Blog

How To: Create a good marketing plan

Working with clients over the years has made me appreciate marketing as a key to success. The ability to create a great product isn’t going to assure success. There are many great products and services that fail. You can’t take the “build it and they will come” approach. With a well thought out marketing plan, a good product can exceed the sales of an equal or even better product.

Part of any successful business is identifying their target market and developing plans on how they can reach the customers and demonstrate value. Have you ever tried to identify your customers?

Read More

Business Highlight: EterNav – Verona Island

eternav-logo-and-backgroundKasey Smith, founder of EterNav, wants to change the funeral and death care industry.

With a background in technology startups and personal experience dealing with loss, she saw an opportunity to help those experiencing one of life’s toughest challenges, navigating the unexpected loss of a loved one.

She has created 21st century technical tools and a step by step process that helps guide families through the practical tasks and action steps that follow the loss of a loved one. Her solution, called EterNav (short for eternal navigation), offers affordable, personalized and convenient bereavement solutions — working either with and without a funeral home.Read More

Business Highlight: Aroostook Driving School – Caribou

When Ryan Deprey and Todd Albert, well known teachers and coaches in the local school system, heard that one of the longstanding driving schools in Caribou was closing due to retirement, they saw an opportunity. The pair approached Josh Nadeau, Maine SBDC business advisor at Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC), to take advantage of that opportunity – to start a driving school business.Read More

Business Highlight: Autotronics – Frenchville & Bangor

logoAutotronics, a family-owned business that specializes in the building and restoration of emergency vehicles, has been in business since 1958 and serves customers within Maine, New England and even internationally. Business Owner Lita Daigle approached Maine SBDC Business Advisor Josh Nadeau looking for help in restructuring some current loans as well as obtaining funds to help build a new state of the art paint facility at their headquarters in Frenchville, Maine.

Read More

How To: Create a working business plan

Many small business people think of the business plan as that thing they had to do to obtain financing for their business. While that is one way to describe a business plan, it isn’t the right one.

Business plans are not something that should be seen as a hurdle. Think of it as a ladder. The business plan is part of a process that helps you achieve your goals. It leads you onward and upward. Sometimes the steps go quickly and sometimes they don’t. If you have done your research you should be well prepared and have a sound basis for your business decisions. You don’t need a business plan that is from a 30-page template you found on line. You need a working business plan.

Read More

Business Highlight: Lost Valley – Auburn

12247088_10150572329809950_1312391115200000601_nLost Valley, a small ski area located in Auburn, Maine, has been a staple of the area since 1961. The first ski area in Maine to make artificial snow, the business features 15 trails and a terrain park, offering something for skiers of all abilities. It also boasts one of the largest ski schools in Maine.

When the potential for purchasing the business arose, Scott Shanaman and his wife April jumped at the opportunity.  Familiar with the ski industry (they also own and run a ski lift maintenance business) but seeking guidance on obtaining financing and executing the purchase, they reached out to Jane Mickeriz, Maine SBDC business advisor at the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG). Together they spent many hours working on a business plan, financial projections and loan packaging which Shanaman presented to several banks. 

Read More