After working for more than 25 years in the publishing industry, the company I worked
for downsized and I accepted an attractive buyout package. Now I’d like to start my own
business. What do I do first?
Q: What are limited liability companies (“LLCs”), and what should businesses know
A: LLCs are a new type of business entity that emerged in the early 1990s. They have many important legal and tax characteristics, but the key ones are these:
Liability shield. LLCs provide their owners (called “members”) with a statutory liability shield that is essentially identical to the corporate shield.
I’ve recently taken my business plan for a new and innovative consumer product to several banks seeking funding, but have had no success. What are some other financing options that might be available to me?
Review the 15 key areas of the Business Check list before your start your business.
With an honors fine arts degree from UCSD, endless inspiration from the castles, museums and churches of Europe and real world experience in creating sets for TV and movies, Margarette Johannes had everything it took to be a successful artist. But the business side of her work was another story. The idea of starting out was daunting altogether – she didn’t know the first thing about financials, marketing or business planning and didn’t know where to turn. Luckily her grandfather, Malcolm Epstein Sr., did! A former SCORE mentor himself, he directed Margarette to the place she would gain all these skills and more “practically on a silver platter!” – SCORE!
Margarette Johannes, LEED AP
Since starting in 1995, Avant Palette has been creating extraordinary faux finishes and specialized textures for professional interior designers and discriminating home and business owners. Their clients include luxury hotels, high end offices and even a Frank Lloyd Wright residence.
Avant Palette has grown from just Margarette doing all the work herself into a company with three different locations across the United States having up to 15 independent contractors on residential, commercial and government projects, and drafting 20 major contracts a year.
The company’s work has received an overwhelmingly positive response was recently featured on TheGardenIsland.com (click to read more).
What's Great About My Mentor?
Mentor Paul Hollenbach helped Margarette gain the essential tools she would need to start and maintain her successful business. Business topics ranging from advertising to insurance, government contracts to financing options, were covered and equipped Margarette with the knowledge and confidence to proceed.
How SCORE Helped
Margarette continues to meet with her SCORE mentor, as she says, “to brainstorm for my company's continuous growth.” She highly recommends the free mentoring and workshops saying, “SCORE is an entrepreneur's best friend. I would not be where I am without them. Don't let this service pass you by!”
Current City: Marblehead, MA
Expert at launching consumer products, specializing in international market development. Built consumer franchises in over 25 countries and participated in the planning, construction and profitable operation of both new plants and acquisitions. Here's my full profile:
Master of Business Administration (Honors in Marketing)
Current City: Costa Mesa, CA
Business plans, business start-up, finance, financial projections, financing businesses and start ups, cash flow, budgeting, intellectual property, turn-arounds for troubled businesses. Retail, sales, manufacturing, entertainment, the environmental industry and non-profits. I began my business career by starting a retail ski shop, which built to $1 million in sales as the ski industry boomed. When my daughter was born I sold the ski business and became a stay-at-home mom entrepreneur. I sold custom portraits of children and pets through mail order and specialty shops. Five years later I sold the portrait business and entered the University of Pittsburgh M.B.A. program, majoring in Accounting and Finance. After graduating Magna cum Laude I worked as Assistant Controller and Factory Systems Analyst for a large aluminum foundry and rolling mill in Eastern Ohio. Two very cold winters later I moved to Southern California as Project Financial Analyst for Hughes Aircraft.I moved to Disney to manage the financial affairs for several divisions at the park as well as the construction of Thunder Mountain Railroad. I left Disney to work as a Special Projects Analyst for Shell Oil, then spent 11-1/2 years at Digital Equipment Corporation. At DEC I worked directly with the Western Vice President of Sales, managing the budgeting, reporting, and awards programs for a 300 person sales force. I also served as executive partner to several aerospace and banking companies, wrote the strategic plan for a new $50 million venture, served as national training manager for the Finance and Accounting organization, and as training liaison between Finance and Accounting and the sales group. In 1992 I took early retirement and became a SCORE volunteer. Currently, I work half-time doing marketing, accounting, and financial planning for a small family owned firm. I also work periodically with the Cal State Fullerton School of Business Entrepreneurship program and run three small businesses: consulting for several former employers, art beading and freelance writing
BA, University of Pittsburgh, Cum Laude -- Studio Art Major, Theater and dance minor MBA, University of Pittsburgh, Magna Cum Laude, Finance and Accounting. 5 time winner, Chapter Cyber Counselor of the Year Award.
Current City: New Rochelle, NY
Expert in Business Start ups, Buying and Selling a Business, related Business Valuation, Business Plans, Business Legal Forms, Obtaining Financing. Specialize in Restaurants, Retail, Medical Services, Manufacturing and Natural Resources. 1965 to 2003 W.R.Grace & Co. Corporate Vice President of Finance. For last 25 years negotiated worldwide acquisitions and divestment's of various businesses ranging from $25 million to over $1 billion. Coordinated due diligence, both in house and third party, including work of independent accountants, investment bankers and attorneys. Negotiated financial and purchase price sections of relevant agreements and reviewed other documents. Resolved all post closing purchase price adjustments and business issues. Worked closely with investment bankers in achieving corporate value objectives. Director of Internal Audit for two years. Prior to 1980 was responsible for both internal and external world wide financial reporting. Corporate business plan and financing initiator. Start up business initiator. 1960 to 1965 PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLC. CPA
Columbia University Graduate School of Business. MS degree in Accounting. University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. BS in Marketing
Expert in writing Business Plans and BUSINESS Consulting , MUSIC and PROMOTION, RETAIL Operations,Business Development MARKETING and Promotion MUSIC Music, Entertainment, Performing Arts, Advertising, Large Retail Operations, Flea Markets, Furniture. Consignments Sales. Pre-owned Vehicle Sales, Skilled in all aspects of Business. Management, Budgeting & Analysis, Merchandise Business Startup, Business Turnaround, Cash Management, Financial Planning / Cash Flow, Human Resources. Inventory Control, Pricing & Promotion, Sales, Strategic Planning. 44 year combined career.
Eastman School of Music