We began working with Heather Wilson-Price in October 2012. She was interested in purchasing an existing salon, but understandably, quiite nervous as this particular salon was going through tough times and losing money very quickly each week. She had been looking at making this purchase seriously since August and came to the CIWBC in hopes of receiving guidance and assistance.
Initially, we helped her navigate the different ways to purchase the existing shops’ assets and avoid taking on the existing debt or liens that may have existed, from the previous owner. We then began to look into how to turn the existing shop around by finding an unrealized base of clientele and unexercised marketing strategies. We assisted her in the creation of a new business plan for the salon purchase, as well as operations plans and processes to improve its efficiency and profitability, and cost savings measures to lower monthly expenditures.
Our business coach worked with Heather by coaching her on how to negotiate a lower monthly rent rate with the property owner. We then assisted her with the development of the purchase contract and talked with her about bringing on a partner and what that relationship would and should look like. Once the partnership was agreed upon, we helped in establishing terms for the owner-financed purchase and and an exit strategy that would be mutually beneficial to both partners. The CIWBC business coach also assisted her in registering the business with the Indiana Secretary of State.
The sale and turnover has been completed and business is now doing very well. They are close to 100% client scheduling capacity and have increased sales on both retail and service sides of the business. Heather and her business partner have been able to turn around a once failing salon and give it new life. They are seeing an increase in business by well over 100% and have hired three additional employees, with high expectations to see much more throughout 2013.
CIWBC is continuting to meeet with Heather to work on business and cash flow management and executing PR and branding strategies going forward.
When Jeanette Footman arrived in Indianapolis from Germany in 1995, she couldn’t find the quality pastries she had grown up with, so she began baking them herself for family and friends. In 2006, with encouragement from her husband, she started a catering business called Zamovar. Although busy baking, Jeanette found time to take business classes through the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center (CIWBC).
“I took every possible class available to me to help me get a better sense of what I was getting myself into,” said Jeanette. “From accounting to marketing and everything in between, I felt it was important to know and understand every aspect of the business. I knew about baking, but not about running a business.”
In 2008, she met Alice Matsuo, who had recently moved to Indianapolis. She is a chemist by trade and had just finished a 3-year bread-baking course in Germany. It was a “chance meeting” in a coffee shop that has led to a tasty and successful business for the two women.
A year later, their dream of introducing the marvelous world of German artisan breads and German homemade pastries to Hoosiers became a reality. The two pooled their talents and launched Brotgarten at Perk Up Café in Broad Ripple in August, 2009, where they say they started “contaminating the air at the coffee shop with the scent of freshly baked breads and pastries.”
As they say, the rest is history. Today, they now own Perk Up Café – a café well-known to its customers as the place “where in-house roasted coffee, in-house baked German Artisan bread & pastry and good times come together!”
Together, Jeanette and Alice make German sourdough breads, pretzels, hard rolls, baguettes, ciabattas, bagels, pie crusts and specialty breads along with cheese cakes, tortes, cookies, brownies and more. Their delicious creations are available at Perk Up Café on Cornell Ave. by the Monon, at the Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market and Carmel Farmers Market on Saturdays.
They are a pivotal point in their business: determining what to do, where to go and how to continue to grow. And as they work through those decisions, they know CIWBC and BOI are both available to them as resources.
“We hope to find the time between baking and running a business to look into Microloans and a few other workshops we think will help us continue to grow,” said Jeanette. “But for now, we’re too busy baking, which is a good thing for business.”
Written by Kelly Young, president, Baise Communications
Earlier this month, I found myself sitting around the table with some very smart, creative and talented women as part of the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center (CIWBC) Support Circles. This yearlong program is designed to serve as a forum for women to discuss issues that affect women in business – a program for women, led by women. The Indy Chamber best describes it as “a year-long program of women supporting women for leadership and growth.” I’ve offered to write about our monthly sessions because I believe the information is going to be worth sharing.
Friday’s topic was “authentic communication and getting/receiving feedback.” Some of us in the group are business owners, some are managers and directors, so our approach and examples varied, but what remained the same was our need to communicate effectively and efficiently whether it’s with other employees or clients.
My three top takeaways worth sharing:
1. Build relationships: Develop a relationship first with the person/people you are communicating with so you understand and respect their communication styles. Men and women are different, yes; but no matter our gender, we all want to be seen, heard and valued.
2. Gain awareness: Keep in mind, there’s always something bigger going on. Before communicating, first understand and be aware of what’s going on around you and around the person you’re communicating with, receiving feedback from, or giving feedback to.
3. Show up: Ask the question “how do I want to show up today?” to help you be a better communicator. It sounds like a simple question to ask, but it may be harder to answer.
Our 90 minutes went too fast – and next month seems too long to wait to get together again. Until then though, I look forward to putting into practice what we discussed. Most importantly, I look forward to finding the best way for me to be a more authentic and present communicator – personally and professionally.
One of the questions we get most often from BOI/CIWBC clients is "What is the best way to fund my idea?" This is the age old question that has been the challenge of all entrepreneurs since time immemorial. There are many options: traditional bank funding, microloans, angel investors, venture capital, and "bootstrapping" your business through slow growth without debt. In addition, crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way to get the money you need to take your business to the next level.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) was signed into law in 2012 and changed the rules regarding crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is defined as "the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet." Before the law was passed, investors had a long list of rules and regulations that they needed to adhere to in order to protect them from bad investments. The JOBS Act loosened those regulations so that anyone can invest in the small business or idea that they believe in.
This recently published story from PBS NewsHour answers a lot of questions about crowdfunding.
In addition, this blog post from Patrick McGinnis of the Huffington Post asks the important question "Will the JOBS Act Actually Create Any Jobs?" by outlining some of the potential risks of crowdfunding.
What this means to you, the entrepreneur, is this: Do ALL your homework. Look at all your options and explore your funding needs from all angles. The old adage "if something is too good to be true, it probably is" tends to hit home more often than not. You may be able to get started with less money than you anticipated. Always seek the advice of someone who is not emotionally or financially invested in your business - like one of BOI's Business Coaches - to help you make these life/business altering decisions.