How SCORE Helped
Rebecca’s path to becoming an entrepreneur began with the idea that she wanted to find a way to provide Sonoma County tourists "with unique, locally-made gift items, that were more interesting souvenirs than the typical 'Made in China' key chains."
A gifted creative person with a solid sense of humor, Rebecca first started selling witty t-shirts for the holidays, such as the popular "I Believe in Santa...Rosa" shirts. Her next thought was to create a business around gnomes, (who are protectors of the earth), starting the Sonoma Gnome Company in 2013.
At this time she turned to SCORE, and began meeting with Counselor Dana Jacoby. "She was incredibly helpful as she made suggestions that I never would have thought of," Rebecca said. "I remember pausing after one idea and saying, Wow, what a concept!"
"It's great to have someone as a sounding board someone with decades of experience offering help. It's incredibly valuable," she said. "Dana was supportive, encouraging and positive in her comments and feedback to me. I have had the good fortune through SCORE of having my very own business mentor who has gone out of her way to listen and offer her perspective on my entrepreneurial anxieties and dreams."
Rebecca called SCORE a "gift to the community." Besides the one-on-one consulting, she said the workshops are extremely beneficial, especially for a start-up company.
"The classes are great for networking, as I met people who were very supportive and connected," she said. "As entrepreneurs, you often feel isolated. The classes give you the opportunity to ask questions, get new insights and network."
Rebecca said she also likes working with Dana because she is counseling a number of local sustainable businesses. "She has the niche that’s showing the more hip, groovy side of SCORE."
She added that some people express concern that SCORE is filled with "old fuddy duddies." She sees SCORE as an incredible resource offering experienced business advice. "They're very consistent in what they offer: the advisors, classes and curriculum are extremely helpful,” she said. Rebecca’s bigger business vision involves a hospitality-based project, and she hopes that SCORE and mentor Dana Jacoby will be able to continue to assist her as she develops her concept. "It would be fantastic to achieve this lodging-based business goal with SCORE’s support!"
How SCORE Helped
SCORE helped us get QuickBooks up and running for our business. Thanks to our mentor (Joe Mierendorf) we were able to install the program, input data, and run reports. This has been a huge help. Not only did we get assistance with QuickBooks, but we received useful operations suggestions, accounting 101 training, systems ideas, and information on tax considerations. SCORE has had a big impact on the way we do day-to-day business.
How SCORE Helped
Stephanie began working with SCORE in 2012 after hearing about the organization from the SBA. She had created a line of natural body products and was selling them at trade shows. "Initially, Tom from SCORE helped me to get more organized and how to be more effective in my booth at shows," she said.
Even though she had started selling some products at Whole Foods in Texas, she has pulled back her line offering it solely online. "I decided to first develop my website and online status, making sure it's solid - especially the packaging and product mix."
Stephanie added that SCORE helped her to streamline the product line. "It was great to be able to bounce ideas of them, and they gave me experienced feedback. They also helped with my business strategy and to make decisions," she said.
She added that she likes the counselor’s flexibility as she can email questions and meet them when she's available. "Because I work at nights, SCORE is great for my needs and schedule."
"It's a true mentoring relationship," she said.
Stephanie said her next steps with SCORE will be to discuss how to get back into retail and how to handle adding staff.
361 South Main Street
How SCORE Helped
The Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce initially recommended SCORE to Kevin. His primary interest was to learn how to write a business plan for his framing company: Devine Frames. He attended the full-day How to Developing a Business Plan workshop. "I loved it," he said.
"I learned a lot about what I should not do. The timeline portion was very helpful, when I looked at my plans, I needed to be more realistic," he said.
Kevin said that he really liked meeting the other attendees at the workshop. "I enjoyed talking to the other people and hearing what they're doing, their opinions and sharing experiences," he said. Kevin added that the class was easy-to-understand, had a very organized presentation, and flowed smoothly.
Kevin also went to the follow-up class to present his business plan to the SCORE instructors. "I received some very worthwhile constructive criticism that helped me to improve the plan," he said.
"Overall, SCORE was very helpful," he said. "It's a cool thing to get free counseling. I paid to have a management consultant, it was a couple of thousand dollars and SCORE was much better."
Current City: San Bernardino, CA
An accomplished speaker, mastermind professional, business coach, life coach, ministry coach, golf coach, and entrepreneur and business trainer. Over 35 years’ in retail management in such industries such as lumber, automotive and consumer goods in big box stores such as Walmart. His passion is assisting business owners, entrepreneurs, and ministers in developing, implementing and achieving their goals. Dennis also mentors professional referral and networking groups, coaches for personal growth and development, coaches businesses on increasing referrals, relationship development, ministry development and growth, and behavioral style coaching on interpersonal relationships. Also, a pretty good golfer!
Published Apr. 3, 2015
A friend and I are considering becoming partners in purchasing an existing, somewhat successful hobby shop. I’ve known him a long time, but we’ve never been in business together. What is your opinion of partnerships?
The partnership has been the foundation for millions of successful small businesses. Unfortunately, it has also been the source for innumerable disputes, arguments, irreparable relationships and lawsuits, all of which exacted economic and personal costs on the people involved.
Published Mar. 29, 2015
Learn why Cash Management is critical to Small Business success
Published Mar. 20, 2015
SCORE, mentors to America’s small businesses, recently announced the winners of The American Small Business Championship, a program supported by Sam’s Club.
Creative Cottage in Merrimack won the award for New Hampshire.
Creative Cottage - NH Winner of The American Small Business Championship
Current City: West Palm Beach, FL
41 Years with Hess Corporation in Finance & Operations. Much of my experience has been in : 1. Financial Reporting and Controls 2. Budgeting 3. Strategic Planning 4. M&A Activities 5. Negotiation of large transactions 6. Turnaround of failing businesses 7. Overseeing supply side of the operations including Refineries, Storage Terminals, Marine Transportation, Supply and Trading. In addition I was Hess' Executive Sponsor and creator of the Corporate Mentoring Program. In my 41 years at Hess, M&A activities totaled approx. $10 Billion. Had the opportunity to meet 2 Heads of State and negotiated with the most powerful executives of some of the largest National Oil Companies in the world. I retired from Hess at 12/31/14. The last 2 years of my career was spent on overseeing the divestiture of the Refining and Marketing Division.
<p> <p> Undergraduate degree in Accounting, plus an MBA in Finance</p></p>
Current City: Little Rock, AR
At the age of 23 I moved to Ft. Smith, AR and stared a grass roots Industrial Rubber Distributorship. The Company flourished and merged with several other similar businesses, created an ESOP, and grew to 12 locations in 6 states with 160 employees and $48m in annual sales. I was second in command when I was forced out and sold my interest in the business in 2007. In 2010 I became a partner in a local Drug Testing company which was struggling, I currently run that business. The company has grown nicely and became profitable in the second year of my tenure. Our 2014 sales were up 30% and I see that trend continuing.
High School Diploma</p>