SCORE Mentors W. Laimon Interiors
Stephanie Mann had a lifelong passion for interior design. So she decided to start a second career as an entrepreneur by starting her own business, W. Laimon Interiors, which provides services for both residential and commercial clients, including three local churches.
Stephanie follows a 5-step process to satisfy her clients’ needs. First, she provides a consultation to understand their vision and needs. Next, she visits the location to get a sense of the scope of the project, and to learn about any space requirements and limitations. She works on schematics to show what is possible and provides layouts that work within budget limitations or furniture arrangements required by her clients.
Third, she develops a final set of plans, including custom design work that may need to be done. Next is executing her design plans, and finally, she follows up with her clients to make sure they remain satisfied with the results.
Stephanie wanted to grow her business, get more clients, grow her sales and maximize profits, but she wasn’t sure how. Her brother, who owns an international human resources company in Michigan, told her he had visited a local SCORE office and found their advice quite helpful.
Stephanie has been working with the Fairfield County SCORE chapter and they have been so impressed with Stephanie’s success that they’ve asked her to appear as a panelist to offer advice to other SCORE clients. “I’ve benefited tremendously from these networking opportunities,” she says.
Stephanie began monthly face-to-face mentoring sessions with SCORE Mentor Elliot Baritz. “Elliot helped me be accountable to someone for my business,” Stephanie says. “Just having someone to talk to about my business helps me push myself to move to the next business area that I need to work on.”
Stephanie worked with Elliot to improve her marketing and advertising, which lead to increasing sales. “Elliot also taught me how to negotiate, which has paid off generously,” she says. “I apply his knowledge to my business and see real dollars and cents results.”
Stephanie contacted Fairfield County SCORE and attended a workshop on developing a business plan. “I thought the information was very valuable, and I took home materials from the session to help put together my business plan,” she says. “Going to SCORE seminars has helped me meet other businesses. I’ve gotten several new clients!” Stephanie adds, “My client base has grown from three to 25, and sales and profits have increased exponentially.”