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

TimberHomesBy 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…)