Rural Entrepreneurs

Bankruptcy: An overview

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 is a Word file that contains back-to-back templates for a Business Plan. The first template is for a startup business and the second is for an existing business.

This file is a series of useful Excel spreadsheets: Startup Costs, Personal Financial Statement, Cash Flow, Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss, Variable Overhead Costs, Cash Flow, and Gross Margin.

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.

Making a Difference

“SCORE‘s involvement has been ‘making a difference’ in my new business ever since its launch.”

Owner/Founder
Making a Difference Cornish, ME Roy Nelles, Founder and Owner http://www.makinadifference.com/
My Location
Cornish ME
United States
My Successes

Roy’s business idea had all the hallmarks of a classic Maine start-up when he decided to approach SCORE for advice. His late father, Barry Nelles, a Maine public school art teacher and illustrator, had left him a wonderful legacy of original cartoon drawings and prints which seemed ideally suited for decorating t-shirts. Roy and his wife had met the Directors of the Organic Consumers Association who introduced them to an organic t-shirt manufacturer that could provide them with just the type of ecologically friendly product they wanted to offer. All that was needed was a plan to turn an appealing business idea into a business reality.

What's Great About My Mentor?

SCORE counselors provided advice with possible family concerns, copyright and trademark areas, financing, marketing, web support and, most importantly encouragement in producing a realistic business plan. Roy’s plan has now evolved into a successful enterprise with t-shirts bearing his Dad’s characters being sold from a retail outlet in Cornish, ME, trade shows all over New England and nation-wide on an attractive “shopping-cart” website. Encouraged by the enthusiastic response to his father’s prints, plans are being made to add other lines of shirts and other products using artwork by his mother, Mary Lou Nelles, a prolific artist in both watercolor and oil, ensuring that Making a Difference remains a strong family concern .

How SCORE Helped

“I like to keep in touch with my SCORE counselors; their advice/suggestions always motivate me into more action.”

Homes and Harbors Real Estate

“I knew the real estate business inside-out, but counted on SCORE for advice in the personnel area as my new venture started to grow quickly"

Owner/Founder
Bruce Davis
My Location
Harpswell, ME
United States
Employees
10
Year Company Formed
2000
My Successes

Setting out on his own in 2000, Bruce has seen his Homes & Harbors Real Estate business grow to 10 agents and brokers and a consolidated number one position in Harpswellreal estate over the last few years, with an ever-increasing standing all along the Portland to Wiscasset waterfront. Although growth came very quickly in the early days so did possible concerns on the personnel front. It was at this point that Bruce set up a counseling session with Portland SCORE.

What's Great About My Mentor?

SCORE counsellors talked with Bruce about ways to handle possible employee problems before they developed and in particular how to deal with key employee retention. Since then, Homes & Harbors has been able to shape itself into a boutique agency with great local knowledge which buyers and sellers are coming to expect of realtors in this current market. “It’s always a comfort to talk to experienced business people in strict confidence. I would go back to SCORE to discuss any business concern, any time.”

Cash Flow and Pro Forma spreadsheets with all formulas already in the template

Business Plan generic template. Can be modified to fit your business.

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