Starting a business from scratch is one of the most rewarding – and difficult – challenges to undertake. Filing for an LLC is easy, but helping the business to grow and develop requires time, effort, and unconditional (and sometimes unrequited) love.
The hurdles are significant: 20% of startups fail in the first year – a rate that jumps to well over 40% by year 4.  Top reasons for failure include: No Market Need (42%), Not Enough Cash (29%), Not the Right Team (23%), Product without a Business Model (17%), and Poor Marketing (14%).
But, if you want the coveted title of Entrepreneur, what’s the alternative? How can you reduce these risks and still achieve your goals?
Buy a Business that already exists.Consider:
10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, across the country
In the next 15 years, 12 Million Businesses are expected to Sell nationwide –  equating to $3.8 trillion in small businesses transferring by 2040
These statistics paint a dark picture that will affect every industry and county in our State… but, for the right people, it’s a land of unrivaled opportunity. By and large, the advantages of purchasing an existing business mitigate the risks of starting one, and you’ll still have the ability to tailor its next steps to reflect your strengths and goals.Read More
Rachel Sagiroglu is passionate about all that Maine has to offer. That is why she decided to start Experience Maine, a new full-service travel concierge and event planning company. Rachel knew that tourism is Maine’s largest industry, but noticed that the corporate meetings and events segment of the industry has only grown by 50,000 business-related travelers in the last three years. With over 20 years of experience in event planning, she wanted to help expand Maine’s corporate meeting and events market.
For guidance on the steps to starting this exciting new business, Rachel contacted Business Advisor Susan Desgrosseillers from the Maine Small Business Development Centers. Together they worked to price Rachel’s services, create financial projections and develop a business plan that would help understand her business and obtain a loan from Coastal Enterprises.Read More
Maine SBDC has partnered with the University of Southern Maine’s Cutler Institute to create a FREE, self-paced online training just for retail and foodservice small businesses!
DID YOU KNOW?
As an employer, you are legally responsible for safety in the workplace.
Workplace violence is the 2nd leading cause of workplace fatalities in the U.S. overall and the leading cause of death for women. In 2016, cashiers and retail sales supervisors had the highest homicide rates of any occupation, occurring most commonly during a robbery (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
The training includes information on the types of violent threats in retail workplaces, including robbery, shoplifting, unwelcome walk-ins, and threats from customers or employees. Employers and employees will learn how to respond to violence or the threat of violence by reading body language and using de-escalation techniques. Employers will learn how to establish a workplace violence prevention program.
This training focuses on recognizing risks and different types of violence, warning signs of violence, de-escalating violent situations, creating a workplace violence prevention plan, and reporting to OSHA. The online program is free and accessible from any computer or mobile device.
Participants may login when convenient and complete the training at their own pace. After
successful completion, the staff member is awarded a downloadable certificate.
The Cutler Institute, a part of USM’s Muskie School of Public Service, was awarded a $116,000 OSHA grant to help create the online training. The funding is part of the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. The grants provide educational and training programs to help employees and employers recognize serious workplace hazards, implement injury prevention measures, and understand their rights and responsibilities.
After losing their father to cancer in 2016, Renée Ledoux began to question her career choice as an emergency room nurse. Jason Ledoux began to question his career path after spending time working a desk job, quickly realizing pushing papers was not for him. Neither felt passionate about their career paths and wanted more. One night over dinner with their mother, they were discussing how their father had worked for himself for many years and they got an idea. Why couldn’t they start their own business? The business could combine Jason’s talent and knowledge of woodworking with Renée’s outgoing personality and attention to detail, it would be the perfect partnership. They decided to give it a shot!Read More
Terri Swanson has successfully held several professional roles over her career. In March 2018, she decided it was time to fulfill her dream and utilize her experience in a new way. With a passion for helping people, she started her own Human Resources consulting business, Swanson Consulting & Associates.
Terri was in the beginning stages when she met Certified Business Advisor Shannon Byers. In Shannon, Terri found someone who could give feedback, ask questions that would generate ideas and be supportive of her new business. Together, the pair worked through the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition. This work together provided a visual guide to better understand the business and helped identify critical areas of focus in order to be successful.Read More
Bangor, Maine –The Maine SBDC has selected Ann McAlhany as the 2019 State Star. The award, given annually, recognizes a member of the Maine SBDC staff that has shown exemplary performance and a strong commitment to small business success.
“Ann is dedicated to the success of her clients and the Maine SBDC program. She is a leader and role model among her peers and we are lucky to have her as part of our team,” said Maine SBDC State Director, Mark Delisle.
After one successful business venture, Lauren Allen approached Center Director & Business Advisor Josh Nadeau for a second time with a larger business idea that was close to her heart. Lauren had always dreamed of owning her own horse stable. She had found an existing stable that was not being utilized to its potential and she wanted to buy it. She turned to the Maine SBDC to walk her through the process.Read More
Tobey Tozier recognized a need in the transgender community. Through personal experience, he has found that this market of 1.4 million transgender adults in the U.S. lacks easy ways to document their transitions and track the effects of Hormone Replace Therapy (HRT) over time. Changes are usually tracked through photos, video, audio clips, body measurements and journaling on various apps and devices.
As a graphic designer and social entrepreneur, he wanted to create an all-in-one app that allowed users to easily document transitions in a single place. Once the app is launched, users will be able to upload photos and videos, record audio and record body measurements, track mood changes and write journal entries. Transcapsule provides a private and secure platform to document all aspects of the transition. Tobey sees Transcapsule as a way to help people in the trans community find peace and happiness in who they are, and a way to collect anonymous data that can be shared with medical providers to further research on trans health.Read More