Monday, November 28, 2011
Ever since Heidi Barker can remember, she wanted to work with children and own her own day care business. When Heidi graduated from college, she started working at the Sunny Day Preschool and Daycare Center in Heber City, Utah. The school had been in existence since 1978, and housed children from 3 months up to 11 years old. Heidi had worked her way up from a teacher to the Director over a period of years.In November 2009,the previous owner decided to sell the business and the house that the Daycare Center was operated from; and she approached Heidi to buy it. The offer was fairly priced, and this was Heidi's chance to own her own business, and buy a house to live in at the same time. She needed to acquire a down payment and she approached the Orem SBDC Center to help her with a business plan to secure a loan.Heidi approached several banks and savings and loans over the next year and a half with her finished business plan, but was turned down. Her credit score was good, but she had no collateral and her income was insufficient to secure a bank loan. Heidi didn't give up - she approached the Utah Micro Enterprise Loan Fund and secured a loan from them; and scrapped together a small amount of cash from friends and relatives to make the down payment for the business only. She then worked a deal with the previous owner to lease the house until she could get a loan for the down payment on the house.On January 3, 2011, she registered the Sunny Day Preschool and Daycare, LLC in her name, retained the four employees, added more children to maximize capacity (she currently has a waiting list of children), updated her license with the State of Utah, and has made a profit ever since.When asked what role the SBDC has played in this, she states, "The Orem SBDC helped me write the business plan, value the business, secure the loan, and negotiate the lease. They made it all possible. When it seemed I would fail, they encouraged me to keep going forward."As a new business owner, Heidi overcame many challenges, like molding the former employees into a cohesive, motivated team, collecting past due invoices, and conforming to the myriad of State regulations.Heidi feels the secret of her success is lots of hard work (13 hour days, 6 days a week) and total "face time" with her employees, the kids, the parents, and the stakeholders. The school is her life and she loves it. Heidi feels the best part of being an entrepreneur and owning her own business is the difference she can make in children's lives. She tells them everyday, "you can overcome all odds - you can do anything you want, just like I did."When Heidi is asked for advice on opening a business, she responds, "Go see the Orem SBDC for help. They will help make your dream come true."
"The Orem SBDC helped me write the business plan, value the business, secure the loan, and negotiate the lease. They made it all possible. When it seemed I would fail, they encouraged me to keep going forward.""you can overcome all odds - you can do anything you want, just like I did."
Heidi feels the secret of her success is lots of hard work (13 hour days, 6 days a week) and total "face time" with her employees, the kids, the parents, and the stakeholders. The school is her life and she loves it. Heidi feels the best part of being an entrepreneur and owning her own business is the difference she can make in children's lives. She tells them everyday, "you can overcome all odds - you can do anything you want, just like I did."
Posted by Orem SBDC at 11:20 AM
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Angie Lewis and Jan Sanderson had talked about starting a
business together but for years had no idea what kind of business to
start. With high school aged daughters,
they started to notice how many dances there are and how expensive the dresses
were. They also notice that many of those beautiful dresses hung in closets and
the owner didn’t know what to do with them.
Now they had an idea for a business they could run together and truly
Elsha Rae’s Dress Boutique is a formal consignment
boutique. The long racks of beautiful
formal dresses and four fitting rooms take up most of Angie’s basement at her
Mapleton home. After advertising in the fall
of 2010 for formals that could be consigned out, they got many responses and
even have a dress that was shipped from Hawaii.
Jan said that many of the girls didn’t know what consignment meant and
they did a lot of explaining. When a
girl brings in her formal dress, she names it.
Some of the dress names include Neapolitan, Barbie, Jezebel — whatever
the girl wants her dress to be named.
When the dress rents, the owner gets part of the rental fee.
Part of the way Jan and Angie got the word out about the
dress shop was through Facebook. When
they first opened, they offered a free jewelry rental for anyone who rented a
dress and then posted where they rented it on their Facebook page. The social media helped the word spread
quickly through the Springville, Mapleton, and Spanish Fork High schools. The word continues to spread wider in to Utah
Valley and Elsha Rae’s Dress Boutique has its own Facebook page that highlights
girls in dresses and catalogues some of the dresses themselves.
They like being in business especially since they can try
an idea without having to wait for approval from someone else. Both Angie and Jan are enjoying the
challenges of growing their business, and they are glad they have each other to
rely on. “I wouldn’t want to do this by
myself,” Angie said. They both agree
that one of the best parts of their business is seeing the beauty of a girl come
shining through because of the beautiful dress she is wearing.
Before they got started, they came to the Orem SBDC with
questions. “You want to obey all the laws – it was hard to know what all the
laws were.” After getting some answers
to their questions and doing some homework on what they needed. They
transformed Angie’s basement into a dress shop.
“We contacted the SBDC at the very beginning,” Angie said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
As their business continues to grow, they know that the
Orem SBDC is there to help. Jan said, “We feel like we can ask people at the
SBDC." For those thinking about
going into business, Jan offers this advice, “Research, research, research! And
go to the SBDC and see Camille.”
Posted by Orem SBDC at 9:38 AM