I’m a retired sales and marketing guy who’s recently purchased a local convenience store. What are some of the key numbers I should be monitoring to successfully manage the business’ finances?
Workshop Poster Spring 2014 Low Resolution
Workshop Poster Spring 2014 High Resolution
Sleep and Beyond was started in 1992, by two brother's desire to start their own business out of their parents bedding business overseas. Sleep & Beyond is a manufacturer of luxurious certified organic merino wool bedding. Sleep and Beyond offers hypoallergenic and chemical free bedding to ensure a better night's sleep from their factories located in Kyrgyz Republic.
3342 Lakeshore Avenue
Sleep and Beyond has 3 factories, over 900 employees and sells to US, Canada, and Russia. Sleep and Beyond started as a small operation with inventory in their own home to a showroom in Oakland, selling 50% of their product online and employing a sales team of 25 people. Their customers include, Denver Mattress, GAIAM and the Canadian shopping channel. Sleep and Beyonds sales have increased by five times what they were last year almost reaching one million in sales.
What's Great About My Mentor?
Elias Sheinberg, assisted in quality control of sales team and budget analysis. Mr. Sheinberg advised Sleep and Beyond here in San Diego and a sales meeting in Las Vegas. Mr. Sheinberg advice includes, "Stay humble, never give up, don't try to run before you crawl and keep your expenses low."
How SCORE Helped
SCORE mentor, Elias Sheinberg gave guidance and advice on obtaining a lawyer, accountant, sales team, and budget analysis for Sleep and Beyond.
City: Buckhannon, WV
Assistant Manager- Circuit City 2001-2004
Assistant Manager- Midas Intl 2005-2006
Manager- Advance Auto Parts 2006-2011
District Leader- Advance Auto Parts 2011- Present
Owner- Problem Solver's Consultants 2014- Present
Penn State University- Business Administration
Cash Flow Template in Excel
Short Business Plan Template in Word
Bailey’z debuted at a trade show in November 2012, to great demand and acclaim. Customers and shop owners loved the quality and uniqueness of their products. Though they had a strong debut and nothing but positive feedback, CEO and lead designer, Ondiya Pruitt, spent 2013 improving the product line.
“I sourced out better materials, changed the patterns and construction on some of our products, and switched from having our products sewn by several home sewers to two manufacturing facilities (that adhere to our strict handmade and quality control guidelines.) These were paramount moves for the company, because I wanted to ensure that we launch with a bang. Moreover, the consistency and turnaround times, with my home sewers, were problematic. Now, with my manufacturing facilities in place, we are able to keep up with demand and grow faster. Also, since keeping my products made in America is extremely important to me, I chose two U.S. companies to manufacture our goods, one of which is employee-owned! Our company’s niche is handmade luxury gifts and accessories for babies and young children. So an obstacle for us was to provide superb quality, handmade, luxury goods, that are made in the U.S.A, while still remaining competitive with the many other companies who aren't. My SCORE mentor really helped me with my strategy and approach to this issue! I can now proudly say that we are offering the best of the best products in our market at the most competitive prices! Now, after a long year of improvements and learning experiences, we are set to launch in boutiques, gift shops, and online stores in April 2014.” Website at www.baileyzkids.com
I measure my business successes based on many things including the obstacles that we overcame to get to this point. Early on, I had many debacles with my home sewers that cost me thousands of dollars; however, giving up was not an option! In turn, these numerous errors caused me to regroup and seek out larger and more reliable manufacturing! This was vital to our success, because we can now meet large demands with quick turnaround times. Additionally, I now have overseers in place, during each production run, to insure quality control! Another huge success for me was being able to accomplish my businesses goal: providing superior quality products that are handmade in the US at competitive prices. In my opinion, this is one of my biggest feats, because accomplishing this mission took a lot of diligence, negotiating, and patience! Since I believe that true luxury starts with the materials, a huge challenge was sourcing out the best of the best fabrics and fibers to construct our goods! I was previously a customer of a well known US based luxury fabric supplier; however they closed their doors, since many companies shied away from using luxury materials, with the recent recession. When this occurred, I was forced to source out my own luxury materials because, of course, they refused to give up their source. After searching, searching, and more searching, I finally located their exact sources. This allowed me to continue to use the finest Turkish terries and chenille etc, during the crafting of our products, all while cutting out the middle man! This also allowed me customized fabric compositions, to truly make our products unique! Direct sourcing, hands-on training, mentoring, and careful cooperation with my manufacturing facilities have allowed me to accomplish my goal of providing the best of the best US made infant gifts and accessories at competitive prices! My final measure of success is that now, after a long journey, we will be launching in several stores in April 2014! We will also be featured in blogs and publications around our launch date!
What's Great About My Mentor?
My mentor, Ramesh Barasia, is amazing! He is extremely knowledgeable and kind, and he really cares about my company’s success! He is a great asset for me and a factor in my success. His friendly, professional, and caring nature really put me at ease and made me feel comfortable coming to him with any business issues or questions. SCORE has truly been a godsend for me, throughout the years!
How SCORE Helped
Score has helped my business tremendously. My mentor advised me on business and marketing approaches and techniques, helped me determine wholesales prices and sales strategies, introduced me to business contacts, and gave me lots of general business advice. Previously, SCORE introduced me to one of Atlanta’s top patent attorneys, who mentored me and helped me write a provisional patent application. That experience was also invaluable, because two of my companies current products are patent pending and I now have the know how to write patent applications and patents myself!
The SCORE Small Business Success Podcast features interviews with the best and brightest in the world of small business, covering topics such as business plans, financing, marketing, human resources, SEO, social media and more. Hear from Rieva Lesonsky as she shares her insights for what works in keeping the customer happy, engaged, and spending money.
What should business owners consider when creating an ecommerce site? How can you make Small Business Saturday work for you? What are the latest consumer trends to be aware of? Get these answers and more from small business expert, Rieva Lesonsky as she shares her insights for what works in keeping the customer happy, engaged, and spending money.