Every day, SCORE mentors help people just like you to start, grow, and sell successful businesses.
John Hinds, owner of Cadence Insoles, knows plenty about running. But when it came to running his business, he turned to SCORE for their expert help.
How Did it All Begin?
John reached out to SCORE in May of 2015 and sought email counseling for his business, Cadence Insoles. He was counseled that the best mentoring for him would be face-to-face so that he could develop a relationship with his SCORE mentors and benefit from personalized support.
John sells orthotic shoe insoles that he designed himself, based on his knowledge as a physical therapist and his experience as a lifelong athlete. John assessed his clients’ foot needs firsthand, and then he designed an insole unlike any other on the market.
From Idea to Business
John had a prototype produced and then located a local source who transacted business with Chinese factories. A factory was located and production began.
He found customers by conducting Google searches. He cold-called clients who retailed specialty shoes, such as the Comfort Shoes chain. He also sold product to running shoe stores, surfboard shops, and other venues who knew the physiology of the foot and what type of shoe was the best choice for the individual. Ninety percent of John's business is derived from his cold calling and 10% from customers finding him on the internet.
What Were the Challenges?
John had a beginner’s knowledge of bookkeeping and financial planning. He wanted to learn more about financial terminology. John also wanted to discuss methods of expanding his business utilizing known marketing techniques.
How Did Score Help?
John was counseled to come up with a business plan and mission statement. In addition, SCORE mentor Bob Acevedo sent him book-keeping and inventory control plans.
John had questions about the best way to show appreciation for his customers making larger orders, in order to build brand loyalty. SCORE mentor Scott Hillis advised him to send a free product with these large orders, and that strategy proved effective.
A Shoe-in for Success
Gross revenues from 2014 were $155K. John is able to bring in this revenue with a home-based business, and he’s even made it a family venture by bringing on his wife as a bookkeeper. He utilizes a CPA for tax purposes but does not require much in the way of business overhead. John retired from his physical therapy career and has grown his business over the last several years. He is able to pay his bills and draw a reasonable salary.
What’s Great About Score Mentors?
John benefited from the expertise of mentors who had accounting and inventory management skills. He also received invaluable help from promotions experts like Michael Edwards who counseled him on marketing his product, as well as negotiating with vendors and manufacturers.
In addition, his wife Carlyn Hinds was instrumental to his business.
Do you have a great idea for a business but feel uncertain of how to get it off the ground? Or have you started a business, only to realize a skill-gap in a crucial area?
SCORE mentors are here to help. Talk to a SCORE mentor today and get started on the road to a profitable business.
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Margie Hurd is a retired fishmonger with a master's degree in Education. She is a freelance team-building facilitator with over 20 years experience. Currently, she is following her husband as he rebuilds roads in remote part of the west. The two are currently in Death Valley, rebuilding the road to Scotty's Castle. Margie has two adult children and lives in Arroyo Grande, California. She finds retirement both nice AND weird.