Which Business Credit Scores Matter the Most?

September 24, 2019

By Connor Wilson –

Credit ReportNot all credit scores are created equally. You likely already know that you have a personal credit score; it’s what you need to buy a car, get a mortgage, credit card, or even pass a background check. You probably also already know that there are three bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) that report your credit scores.

What you may not have known is that your small business has a business credit score. Just like your ability to pay your credit card bills and mortgage payments on time factors into your credit score, your ability to handle your business’s debt and accounts payable, among other factors, all go into your business credit score.

Just like personal credit scores, business credit scores come from multiple reporting bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, Equifax), and can help you get better financing. Also just like personal credit scores, business credit scores are not all created equally. Here’s a breakdown of three credit scores that matter to business owners. (more…)

Be Your Own Boss. This Millennial Did It And So Can You

September 17, 2019

Blue Spoon CafeBluefield café owner transitions from employee to entrepreneur with help from West Virginia SBDC

Nicole Coeburn had a respectable career working in a community she loved. But like many millennials she yearned for more.

Having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs, Coeburn wanted to own a small business like her grandmother, father and uncles before her. But starting a business is easier said than done. And like many young professionals looking to take the leap, she still had a day job. How would she make a clean break and pursue her dream? And where would she even start?

There were a flurry of questions swirling through her mind, but Coeburn was certain of one thing: it was time to take her career to the next level. She just needed to find someone who could help her make that happen. And she’d have to take the leap. (more…)

Round Man Brewing: Upscale Brewpub… Up North

September 10, 2019
Sue and Spencer Churchill
Sue and Spencer Churchill of family-owned Round Man Brewing

Success Story: Wisconsin –

The Churchill family, already familiar in Spooner from their successful coffee shop, opened a brewpub in 2018. Sue and Jeff Churchill handle marketing for the business, while son Spencer is the general manager. Oldest son Blain is a brewer. Daughter Alexandria, who manages the coffee shop nearby, serves as operations manager. Head brewer Brian Sunderland joined the team early on, and together they have created an experience to remember!

Driven by Love and History

The Churchill family loves the tourist community of Spooner and wanted to bring a more upscale dining and entertainment operation to town. Their enjoyment of brewpubs on family vacations led to their business concept. “We hired a chef and brewmaster,” said Sue. “We bring the vision, marketing, and community involvement. We hire a good team, then train and trust.” (more…)

12 Small Business Podcasts That Will Help You Sell More

September 3, 2019

By Gerri Detweiler –

PodcastRunning a business is often about setting goals and putting in long hours and hard work to achieve them. Regardless of what type of business you run, it’s likely that “selling more” has a frequent, if not long-term, place on your to-do list. It’s a goal that requires staying up to date on new techniques, honing strategies, and being in touch with the latest industry news.

The sad part? It’s difficult for small business owners, many of whom have little downtime. Podcasts, however, afford busy professionals the opportunity to digest powerful and life-changing information while they’re commuting, working out, making dinner, or participating in any number of daily tasks that are well suited for audio media.

You can spend hours — if not days — sifting through all the many podcasts out there, but if your goal is to sell more, these 12 podcasts can help. Plus, many of them offer valuable information for not only running a business, but living the entrepreneurial life. (more…)

Timber Frame Company Builds Their Own New Home

August 27, 2019

TimberHomesVermont Success Story, by Amanda Kuhnert –

TimberHomes Vermont, a design-build timber frame company, had been in business over a decade when the owners decided it was time to build on their success. First, they decided to transition from an LLC to an employee-owned cooperative, giving more decision-making power to their team of dedicated employees. Then they began planning for their next stage of business growth.

Partners Josh Jackson and David Hooke founded TimberHomes in 2005 after working together at the Mountain School in Vershire, teaching high school students to timber frame using only hand tools. The company’s third partner, Timo Bradley, signed on shortly thereafter.

In 2017, after 15 years of constructing custom barns, homes, pavilions and trailhead kiosks, the partners decided it was time to build something for themselves. They needed a facility that would serve as a space to welcome clients and showcase their work, as well as a larger shop to enable them to build year-round. With the second shop, they would also be able to expand their capacity, hiring a number of new employees in the process. (more…)

7 Ways Entrepreneurs Are Leveraging Age to Grow Their Business

August 20, 2019

By Gerri Detweiler –

Entrepreneurship isn’t just for the young. Older adults are finding that starting a business can be the perfect way to turn a lifetime of experience into something meaningful, take control of their time, counter workplace ageism, and in some cases, make a lot more money.

“In the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, and Australia, 50+-year-olds are launching more start-ups than any other cohort,” shares Kerry Hannon, the author of Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life. Hannon has been researching and interviewing older entrepreneurs for over a decade and is an enthusiastic cheerleader for those who want to strike out on their own. She’s also realistic about the challenges of building a business at any age.

Starting a business at an older age isn’t just about money, she emphasizes, though it can be a powerful motivator. “Getting rich can, and should, be also about the inner richness that comes from creating a new product or service that changes lives and our world and gives back,” Hannon writes. “It’s the richness of doing work we love, alongside people we respect.” (more…)

Assistance from Arkansas SBTDC Helps Faithful Cuts Obtain Microloan, Plan for Future

August 13, 2019

Success Story: Arkansas –

Faithful Cuts Lawn CareOne way to know spring has arrived is the familiar whir of lawn mowers. The sound is music to the ears of the Sabbs family.

Faithful Cuts Lawn Care Etc. LLC is their family-owned and operated lawn care and ground maintenance company. The business was started by Leon Sabbs of Little Rock, who has 30 years of landscaping experience.

Leon and his son, Gabriel Sabbs, worked with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) to organize the business and secure a FORGE microloan last fall to prepare for the 2019 season, and now they are “heading into it at full throttle,” said Gabriel.

“The 2019 season focus will be on building and maintaining our brand and truly building a client network. We want to expand our business to bigger heights and focus on job creation, while not compromising our quality of service,” he said. (more…)

Making Sense of Marijuana Use: How Do State Laws Affect Your Business?

August 6, 2019

By ComplyRight –

Law booksMore and more states are permitting marijuana use under certain circumstances. As a result, business owners are questioning how these new guidelines impact their workplaces. Can you have a policy forbidding marijuana use? Can you terminate an employee who tests positive? Let’s consider these and other pressing issues in more detail.

States Legalizing Marijuana

Currently, 33 states have passed laws legalizing marijuana in specific situations. It’s important to note that although these state laws have passed, not all of them have gone into effect.

Most of the legislation allows for limited use of medical marijuana. However, the District of Columbia and 11 states have adopted laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. These states include: (more…)

Retired? This Pharmacist Is Proof You Can Start A Business Later in Life

July 30, 2019

Success Story: West Virginia –

Walter Moore, RxbyTelAfter a successful career as a pharmacist, Walter Moore should be playing a round of golf right about now. But you won’t find him on the greens, decked out in Titleist apparel and celebrating retirement with a victory cigar. Instead, he’ll go to work on Monday, put on his white coat and spend his morning filling prescriptions behind the counter at his pharmacy.

“I was retired for seven years and I would look back on my time as a pharmacist and see how much I took it for granted,” Moore, 70, said. “I’ve got a new outlook on life.”

For many, retirement is something to look forward to. After all, isn’t the American dream enjoying the fruits of your labor in your later years after a prosperous career? For Moore, retirement was pleasant, but ultimately felt hollow.

“You have to find something to do with your life. I just assume keep working and take chances,” Moore said. “I’m so grateful that I’m a pharmacist. I got tired of saying I used to be one. Now that I’m back, I really appreciate every customer who comes through the door. It’s been energizing to come back to work.” (more…)

Integrative Medical Center Opens

July 23, 2019

Success Story: Illinois –

Infinite Wellness logoInfinite Wellness Integrative Medical Center owner Dr. Ryan Cleland worked with the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to successfully open his newest wellness center in Glen Carbon.

Cleland has been in the medical and health industry for 13 years and has run a private chiropractic practice for 11 of those years. SBDC Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May assisted Cleland in polishing his business plan and cash flow projections to introduce Infinite Wellness to a lender.

Cleland is motivated by helping people find natural ways to live their best lives through nutrition, safe pain relief and tissue regeneration, bioidentical hormone therapies, anti-aging science, weight loss, proper joint and spinal biomechanics, and more. (more…)