Recreation and Travel

Ask SCORE

            I recently opened a sports memorabilia shop and now want to add an online component to sell my merchandise via the Internet. I plan to hire someone to design my website, but am looking for advice to provide that person with guidance and direction

           Nearly every small business has a website today…and no wonder. A 2011 Pew Internet study found that nearly half of all searches for local businesses are conducted online (newspapers finished a distant second). And usually, a company’s website is the first place prospective customers go when those search engine results come up.

About the Author

          This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration

Ask SCORE

            I’ve operated a local convenience store for almost seven years, never taking off more than an occasional weekend or holiday. Every time I plan a vacation, something comes up. How do I break this pattern before I burn out?

Ask SCORE

            I’ve operated a local convenience store for almost seven years, never taking off more than an occasional weekend or holiday. Every time I plan a vacation, something comes up. How do I break this pattern before I burn out?

 

About the Author

         This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration.

This document walks you thru the steps for starting a for profit business in Southwest Michigan.  It includes URL's for the various websites you will want to visit. While a few of the the items are specific to Berrien County, most of the  information applies to any part of Michigan

Teuta Towler

Unavailable

Kitty Hawk, NC

Languages:English

How I can help you

Over 20 years of experience in administration, sales, writing, marketing and advertising. She is from Kosovo but moved to the Outer Banks, NC in 2004. Prior to moving to US she owned a cosmetic shop and later a boutique with focus on jeans. She worked for United Nations as a translator and a domestic violence advocate. Founded a women's organization Women's Life and published a monthly magazine promoting women's rights and issues.She also worked for a French Humanitarian Organization, Premiere Urgence as a manager for a humanitarian clinic.She hosted a radio talk show about women's rights and health issues. 

When she moved to the Outer Banks, she worked as an admin/marketing person for a real estate company. In the mean time, she wrote and published a crime novel in her native language. She had to learn how to promote the book online since she was away from her readers-target audience. She discovered her love for online marketing and learned all she could to promote her book and started working as freelance writer and website designer. 

She worked as freelancer for nine years and in 2013 founded Mitro Digital Marketing LLC based in her hometown Mitrovica, Kosovo and Kill Devil Hills, NC. 

 

Areas of expertise

Industry Experience

Education

<p>
Bachelor Degree - Nursing from Xheladin Deda Nursing School , Mitrovica, Kosovo&nbsp;</p>

<p>
Computer Programing - Associate Degree from University of Prishtina, Kosovo &nbsp;</p>

<p>
Journalism - Associate Degree from University of Prishtina, Kosovo&nbsp;</p>

<p>
Attended many continues education courses from&nbsp;COA and other online classes.&nbsp;</p>

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&nbsp;</p>

Communication methods

Have you found success with mentoring from Teuta Towler? Share your story.

Joel Burnett Goldberg

Unavailable

Westlake Village, CA

Languages:English

How I can help you

Extensive background in management, finance and investments.  CEO of Great Hawaii Vacations, Treasurer of Elan Vital, President of Burnett Investment Company, Administrative Assistant & Technology Manager of The Leisure Group, Senior Portfolio Analyst of Portfolio Management Company, Controller of Russell Bolt Manufacturing, Controller of the Tokyo American Club and Partner Voyagers Press.

Areas of expertise

Industry Experience

Education

Sophia University 1964 (Jochi Daigaku) - Tokyo, Japan.  Graduate studies

U.C.L.A. - Graduated 1963 with bachelor degree in business: major accounting and minor in economics

University of Mexico - 1960 summer school, language & art 

Los Angeles City College - 1959 - 1961 - accounting major & economics minor

Menlo College - 1959 - summer school

Communication methods

Have you found success with mentoring from Joel Burnett Goldberg? Share your story.

Ask SCORE

          I’m confused about the rules for paying employees overtime. Can you explain them to me? 

         Should you be paying overtime to your employees? The answer is: it depends.

          Under the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay overtime to most hourly employees who work more than 40 hours a week for businesses that take in more than $500,000 a year in revenue.

About the Author

          This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration. 

Boat Pittsburgh

Owner/Founder
Nicole Moga
My Location
James Sharp Landing (public boat launch)
Borough of Sharpsburg PA 15215
United States
Year Company Formed
2014
How SCORE Helped

What do you do when you have a passion for something and cannot find a local outlet?  Why, you create a business of course.  That is exactly what Nicole Moga did when she opened Boat Pittsburgh.  Nicole, an avid boater originally from Ohio, came to the Pittsburgh area to study Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  She wanted to get back on the water, but could not find rental pontoon boats on any of our 3 Rivers; occasionally, she was able to rent from a private owner, but that did not satisfy her as a long term solution.    She realized if she had this need, others may as well.  Nicole had always been keeping her eyes open for a chance to run her own business, so she viewed this as a potential opportunity worthy of further exploration.  Need + Opportunity = Boat Pittsburgh.

The journey from concept to launch took about 2 years.  Nicole set out about 18 months prior to write the Business Plan for Boat Pittsburgh.  While doing research for writing an effective plan, Nicole found the local chapter of SCORE, an organization that provides free tools and resources for budding entrepreneurs.  Nicole worked with SCORE counselor Bob Grant whom she credits as an advocate, offering encouragement and feedback while being readily available to her to vet ideas and offer suggestions she didn’t even know to consider.

Bob recalls thinking favorably about Nicole’s concept for her start-up business.  “She had a background in boating, was very energetic, showed a lot of desire to succeed and was willing to do the work.  These attributes will serve her well”.  She did a good job researching the industry and the local market.  Bob’s most salient piece of advice with her business plan development was to expand on her background and passion.  “You are the business when you are a start-up” and banks need to understand who you are before they would be willing to lend financial support.  Bob, a former banker, also assisted Nicole with providing several resources including templates for developing financial projections and other business documents

Boat Pittsburgh has 2 Cypress Cay model pontoon boats, 22 feet long, outfitted with 60 horsepower motors, named “Thing One” and “Thing Two”.  The boats each seat  up to 10 (with 8 being optimal) in a comfortable, living-room like setting that is more social than some of the other watercraft on the rivers, allowing for sightseeing, fishing, sunbathing, picnicking and enjoying the company of others.    A renter needs to be 21 with a valid driver’s license; if born after 1/1/82, a Boating Safety Education Certificate is also required.   Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) are provided for each member of the boating party.  And just like on the road, it is illegal to drink and drive.

Nicole continues to refine her marketing efforts for Boat Pittsburgh.  She initially thought the 30-something, young urban professionals would be the first adopters of her innovative offering, but found this was not the group that would embrace her concept.  Rather, families and adult groups comprise the bulk of her rental market.  Hourly rentals or block of hours are available, with 4 hour increment rental being the most popular, particularly for families with children.  Nicole’s pricing strategy was developed in conjunction with an accountant who assisted her with the financial projections and helped determine a structure that would entice and incentivize a renter.

Some of the legal aspects of the boating business remain a challenge.  She received help from 2 attorneys on setting up policies and identifying practices that would minimize liability.  Another challenge was to find dock space with available slips that also had a public area where Boat Pittsburgh could transact the business aspects of renting their boats.  Most marinas in the area are Members Only with locked gates.  They initially looked at the Millvale area as there was a nice waterfront park; unfortunately, the Borough Council did not want power boats off the launch area.  With this setback, Nicole scrambled to find another area with a similar set-up.  She was able to find launch area in Sharpsburg, also on the Allegheny River, part of the Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone (ARTEZ).  Boat Pittsburgh operates from a non-permanent structure there.  Renters can access the “Pittsburgh Pool” of 25 navigable river miles bound by three locks.

Nicole recognizes the challenges of running a seasonal business and the need for work/life balance, a lesson every new entrepreneur must learn.  As she stated “in my head I can work 7 days a week” but that isn’t realistic.  She also said she knew it would be a challenge, but “didn’t realize how big a challenge”.   To her credit, Nicole won’t let this challenge be her last.  She continually looks for opportunities to sustain her business.  “I’m willing to try anything that people will want.” 

About SCORE

For more information on the Pittsburgh SCORE chapter, a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration, please visit them at www.pittsburgh.score.org.   SCORE is a business counseling/mentoring organization providing free counseling, resources and advice to people who are in business or want to start a business. SCORE also provides free or low cost workshops on various business topics.  Volunteer counselors are experienced owners or managers of businesses that volunteer their time to help small businesses succeed.

 www.pittsburgh.score.org

 

Gregory Schwarz

Unavailable

Jamesville, NY

Chapter: Syracuse SCORE

Languages:English

How I can help you

Retail, wholesale, recreation/travel, manufacturing. Textiles, sewn goods manufacturing. Product design, manufacturing and distribution.

Areas of expertise

Industry Experience

Education

n/a

Communication methods

Have you found success with mentoring from Gregory Schwarz? Share your story.

Alan Wesley Madsen

Unavailable

INDIAN LAND, SC

Chapter: Charlotte SCORE

Languages:English

How I can help you

After receiving my degree Worked at Cummins Engine Company, Mobil Oil, Modern Plastics and Midrex Corporations,  Founded Corporate Personnel Consultants and Temporaries in 1975 and sold company in 1999. Certified Personnel Consultant

Areas of expertise

Industry Experience

Education

Central Michigan University, BA in business with a minor in Journalism and Psychology. Took some classes towards MBA at Bowling Green University.

Communication methods

Have you found success with mentoring from Alan Wesley Madsen? Share your story.

Workshop Poster 1st. qtr. 2015

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