Idaho Success Story –
After other buyers backed out of purchasing the Snake River Travel Plaza in Blackfoot, Idaho, Jace Katseanes stepped in to organize a purchase with Lori Cox as the manager and accountant. Having worked with the Southeast Idaho SBDC before, Lori knew who to call to facilitate the purchase.
“The purchase process was long and sometimes frustrating, but the SBDC helped us prepare financials and a business plan,” said Lori. “[The SBDC] stuck with us through the whole process.” That hard work resulted in a $3.15M SBA loan.
Jace and Lori turned the plaza around with their MMM Philosophy: a focus on money, management and marketing. This turnaround earned Lori a nomination for Woman Student Entrepreneur of the Year at Idaho State University. She won the award and received a $500 prize from US Bank at the 2018 Women’s Business Symposium. (more…)
Success Story, Illinois SBDC –
Josh Coclasure and Sammie Williams have been friends since childhood. They have always talked about starting a business together and finally had the chance to put their idea for bar and restaurant draft line cleaning services to the test in the Metro East Start-Up Challenge (MESC).
In 2017, Coclasure and Williams won first place in the MESC for Pint Perfect and received start-up money from local sponsors, in-kind services, mentors and more. With that support and momentum, they have been moving along in starting their venture.
The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) introduced the competition in 2014. The Start-Up Challenge engages multiple sponsors and business professional mentors each year for entrepreneurs to assess how their business plans stacks up. (more…)
Success Story Idaho –
Since Charles and Alison Alpers purchased Zeppole Bakery in 2006, retail and wholesale business has increased while fostering community involvement and garnering numerous awards, including being honored in 2010 by the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce as Boise’s Small Business of the Year.
The company’s continued growth was limited, though, because of inadequate production space and aging equipment – an inefficient set-up that only got worse as sales grew. That’s when the Idaho SBDC’s assistance proved invaluable in securing a loan to move the bakery to a larger facility and update equipment. The SBDC worked closely with Charles and Alison on their business plan, budget, financial projections and loan application.
“They provided invaluable expertise that helped us modernize our equipment, relocate to a larger, more effcient facility and, therefore, continue to grow our business,” says Charles. “I doubt we would have achieved the success we now enjoy without [the SBDC].” (more…)
Success Story: Idaho
Imagine bringing the best of Victorian-era masculinity to the 21st century while also creating local jobs and protecting the environment. Luke Webster’s The Grooming Network (TGN) has accomplished all of these since starting up in 2011.
Along with his wife and two business partners, Webster has cornered the market in old-fashioned wet shaving. Webster started with a single product, a website and a small marketing budget. Within a short time, they had over $40,000 in orders and Webster knew they had connected with real need.
Webster and his team at TGN resurrected the lost art form of creating quality, American-made straight razors by patenting a unique process for manufacturing the blades in North Idaho. These reusable razors help reduce landfill shave waste by 96% while saving customers money.
Webster credits his business clarity to working with the North Idaho SBDC. Together, they identified a path forward to create a three-fold increase in his business in the next five years. Webster is on a mission to change the way the world shaves. (more…)
VtSBDC Advising Assists Business Start-Up –
Megan Haygood and her family already had the land, hay and equipment needed to start a horse boarding, breeding, training and riding facility in Danville. But they knew they needed more in order to start a successful business. Enter Michelle Lemieux, an established equine trainer and manager, and you have the makings of a quality small business partnership.
The two opened Northern Lights Stable last year after combining Haygood’s resources and Lemieux’s expertise and customer base. “Our business is special as it provides exceptional equine care and 24-hour monitoring, highly skilled training and riding instruction, and a regulation-size indoor competition arena,” Haygood said.
But even with the combination of resources and skills that Haygood and Lemieux brought to the table, they knew they could use additional help before launching the business. That’s why they contacted Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) Area Advisor Ross Hart. (more…)