The pandemic created an opportunity for Sarah (Armstrong) Kecskemethy, Zoli Kecskemethy, Tessa Boepple, and Dylan Boepple to come together to form the Four Cuckoo Birds, Inc. These two couples, who share vast experience in the food industry and a passion for food & community, were eager to get their dream business going and use their combined culinary skills to bring the Osprey back to Derecktor Robinhood Marina in Riggs Cove. With a strong belief in connectivity, they are fully committed to “fostering relationships within the community.” Read More
If you’re planning to start a business or already have an existing one, you may have considered whether wholesale is the right approach for your business. There are various factors to consider, so we’ve highlighted some major points to ensure you have the right tools to get started! Read More
Maine SBDC Center Director & Business Advisor Raynor Large provides an overview of 2022, a year where we began to catch glimpses of “normal” and began to lean into the changes the pandemic has brought into our everyday lives. He also outlines the essential areas of business ownership that remain unchanged.
A look back at 2022
Many seniors face large transitions and changes later in life and Dani Rockey loves getting to help families unravel and understand their options. So she started Seacoast Senior Advisors, a community-based organization focused on helping families navigate Senior Living options, understanding that transitions are hard enough and wanted to help make them easier. But to get started she needed some guidance herself. Read More
Val Parziale and Haley Bauman are two experienced dance instructors who wanted to offer dance classes for adults as an alternative to other forms of workouts. They saw a need in the marketplace when they realized that many dance studios in their geographic area only offered classes for children or classes geared toward professional dance, but few presented dancing as a fun way to work out for adults. They wanted to create an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all backgrounds to try a new and creative fitness outlet. Read More
AWEN; Family Recovery and Relationship Coaching, is an educational and counseling service for friends, partners, and parents of people with substance use disorder. It is different from most programs, as it uses a holistic experience-led approach. The coaching program offers support, education, resources, and community.
Founded by Brinn Flagg, AWEN is unique in that Brinn is an impacted loved one herself. Feeling the effects of her sister’s substance use disorder with nowhere to turn at the time, she sought support, strength, and knowledge by becoming a certified coach and counselor in order to share her experiences. Read More
Mark Blaschke and Nicholas Murray, the partners behind The Nexus Arcade and Gaming Lounge, wanted to create a place that brought the local gaming community together around their shared passions. They brought a lot of enthusiasm to the project but not much knowledge about the business side of things, Mark knew he needed help making sure he was doing things correctly and legally. He was seeking expertise from someone who already had experience running a small business when he connected with Maine SBCD at CEI Business Advisor Peter Piconi. Read More
The second of a two-part series on how to start a successful business (or not)…
In our first article in this series, we asked you questions to determine if you’re ready to be a business owner. If you think it’s a good fit, then it’s time to think through your idea to make sure it will succeed.
Research & Planning
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
This quote sums up why SBDC advisors, lenders and investors talk ALOT about planning. The idea is that if you’re about to embark on a journey, then it’s a good idea to have a map. Business research and planning is the process of creating the map. While it may feel tedious when you’re eager to get going, it’s better to find out if your plan will work before you change your life and invest your money. Read More
In early 2022, Jamie Bissonnette and his business partner Duncan Taylor were presented with the opportunity to purchase CIA Cafe (pronounced see-ya), a successful coffee, sandwich and art shop located in Saco. With tons of food and beverage business management experience, Jamie decided it was time to take a chance and step out on his own, but he needed financing. His lender recommended that he reach out to Anne Lancaster, Maine SBDC business advisor at the University of Southern Maine.
As first-time business owners, Jamie and Duncan wanted to be as thorough as possible in making sure this new-to-them venture would be successful. They worked with Anne to perfect their business plan. They went through each section of the narrative and focused heavily on the accompanying financials. In just a couple of weeks, they were ready to submit their plan to Bangor Savings Bank. Read More
The first of a two-part series on how to start a business (or maybe not?)
Many people are excited by the idea of owning their own business and come to the Maine SBDC wanting to dive right in. We typically hear questions like, “how do I register my business, get the needed licenses, set up an LLC, find insurance, or pay taxes?”
While these are important questions, they should come after some thoughtful analysis. Read More