Seasoned Advice, Sensible Plans Helped Put 2 Businesses on Solid Footing

Jim and Valerie Wright bought Tucson-based Uncle Bob's Popcorn in 2007, hoping to capitalize on a 50-year-old brand.  The Wrights, who spent much of the 1990s working for Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., graduated from the University of Arizona and returned to Arizona in 2001, seeking to escape the corporate treadmill.  They bought in and moved back to Tucson, but the recession, broken-down equipment, a lack of focus on core products and the lack of past documentation made it an uphill battle.

In March 2010, the couple contacted SCORE, which Jim Wright first used when he started a business while in high school.  The Wrights' SCORE mentor, Corky Arens, made them treat the business as a startup, starting with a new business plan including manuals detailing how every product was made.

"I can't tell you how supportive they have been - it made a real difference," Valerie said.



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