Tag: success

SCORE Success Story: Heartsweet Cakes

Heartsweet Cakes, a SCORE Success Story“When starting your business, you are going to need a plan A, B, C, and D,” said my SCORE mentor Roger Robinson, at one of our first meetings together. I left this meeting frustrated and discouraged because I only had a plan A.

Upon graduating college with a degree in business, I moved to Chicago and began working downtown at a marketing research firm, working only the left side of my brain in a cubicle for three years. From day one, I yearned for something more. I knew I wanted a career that I was passionate about and fulfilling. I went back to my love of art and design and began searching for cake decorating programs at culinary schools. I enrolled at the prestigious French Pastry School and I never looked back.

A couple of internships later, I worked my way up and managed the top cake shop in the city. I honed my skills and learned as much as I could about the industry and cake design. It was at this shop where my vision and dream for Heartsweet Cakes began to take shape. I drafted a 40-page business plan, complete with a 600+ item inventory list with prices and suppliers, and I estimated all of my start-up costs.

I moved to Arizona with a plan, a single plan, a plan A. I knew what I wanted my business to become and I was confident that I had the skills and talent to achieve it, but I reached a point in the process where I needed some help. Specifically, I was looking for advice in finding a commercial property and financing support/advice. I reached out to the local SCORE office in Phoenix and both Roger Robinson and Bill Robinson were assigned as my mentors.

Haley Cairns of HeartSweet Cakes - a SCORE Success StoryOnce Roger and Bill had a chance to review my business plan, we dove into some in-depth discussions and analysis of my financials. This was when my plan A started to seem like something that may be too risky financially. They asked me, “Is there a less risky way to start your business but still produce the same product to the same client market?” The answer was “yes”, and I truly feel like they both guided me into a less risky start of my company.  I decided to begin my business out of my home and I installed all of my commercial equipment into a spare room with a separate entrance. I am able to produce the same quality product that my clientele expects from me with less overhead and minimal construction costs. I was able to invest my startup capital into my branding, website, high-quality equipment and materials. I now have room to steadily grow my business with less pressure and financial risk and I will have a lot more control over my work-life balance.

I owe a big thank you to SCORE and the mentors that devoted their time, knowledge, advice, and support to me with my journey of making Heartsweet Cakes a reality. I believed that I could start my business with my plan A but, along the way, I was guided into a plan B, which was the smarter way to achieve my dream and I can attribute this to my experience with SCORE. Thank you to my mentors, Roger and Bill, and all of the other SCORE mentors who support entrepreneurs like me, who are willing to work hard to turn their dreams into a reality.

Haley Cairns
Owner of Heartsweet Cakes – Phoenix, AZ

You can be a SCORE success story! Get free business mentoring no matter where you are in your business: thinking of starting, start-up, growing or established. Click here to schedule a mentoring session with a mentor in one of our many Phoenix Valley locations.

Are you a SCORE Success? We’d love to feature you here in our blog and in our newsletter! Contact your SCORE mentor or the SCORE office with your story.

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Smart Goals – Recipe for Success

Smart Goals - Recipe for SuccssA company’s vision and mission are broad and far reaching statements about business objectives and what you want the business to look like in the future. They can seem overwhelming and difficult to achieve. Think about answering the question, “how do you eat an elephant?”.   The answer is “one bite at a time.”

Developing, prioritizing, and writing specific goals are key to successful business startups, continuous improvement and success of existing businesses. The idea is to capture the stepping stones essential to business achievement. Goals create the road map, the bite size pieces that make the vision and mission a reality.

The best goals are “SMART” goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.SMART Goals - Recipe for Success

The best goals:

  • Address the most important and urgent issues first.
  • Contribute to using time wisely.
  • Provide a management tool to measure employee performance.
  • Help us overcome distractions and procrastination.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Provide motivation and positive feedback as the goals are achieved.
  • Are key to maintaining enthusiasm and continued progress.

Measure your goal setting IQ by answering these questions:

  • Does your business have a written operational plan?
  • Do individual business owners and employees have individual goals for the year?
  • Does the business owner meet regularly with the team and individual employees to review goal progress and re-set goals, if necessary?
  • Are business goals set by all the key people, not just the owner?
  • Are goal successes celebrated and rewarded?

It is clear that business success is greatly enhanced by creating a culture of developing and writing specific, measurable goals.

A SCORE mentor can help you with your goal setting. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session in a Phoenix Valley location near you!

About the Author:

George Obst, Certified SCORE MentorGeorge Obst is a Certified SCORE mentor with more than 30 years experience profitably managing and growing businesses, including start-ups, purchasing, financing and selling businesses.

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7 Common Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

What do Willis Carrier, Tony Maglica, Michael Owens, George Westinghouse and King Gillette have in common?

Well, let’s put their names next to their well-know inventions respectively:

  • Carrier air conditioning
  • Maglite flashlight
  • Owens-Corning glass
  • Westinghouse appliances and he also worked with Tesla to harness the power of Niagara Falls
  • Gillette razors

These folks a few others are featured in Michelle Malkin’s new book, Who Built That – Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs.

She coined the phrase, “Tinkerprenueur” as she puts it,

“These under-appreciated inventors and innovators of mundane things changed the world by successfully commercializing their ideas and creating products, companies, jobs, and untold opportunities that endure today.”

These are the 7 Common Traits that these Successful Entrepreneurs share:

  1. Mechanical ability from an early age
  2. Stubborn practicality and dedication to making and selling useful things
  3. Willingness to expand their creative orbits as widely as possible to get the job done
  4. Relentless work ethic and insatiable commitment to continue self-improvement
  5. A deep and abiding respect for intellectual property, fair play, and the rule of law
  6. Strong faith and perseverance through failure and adversity
  7. Reverence for America’s special role as a beacon of freedom and opportunity

Do you have an invention and are clueless of where to start? A SCORE Mentor can help! Click here to schedule a free mentoring session.

SCORE can help with that “self-improvement”! Check out our upcoming Phoenix Seminars and online Webinars!

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Video: How to Create a Successful Business Strategy

How To Create a Successful Business StrategyHas your business strategy gotten lost? Many times you create a strategy for your business plan as a start-up and it gets filed away and never looked at again. Not good. In this video, business experts, Jesse Torres and Aaron Michael Sanchez explain how to create a successful business strategy. From their YouTube Channel, Two Men in Your Business.

  1. Set clear priorities
  2. Collect and analyze data
  3. Keep in touch with your employees
  4. Evaluate your strategy

 If you need help with your business strategy whether it’s for a start-up or reviewing your original strategy and helping your redo it, a SCORE mentor can help you for free! Click here to book an appointment.

 

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Video: 50 Entrepreneurs share priceless advice

If you could put 50 successful entrepreneurs of all ages, from all walks of life, from all industries, in one room to ask them what’s the best piece of advice they’d give to a budding entrepreneurial start-up, here’s what you would get…

Here are some quotes and concepts that stood out:

English: Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Fac...
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Attracting other people to help you work with the idea. – Jack Dorsey, Twitter

Constantly seek criticism. – Elon Musk, Tesla

You can’t talk about yourself all the time. No one’s going to come back for that. – Jason Fried, Basecamp

Realize that you can’t do everything and even if you can, you shouldn’t. – Palmer Luckey, Oculus Rift

You’re going to make tons of mistakes… learn quickly and don’t give up. – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Have determination to succeed – Mark Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz

Go in with eyes wide open – Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook

Define all the worst-case scenarios – Tim Ferriss – 4 Hour Work Week

 

Now, you can go to the library or buy all the books written by these successful business people or you can talk to a SCORE mentor for free! Click here to schedule a mentoring session with a SCORE mentor near you!

 

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Business Success Advice from Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec

Robert Herjavec - the Will to WinShark Tank’s Robert Herjavec didn’t start out in business to buy a Ferrari! He “just wanted to be great at something.”

In this video from Fast Company, Robert’s advice is simple and it works!

“The purpose of business is to create a customer.”

  • You have to create value
  • Leave emotion out of it
  • Listening is important
  • Love what you do and keep going

The number one quality he looks for in an entrepreneur is being passionate about one thing.

Be great at that one thing!

Get advice from lots of experts who are good at their one thing at…

Greater Phoenix SCORE 2015 Small Business Symposium

Internet, Social Media Marketing & Much More!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Grand Canyon University Arena
3330 W Camelback Rd., Phoenix

Check out the Speaker Line-up!

FREE Admission and Lunch for Attendees!
Registration Required
Register Free for the Symposium

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