When Marleen Zytniowski and her family started brainstorming and planning their new business venture in January of 2017, they found the SCORE mentorship program online.
They set up a meeting with Dennis Harvey, a SCORE mentor and volunteer, and discussed in detail the action items needed to open their business, Pacific Northwest Glass & Mirror. With some preparation, the business was born and today, the team is proud to be a part of the Clark County community.
Zytniowski said that when working with SCORE, they sought advice on the variety of steps that needed to take place before they could open shop.
“We asked about the reality of a summer opening date and Dennis let us know that we had a lot of work ahead of us, but that he thought with all of our family support and knowledge, we could do it,” Zytniowski said. “He started immediately by giving us homework – the business plan. We continued to work with Dennis and he ultimately connected us with some other SCORE support people, including a retired banker, a website support person and a bookkeeper.”
“Each family member took a portion of the several classes that SCORE offered,” Zytniowski continued. “SCORE also recommended that we reach out to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Buck Heidrick. That turned out to be a tremendous referral, as Buck has helped us connect with an attorney and has assisted us with systems planning and vision for our company. We are working with him to learn how to improve our customer and employee experience, and ultimately expand our business. With a lot of hard work and the support of SCORE and SBDC, we opened our business on July 5, 2017.”
Harvey said that the mentorship that SCORE provides is extremely beneficial for business owners, no matter what stage their business is in, and seeing success with Pacific Northwest Glass & Mirror proves that the SCORE model is effective.
“SCORE is a great business resource,” Harvey said. “We have 30 local volunteers and over 10,000 volunteers across the country that are in the SCORE network.”
After meeting with Zytniowski and her family, they worked together to create an effective business plan that would help them obtain financing to launch the business. Then, once they officially opened, he was able to check in to see how the team was doing.
“I had conversations with Marleen several months after they opened,” Harvey said. “Then, in October, Marleen invited me to see the location. I was impressed. It was a full-fledged operating business. Their first three-month projections were according to plan. With the foundation they have in this business, it will do very well. This truly was a family that pulled together and made it happen. My hat is off to all of them.”
Today, Pacific Northwest Glass & Mirror continues to grow and thrive. They currently employ six permanent staff members and have three on-call staff. They plan to bring on four more staff members in the next year. The company also has plans to add two additional locations within the next five years, all while keeping the business local and family owned.
“We love what we do and are proud of the quality we offer,” Zytniowski said. “As a family, our vision is to treat our customers, community and staff like family – taking care of needs, solving problems, while being responsive and respectful.”