Women Entrepreneurs

Premier Dance Academy


To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.
~Hopi Indian Saying

Preparation, practice, skill.  These factors are as important in business as they are in the arts.  For Tracy Slovick, the discipline and rigor she honed as a dancer and dance instructor served her well as she began her journey as the owner and creator of Premier Dance Academy in Warrendale, Marshall Township.

Dance is her passion.  Slovick, 35, received her BA from Point Park University in Dance in 1998 and had been an instructor with the Laura Lynn School of Dance for the past 13 years.  The dream of opening up her own studio has been with her since she began dancing as a child.  Building her own studio will allow her to give “joy to my own students”.

With little business experience, she reached out to those around her for advice.  “My uncle started 3 businesses and my father owns his own construction company.  When I decided that it was time to do it (open the studio), I asked them for advice.  My uncle told me the first thing I needed was a business plan.”  He also recommended that Tracy look into the assistance that SCORE would be able to provide to her to help develop her business concept. 

Tracy developed a basic business plan after researching books on dance studios and how to write a business plan.  She became even more enthused about embarking on the path to entrepreneurship after attending a SCORE workshop in October of 2010.  “They had all of these resources available, bankers, attorneys, other business people, templates” to help her further refine her concept and all of the details that go into launching a business. 

After the initial SCORE workshop, she had questions on the appropriate legal structure, business registration requirements and the development of a business plan.  She applied in January and was matched in March with counselor Bob Grant.

 “Bob is a wonderful counselor”, says Tracy.  “He is patient and exceptionally responsive.  There was a period when we were refining the details of the business plan when we were on the phone daily, sometimes multiple times a day.  Bob was a great help in keeping me motivated, especially during those times when I was frustrated with the progress.”

Grant, whose background is in banking, focused a lot of his coaching on developing the financial projections and pro forma for the business.    His diligent assistance helped Tracy further refine her business plan and receive approval for funding the construction, first year’s expenses and pay herself a salary.  Prior to the loan approval, Tracy was leveraging personal savings and credit cards to get the studio to this point.  Her bank, First Commonwealth, was so impressed with the quality and substance of her Business Plan that they approved her loan in four days.

Bob Grant commented that in the current economic climate, it is extremely difficult to get funding, especially for a start-up.  “The fact that Tracy was able to secure a loan as a first time business owner is a real testament to her hard work and desire to achieve.”  He feels she has a good chance for success because she is dedicated, has a strong background, experience and training, a personal desire to succeed, and a strong support structure.

As invaluable as Bob has been to Tracy, there are others who she also touts for her success at this stage.  Her mother is helping with all of the details of setting up the back office side of the business equation, from assisting with identifying and selecting the software applications to helping select a credit card processing service.  Her brother and other friends are helping with the physical build out of the three studio rooms, from installing the dance barres to the sound equipment for the music to motivate and inspire her students. 

The studio, located in the lower level of a converted elementary school that also houses a daycare center, is well situated to attract her target market of 3-18 year olds.  She plans to offer classes in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, pointe, lyrical and hip hop.  Recitals as well as competition dance will showcase the talents of the students’ technique.  Thinking beyond the traditional offerings of most dance studios, Tracy is also investigating opportunities to team with others who offer complimentary instruction, such as yoga, Pilates and cheerleading , to optimize the use of the facility.

After her first open house in August, 2011, Tracy has signed up 30 students and is well on the way to her goal of 70 – 100 for the first year of operation.  When asked what advice she may have for others who want to start a business, she said, “Go to a SCORE seminar and just listen.  Absorb as much as you can from the professionals that are there to help you.  Write a business plan and be willing to continue to review and refine it.” 

With her targeted approach to her business and her resounding passion for dance, Tracy is well positioned for success.

Tracy Slovick
My Location
350 Northgate Drive
Warrendale PA 15086
United States
Year Company Formed

YouthBuild Louisville

2011 SCORE Award - Outstanding Non-Profit Organization

With the future of at-risk youth hanging in the balance, YouthBuild-Louisvilie has been there providing a lifeline since 2001. The population addressed by YBL is largely High School dropouts…ages 16-24. . . .many of whom are part of the juvenile justice process and possess little education beyond  6th grade math and reading levels. Caring for their Louisville community and refusing to simply stand-by as young lives were deteriorating, Lynn Rippy and her co-founders mobilized into action.

YouthBuild Louisville provides meaningful purpose to students who split their time between a construction site - building affordable housing for homeless and low-income families; and the classroom - where over 85% earn their GED or high school diploma. YBL’s impact over the last three years has changed the face of the Louisville community. During this time, 7 new houses have been built,  9 homes were rehabilitated, an historic church renovated, 3 miles of trails in local forests were redeveloped, and they have maintained hundreds of trees throughout the community.

YouthBuild Louisville’s impact is recognized through opportunity, training, resources, vision, and evidenced by former students who are now aspiring business owners being mentored by SCORE. 




Lynn Rippy
My Location
United States

How We Help - the 1 Minute Overview

Sat, 2011-08-27 10:05

The Video

Sign-up now for no-cost help - it is what we do.  No charges, EVER.

This is a graph illustrating when fixed plus variable costs equal business revenue. That is, you neither lost or made any money on that volume for that product or service. Usually this calculation is shown as a graph but numbers of units and dollars are shown on the grid.

Every startup existing company must balance costs with revenues or they will lose money. This calculation, using an Excel formula, will calculate when a certain volume of sales will equal your fixed and variable costs.  The variable costs are the cost per unit of volume. Most business plans will show this calculation.


In 2006, Amy came to SCORE looking for help writing a “real” business plan to help her gain an understanding of how best to provide services to her clients. Through her business, she helps parents and other folks talk to children about sexuality, love, and relationships. With such a narrow niche, she needed a business plan to help her turn her business from a hobby into a going concern.

In the last three years Amy has most definitely become a business woman instead of a hobbyist!

• In 2008 was one of 25 Awardees of the National Sam Walton Emerging Entrepreneur Award from Sam’s Club and Count Me In For Women’s Economic Independence

•From 2006 to 2008 she has doubled her revenues every year

•Amy was Seattle Magazine’s “Local Authority” this September - a full page article all about her business!

• She has spoken at 11 conferences in the last year and a half, including her first Key Note for Healthy Start an organization that supports parenting teens

•Amy’s books, Birds + Bees + YOUR Kids and The Ask ANYTHING Journal were published this summer

•Noted author, Bettie Youngs has invited Amy to write a book for teens under her new imprint, Bobbie Books

• Amy has referred nearly every small business person she meets to SCORE because she knows how important it is to have knowledgeable, accessible and excellent support to grow your business

Amy Lang
My Location
PO BOX 75602
Seattle WA 98175
United States

FIVE Hi-Tech Marketing & Sales Classes; COMING SOON

Sat, 2011-09-03 11:41


eBusiness Classes

America's FIRST No-Charge Nationwide eBusiness Training for Small Business

Living Dynamically LLC Succeeds With Advice From SCORE Mentor

Lisa Montgomery’s small business success came about shortly after she made drastic changes to her diet. Living with food allergies and candida led Lisa on the search for answers. While working as a packaging sales representative, she became certified as a holistic health care practitioner and an associate raw chef/instructor. Lisa is now the owner of Living Dynamically LLC and hosts monthly ‘Raw Potlucks’ and workshops, speaks and presents at wellness expos, and is the author of four books promoting healthy living. Lisa says her SCORE mentor, Dick Powell, supported and guided her every step of the way. (www.livingdynamically.com)

Lisa Montgomery
My Location
Royersford PA 19468
United States
My Successes

Lisa Montgomery started her journey to living a raw food lifestyle over 15 years ago and is now referred to as the ‘guru to the gurus of raw food’.  This summer Ms. Montgomery released two new books to accompany her already released bestseller, Raw Inspiration. “What you put in your mouth and how you live your life are so important,” says Lisa. “A raw food diet cleanses the body and nurtures the soul.”

Lisa’s book Raw Inspiration: Living Dynamically with Raw Food is an inspiring and informative raw foods lifestyle book featuring personal stories of healing through raw foods. Raw Inspiration explains the basics of nutrition and meal planning with raw foods, as well as providing a guide to equipping a raw foods kitchen.

Released on June 28, 2011 Raw Garden is the perfect resource to help create dishes based on ingredients found in one’s own garden. This book includes tips on planning a garden, benefits of growing and eating raw food, how to garden in small living spaces and a guide to the art of bee- and chicken-keeping. Raw Garden also contains over 100 delicious recipes. 

Liquid Raw, released July 26, 2011 provides the perfect transition for those beginning a raw diet. For those experienced in the raw foods lifestyle, this book offers inspiration and a new twist on many staples. Liquid Raw includes: a guide to the health benefits of a raw diet, an introduction to juicing and tips for finding the perfect juicer and blender along with over 125 refreshing and creative recipes.

Ms. Montgomery will be releasing a fourth book in her The Complete Book of Raw Foods series in late November 2011 currently titled Raw Potluck.

All books are available where books are sold and on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.


What's Great About My Mentor?

Lisa has this to say about her SCORE Mentor: “Dick Powell supported me, guided me and held my hand as I put together my first wellness expo with Carol Alt.  It was unchartered territory for me but he was there for me every step of the way along with his lovely wife, Lucille.  You can never have enough people supporting you along your journey.  I was blessed to have Dick and Lucille.”

How SCORE Helped

“My SCORE Mentor, Dick Powell, helped me advertise and promote my first wellness expo featuring super model, author and actress Carol Alt” says Lisa. “People were blown away by the amount of publicity we got for this event whether it was print, radio or television.  I could not have had the coverage we had if it were not for Dick Powell and SCORE.  In fact Carol Alt, who has traveled the world was blown away by the publicity we received in little Royersford, PA.”

This business plan is a generic model suitable for all types of businesses. However, you should modify it to suit your particular circumstances.

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