Laurie Sayles Artis had experimented with several business ventures before figuring out how to combine her interests with financial freedom. Artis used her experience managing several high-budget government contracts for a corporate contracting firm -- plus 10 years as a United States Marine managing the equipment readiness of her battalion -- to open her own consulting business.
Artis had questions about strategizing for the launch of her small business while working hard to earn the capital necessary to hire support staff. She turned to SCORE for training opportunities and support as she developed her client base.
Civility Management Solutions provides professional services to both the Federal Government and the commercial sector, specializing in administrative, human relations, grants management, and leadership development consulting. Artis’ firm is a Small Business Administration-certified Woman-Owned Small Business and a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.
“I wanted to ensure that I had the best foundation for developing success from the very beginning,” Artis says. She worked with mentor Fred Elam and attended SCORE training sessions, along with Procurement Technical Assistance Center meetings in Washington, D.C. Workshops on preparing federal proposals, marketing, recordkeeping, and the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program application process increased her knowledge for future conversations with colleagues and during networking opportunities.
Elam was able to connect Artis with a few of his SCORE colleagues to help with specific inquiries. Len Briskman discussed franchising opportunities, Hal Shelton advised on insurance matters, and Karen Williams aided Artis through the 8(a) application process.
Artis can quickly list the benefits of her SCORE training: she has completed her 8(a) submission process and been approved for 8(a) status, submitted and won proposals, completed and performed periodical reviews of her business plan, and developed a practice of managing her books daily.
“My mentors have all assisted me with forward movement of Civility Management Solutions, as it did allow me to launch my company without needing to revisit any matters,” Artis says. “It also prevented me from having other mistakes in the steps I have taken, and the submission of my 8(a) business development package was a big deal.” Artis predicts additional contracts won through the 8(a) program will allow her to add additional employees to her office.