Archive for the ‘General Posts’ Category

Pizzicletta – 2014 Success Award Winner

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014, Pizzicletta was recognized as a 2014 Success Award Winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network in the annual Success Award program for small business success. The Arizona Small Business Development Center Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. Each year the Network highlights and honors some of Arizona’s brightest small business successes for the vital role that they play in our state’s economy. Pizzicletta worked with the Coconino Community College Small Business Development Center to achieve a higher level of success. Read their story below:

Pizzicletta is the first business Caleb Schiff has owned and the only kitchen he has ever managed. He wanted a restaurant to be a size that would enable him to succeed by giving him the ability to oversee all aspects of a fledging business. Schiff wanted to have hands not only in the dough, but the hiring, bookkeeping, purchasing, and all the while having attention to detail. He wanted to know his way around every physical and fiscal nook and cranny. The simple menu and overall size of Pizziclettta allowed him to do just that, and equally as important, focus on making a pizza that would stand out amongst the sea of slices and styles that are available in Flagstaff. Making pizza is his passion. It is something he loves to do. He didn’t want to lose that love and simultaneously wanted the business to be an avenue toward a stable income. Former restaurant owner and Coconino Community College SBDC analyst Jim Hunter was a perfect resource for Caleb.

Schiff spent time in Europe before he considered opening a restaurant and it was there that he recognized and began to embrace the belief that less is more. Such a place –where less is more – was missing in the Flagstaff food scene. To stand out and enable success, he knew Pizzicletta couldn’t be just another pizza place, so he set out to combine a model of old-world simplicity with a kitchen that was aspirational in its food and wine. Pizza, home-made gelato, a unique selection of wine and beers, and friendly, knowledgeable and unpretentious service established the perfect recipe for success. With that model he has relied on word-of-mouth referrals since day one. Therefore, advertising expenses rarely exceed $100 a month. Each day is new and fresh. Schiff says he learns something new every day and still makes mistakes, but feels like his business has hit a comfortable stride in 2013. Pizzicletta has been recognized as an Arizona Highways top 25 restaurants, Phoenix Magazines top 50 restaurants, and three times in Sunset Magazine. His loyal customer base is expanding and sales are increasing!

Schiff gives significant credit for the execution of his business plan to support and advice from the Coconino Community College SBDC. “Jim Hunter was an invaluable resource! He walked me through cash flow spreadsheets, amortization of loans and pay-off times, in addition to advice about employee retention, pricing, customer engagement and future growth. Many ambitious entrepreneurs across the country have reached out to me for advice and one of my first recommendations is to seek out and approach their local SBDC for guidance.”

Thompson-Wimmer – 2014 Success Award Winner

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014, Thompson-Wimmer, Inc. was recognized as a 2014 Success Award Winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network in the annual Success Award program for small business success. The Arizona Small Business Development Center Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. Each year the Network highlights and honors some of Arizona’s brightest small business successes for the vital role that they play in our state’s economy. Thompson-Wimmer, Inc. worked with the Cochise College Small Business Development Center to achieve a higher level of success. Read their story below:

Unmanned Aviation and Global Security are Thompson-Wimmer’s core corporate pillars. They are committed to providing smart solutions to the challenges faced in unmanned aircraft technology integration and pioneering methodologies in global security. Guided by their strong commitment to excellence within these arenas, Thompson-Wimmer Inc. desires to lead the way to a safer global culture and more robust global economy. As a small business located in Sierra Vista, Arizona they are well adept in performing research and training for industry and government clients.

According to Brian Wimmer, Owner, Thompson-Wimmer, Inc. is a leader in innovative services that meet the unique needs of their clients. They currently deliver technology and personnel to implement program management, procurement and administrative task support, and are assisting with a variety of projects critical to the security of the military, law enforcement, transportation and critical infrastructure.

Thompson-Wimmer, Inc. has been a trusted and reliable partner in support of C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) platforms and operations for government agencies and industry leaders. The Thompson-Wimmer team has extensive experience in providing advanced technical knowledge, along with military technical electronics knowledge, software and hardware installation, scheduling and maintain complex C4ISR systems in accordance with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security standards. They apply their technical skills to enhance their customer’s ability to have both the information and decision making advantage.

Netswat – 2014 Success Award Winner

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014, Netswat was recognized as a 2014 Success Award Winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network in the annual Success Award program for small business success. The Arizona Small Business Development Center Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. Each year the Network highlights and honors some of Arizona’s brightest small business successes for the vital role that they play in our state’s economy. Netswat worked with the Central Arizona College Small Business Development Center to achieve a higher level of success. Read their story below:

Jeff Babb was born with the spirit of an entrepreneur. When he was a kid, he used to walk around to all the houses in our neighborhood collecting newspapers from their houses and attempting to resell them to the homeowners. He picked up odd jobs like picking dandelions for 10 cents each—budding with creativity and taking full advantage of the neighbor’s generous offer, each dandelion when presented for the payoff count had mysteriously broken and reformed into smaller, separate dandelions. Since those early days, Babb has grown up and reformed his ways, choosing to build a business based on honesty and integrity instead of creative license. Babb explains, he met Jim when he was working at the Central Arizona Corporate Center. This meeting eventually introduced Babb to the Small Business Development Center and resources for small businesses. While at Central Arizona Corporate Center, Babb became involved in DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) and wrote a business plan for a competition. Babb’s plan won an Award of Excellence in the 2010 national competition in Kentucky. Though Babb had always wanted to own his own business, he had thought up until this point that, if it were possible at all, he wouldn’t be able to begin the process until he was much older and with years of experience. “It was the faith Jim Rhodes had in me and the skills learned through the Central Arizona College SBDC that helped me realize that I didn’t have to wait. I already have a marketable skill that is highly valued.” explains Babb. The SBDC helped Babb revise my business plan, and with the revised plan in hand he was able to set out into the world of commerce. In addition, Jim Rhodes introduced Babb to Scott Morin with the Oasis Pavilion Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where he was given the opportunity to bid on a contract to build their entire computer infrastructure from the ground up. After presenting his plan of action to Scott Morin, Babb was awarded the contract and began working at Oasis Pavilion. During his time there, he was introduced to Joseph Oladukun with Oasis Home Health Care. This introduction eventually led to Babb taking over management of their computer infrastructure as well. Thus was the beginning of a great small business providing a vital service to the community and generating economic impact for Arizona.

Babb notes, “I couldn’t have come as far as I have today without the help of Jim Rhodes and the Central Arizona College Small Business Development Center. With no startup capital, I have been able to turn what was once just an interest in computers into a fast-growing business. I also hope to one day be able to mentor others as I have been mentored by Jim and the SBDC.”

Yuma Office Equipment – 2014 Success Award Winner

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014, Yuma Office Equipment was recognized as a 2014 Success Award Winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network in the annual Success Award program for small business success. The Arizona Small Business Development Center Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. Each year the Network highlights and honors some of Arizona’s brightest small business successes for the vital role that they play in our state’s economy. Yuma Office Equipment worked with the Arizona Western College Small Business Development Center to achieve a higher level of success. Read their story below:

Daniel Bombard had worked at Yuma Office Equipment for many years and had grown with the company. When the former owner was planning to retire, Bombard began discussing purchasing the business. With this transition in mind, Bombard first approached the Arizona Western College SBDC for assistance. Bombard says the advice he received from the AWC SBDC both justified the value of the business and different pathways to complete the purchase. Our discussions not only justified the business valuation but helped to develop the business plan for managing the business. Once that hurdle was accomplished, Bombard began the financial training to become a better manager of the business by enrolling in Profit Mastery training through the AWC SBDC. It was after this training Bombard acknowledges he learned the value of working on his business was as much or more important than working in the business.

“Randy Nelson was extremely helpful by providing a professional level of analysis and insight on what it has taken for my success. The financing, financial management, social media education and just being a resource for small businesses is an amazing tool every business owner should be aware of and I’m so pleased I did,” acclaims Bombard.

Bombard also acknowledges the valuable insight that came through the SBDC counseling that more sales did not always mean the company would show more profits, or was stronger. The key to success would always be managed growth.

One key area that helped the company navigate the great recession is now also leading the growth of the company, investment in professional development. Yuma Office Supply has invested in the employee training and is now the area leader in computer repair, computer networking, and IT services and equipment sales. Additional skills have allowed the company to develop new revenue streams to offset a declining industry.

Today not only has Yuma Office Supply survived a change in ownership, but in fact has thrived. Every job has been retained while the company has grown revenues through new and innovative technologies and service offerings. Yuma Office Supply has added new product lines and reinvented the way it can be an IT partner with any entity in the area.

Maricopa Community Colleges SBDC in collaboration with the CEI Present SBIR Information

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Lunch & Learn Free Lecture/Workshop
CEI/Phoenix – 275 N. GateWay Drive
April 10, 2014 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Presenter: Tom Swann, SBDC

Lunch & Learn events are free presentations to assist small businesses. This workshop is aimed at companies that are interested in submitting proposals for the upcoming Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 2014.2, Phase I funding opportunity. Attendees will learn how the SBIR program works, the application requirements, finding an appropriate topic, the latest news and changes and some tips for winning. Most importantly, at this stage, is what attendees could do now to prepare for this opportunity when it is announced. The Lunch & Learn free event series is presented by the Maricopa Community Colleges Small Business Development Center in partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation.

Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair – 2014 Master Success Award Winner

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014, Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair was recognized as the 2014 Master Success Award Winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network in the annual Success Award program for small business success. The Arizona Small Business Development Center Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. Each year the Network highlights and honors some of Arizona’s brightest small business successes for the vital role that they play in our state’s economy. Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair worked with the Maricopa Small Business Development Center to achieve a higher level of success. Read their story below:

After retiring from the automotive distribution industry in 1995, Howard Fleischmann Sr. helped his grown children finance a tire store that they had purchases. Over the next few years, the family accumulated eight stores, including four that Fleischmann bought himself. The expanded family-run operation appeared to be running smoothly and Fleischmann tried retirement once again.

In 2003, the bank called and Fleischmann learned that internal embezzlement at Community Tire Pros had cost the company its credit line and placed it in danger. He then returned to take over the company’s management. It was during this time Howard Fleischmann Sr. and his son Howard Fleischmann Jr. discovered the Maricopa Community College SBDC and Business Analyst Michael D’Hoostelaere. D’Hoostelaere mentored the pair in finance, marketing and strategic business planning.

Community Tire Pros has been in business for 22 years now and operates six shops around the Valley. It is the first tire dealer in Arizona to cater to the female clientele and their needs in the automotive industry. Target marketing has proven to be a successful strategy for the company. “I asked my mangers who their favorite customers were and they said women,” Fleischmann noted. “Women customers don’t tell the technicians how to fix the car and, once the job is done and done well at a fair price, they keep coming back. Understanding this changed our business dramatically and helped us to make strategic choices,” Fleischmann said.

“We do business just a bit different,” says Fleischmann. “We engage and create facilities of the clients’ comfort, hire advisors with talent at the counter as well as certified technicians working on vehicles. We never sell a client, our mantra is ‘we advise – you decide.’ We have the most up-to-date equipment to diagnose the ever-changing technology in today’s vehicles. Our teams are very conscious of always going above and beyond – ‘Do the Right Thing!’ We are locally owned and give back to the communities where we do business,” states Fleischmann. As a leader in the community for equality, Community Tire Pros practice in our six locations that everyone is welcomed. Community Tire Pros is a member of AskPatty.com, certified as a Female Friendly facility and dedicated to give a pleasurable repair experience with utmost respect and the chance to educate clients on their vehicles with safety priorities at the forefront.

Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair prides itself on being locally owned and a member of the community. Team members are encouraged to seek ways to give back to those communities where Community Tire Pros does business. Whether its giving a used car to a young mother through Helping Hands for Single Mothers, supplying much needed blankets for LGBT youth on the street, serving food at a homeless shelters, or other outreach efforts, Community Tire Pros is committed to their community. The newest community project is the “Community Tire Salsa Garden.” This is an actual vegetable garden located in two lots across from the corporate facility at Central and Durango. This general vicinity is called a food desert, simply because there is no grocery store within 3-5 miles. This project will engage, involve, create curiosity and educate through growing vegetables. This self-sustaining garden will have aspects to include children and adults as volunteers and in return give vegetables from the harvest based on hours donated. Thus far, since April 2013, the Community Tire Salsa Garden has managed to gift more than 600 pounds of food to this community. The garden will soon encompass cooking, children’s seasonal projects, harvesting, recycling and work with the Friendly House charter school across the street for campus gardening activities. To read more about the garden check out communitytiregarden.org for updates.

When asked what his secret to success was, Fleischmann replied, in today’s market place a small business owner must be better than ever before. We all must have good knowledge of finance, funding, taxes property, employee retention, rewards, discipline, healthcare rues, negotiations, and the list goes on and on. The Maricopa Community College SBDC can provide all of the support necessary to help a business owner work through these issues if you are willing to ask. Michael D’Hoostelaere was a great fit for me as a mentor. Since my financial knowledge was limited, and it is one of Michael’s many strengths, this became a major asset. As many small business owners, I was uncomfortable admitting to my short comings but Michael was able to open the doors without causing any embarrassment and has taken me to a new level of understanding. He has included me in projects that involved others allowing my vision to expand and we continue to work together as we have moved our company from a $6 million a year to a successful $10.6 million in 2013. I cannot express enough thanks to the SBDC for all the help!

Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair has received multiple honors for excellence, quality, customer service and community involvement. Recently, they were honored at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas with the 2013 National, Canada and Mexico “Top Shop” Award Winner by Tire Review magazine. This award indicates that Community Tire Pros are the bet of the best. In 2010, Community Tire Pros was honored as one of the TOP 5 SHOP finalist in the Nation in Tire Review Magazine-Tire Industry. They have received the AAA TOP SHOP Award for four years running, the AZ Central Reader’s Choice Award in 2012 and 2013, the 2012 One Community “Spotlight on Success” award, we honored by being the 2013 Phoenix Gay Pride Grand Marshalls, among other outstanding honors.

Event To Showcase 7 Awesome Marketing Tools

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

You can learn about 7 Awesome Marketing Tools for Small Business Owners at the AZSBDC Network’s next Coffee & Connections networking event. The program will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 18 at the Innovations Science & Technology Incubator, 145 S. 79th Street in Chandler.  The event is free, but registration is required due to limited seating.

The program will be presented by Dow Media Group. Owner Leigh Dow will discuss several emerging tools in the online marketing space that are available to help entrepreneurs market their small business.

To register for this event go to: https://clients.azsbdc.net/workshop.aspx?ekey=10330019

Free Investor Pitch Event

Friday, January 25th, 2013

The AZSBDC Network is excited to announc Investor Pitch! at the Chandler Science and Innovations Incubator. You can participate as an attendee at either (or both) of these two events, or apply to go through the investor pitch experience and receive valuable feedback on your business from a panel of experts.

Registration is free but due to limited seating, you MUST register for either (or both) of these two events at the following link. If you want to learn about the investment process and what it takes to put together an Investor pitch, you are encouraged to attend both of these events.

1. Investor Pitch workshop: Do’s and Don’ts (Tuesday 2/26; 7:30-9 AM)

2. Investor Pitch Clinic: Panel feedback (Thursday 4/4; 1-5 PM)

For those of you who would like to get feedback from a panel of experts on their investor pitch, you will need to apply for this event by attending the 1st event on 2/26.

Investor Pitch workshop: Do’s and Don’ts
Place: Innovations, City of Chandler Science and Technology incubator
Tuesday 2/26
7:30 AM -9 AM

“You Only Get One Chance to Make a Good First Impression”
presented by Tom Swann, SBDC Business Analyst

An entrepreneur never knows when he or she may be called upon to pitch their company to a potential investor. It may be verbal, Internet based or printed media. It may come at a social gathering or meeting someone in the hallway at a conference who is just looking for a place to get some coffee. Or, it may come under very controlled conditions like pitching to a group of Angel or Venture Capital Investors at an Investor Event. However it may happen, you will only have one chance to make a good first impression. Tom will explain what you need to have to always be ready!

“Preparing Client Companies for Investment Funding”
presented by Sanjay Dhole SBDC Technology Coordinator and Business Analyst

An entrepreneur needs to understand the overall business process, be able to recognize when the company is ready for outside investment, the critical communication tools and how to outline a standard 10-minute pitch. Sanjay will also identify the top 10 investor pitch mistakes.

Speaker(s)
Maricopa SBDC Business Analyst Tom Swann and Maricopa SBDC Technology Coordinator and Business Analyst Sanjay Dhole

Special Instructions
Seating is limited. For more information contact Sanjay Dhole at
sanjay.dhole@domail.maricopa.edu or phone him at 480-784-0591

To register for this event: https://clients.azsbdc.net/workshop.aspx?ekey=10330011
Place: Innovations, City of Chandler Science and Technology incubator
Thursday, April 4, 2013 1 pm – 5 pm

Companies (up to 8) interested in making their investor pitch to an experienced panel who will critique your presentation at this event will need to attend the first event on 2/26/2013 and submit their name for consideration. Under the guidance of an SBDC Counselor, create an investor pitch presentation consisting of an executive summary, using the template provided, and a slide presentation per the guidelines. This exercise will prepare entrepreneur on how to prepare investor pitch. even if you are not interested in putting together the pitch you can still attend this event and learn from other’s experience.

All other attendees for this event are welcome to attend to learn and participate in the event.
To register for this event: https://clients.azsbdc.net/workshop.aspx?ekey=10330012

 

 

 

SBA Initiatives That Are Helping Our Veterans

Monday, December 10th, 2012

From the SBA.gov website:
The men and women of our military sacrifice so much for our freedom, and when they return after years of serving, it is a difficult transition for them and their families starting the next chapter in their lives.

The number of veterans early in their careers is on the rise: 74 percent of service-disabled veterans over the last 10 years is under 30 years old. They are equipped with unique skills as a result of their service, and their veteran status offers distinct business advantages. For those veterans and their family members with the entrepreneurial spirit, there are now several programs aimed at helping them leverage their skills and talents and start a business. With the help of these initiatives, veterans have a greater chance of achieving success and once again, providing critical support for our country as one of the many small businesses that are the backbone of our nation.

  • Joining Forces: Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families opportunities and support. The mission is to integrate existing services and offer new forms of business support, knitting them all together and making it work for each veteran’s individual needs.
  • Operation Boots to Business: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognizes the contributions that veterans make by owning and running businesses that employ millions of Americans.  According to the most recent U.S. Census Data, veteran-owned firms represent 9 percent of all U.S. firms. These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employed over 5.8 million individuals. Transitioning service members are natural entrepreneurs, possessing the training, experience, and leadership skills to start businesses and create jobs. SBA is dedicated to help even more veterans grow their businesses and create jobs.  Through the Boots to Business initiative, service members will learn the nuts and bolts of how to start and grow a business. They will also be introduced to the SBA’s nationwide Resource Partner network for support throughout the lifecycle of their new business.
  • Veterans Business Fund: The Veterans Business Fund (VBF) is a not-for profit organization,  established in response to the high unemployment rate among veterans, many of whom are well qualified through their military experience to become successful small business owners but lack sufficient equity capital to qualify for a small business loan.  The VBF assists veterans by providing them with the supplemental capital required to satisfy the equity requirements for a small business loan, providing capital to veterans in the form of a non interest bearing loan with favorable repayment terms.
  • Operation Endure and Grow: Aimed at National Guard and Reserve members, Operation Endure and Grow gives them, their families and business partners access to online training courses focused on the fundamentals of launching or growing a small business. This program offered by the Whitman School of Management, in cooperation with the SBA, offers service personnel courses on crafting a business or nonprofit plan. In addition, they’ll receive ideas for presenting to investors, lenders or other financial backers.

You can read the entire post and access additional information HERE.

Learn more about AZSBDC Veterans Assistance programs HERE.

Be A Better Chess Master for Your Business

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Watch Maricopa SBDC Business Analyst Brenda McCaffrey talk about the value of research and how it will make you a better ‘chess master’ for your business on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFpk3qbzXLM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Brenda appeared on the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation’s (CEI) Smartboard Tuesdays show (Episode 11).

You will also learn about SBDC services and some of the exciting programs offered through CEI.