that the bumper will get to your nephew in perfect condition.
“One of our customers wanted to send auto shocks to Mexico and needed special packaging for their products,” explained Delores. “We custom designed containers that could hold the shocks securely, and although it too a lot of trial and error, those shocks are getting to Mexico in perfect condition.” Now Delores is getting regular orders from the shock manufacturer.
1585 Wells Rd
How SCORE Helped
Ms. Rodriguez has been working with her SCORE Mentor, Dennis Snell, for about 6 months. “Dennis has been wonderful! He helped me with Quickbooks, and helped me understand all of the financials – profit and loss, balance sheets, and more. Now I’m documenting all of my accounting more accurately.”
“We primarily serve the automotive industry now, but we’re working to get into other manufacturers,” explained Delores. So Dennis put her in touch with another SCORE Mentor, Tim Ward, whose specialty is sales. “Tim and I have talked about some of the ideas I have, and he’s given me guidance on how to approach other businesses,” said Delores.” With the help of Tim and Dennis, and a lot of hard work, Delores’ great ideas are sure to turn into sales and profits for Whisper Creative Products.
The surging growth of minority women-owned businesses in the last 15 years tells a mixed story about the American workforce.
Minority women-owned firms grew 156 percent from 1997 to 2013 and now account for one in three women-owned firms in the U.S., according to a 2013 report by American Express on the State of Women-Owned Businesses. In contrast, non-minority women-owned firms grew 32 percent during the same period.
I’ve never been the most organized person, but it’s reached the point where the clutter in
my office is starting to hinder my productivity. How can I get a handle on the paper monster
that’s threatening to consume me?