Melinda Metten does it all. A firefighter at the Bangor Fire Department and a boom operator in the United States Air National Guard, Metten opened CrossFit Bangor in June 2011. It wasn’t long before CrossFit Bangor’s reputation spread and membership increased, putting her at capacity in her current location. She had begun turning away business because to add new members would negatively impact the quality of service to the existing members.
Always a problem-solver, Metten had found a larger space that would be ideal for growing the business, but she needed financing in order to secure the location. Her lender at EMDC (Eastern Maine Development Corporation) suggested she work with Maine SBDC Business Advisor Ann McAlhany to help her with the documents and paperwork necessary to apply for a loan.Read More
Terra Olson worked for a high end salon and spa in Portland for years, but knew that there were other opportunities out there. One opportunity she noted was the lack of a high end salon south of Portland. She went to the Maine SBDC office in Saco and met with Business Advisor Steve Lovejoy. That was the beginning of Tulu Salon & Spa on Main Street in Biddeford. Olson worked with Lovejoy to develop the plans for the new salon. Read More
In July 2016, Todd Kent came into see Maine SBDC Business Advisor Steve Lovejoy looking to purchase XPress Copy, an independent printing and copying shop in Portland that’s been in business since 1978. When the current owner decided to retire, he turned to Kent to take over and purchase the business. Kent had been an employee for over 25 years and had been managing the business.
Lovejoy helped Kent with his business plan and financial analysis and projections for the purchase of the business. He helped connect him with Bangor Savings Bank, where he presented his business plan. Kent obtained his financing, and took over ownership in October 2016. Read More
When Colleen and Michael Gross of Verona Island originally came to see Business Advisor Betty Egner, they had owned their business, Verona Wine and Design, for two years. Already successful in their current format, an online business selling items made from repurposed wine barrels, they wanted to expand on their love for wine and wine-inspired items – they wanted to open a retail wine shop and a wine and tapas bar on Main Street in Bucksport.
The Local Variety is located in the heart of downtown Bucksport, a former mill town with new energy and life. When the current owners decided to put the business up for sale, Jessica Carter jumped at the opportunity to own this downtown café in the town that she loves. Although she had little experience in the restaurant industry, she had a vision for the store and sought out Maine SBDC Business Advisor Betty Egner for help turning that dream into reality.
“Betty helped me so much in areas where I really had no idea where to start,” Carter states. “She walked me through the bigger picture as well as many of the fine details, helped me with a business plan and assisted me in finding the financing to make this happen.”Read More
Halcyon Yarn, a yarn and fiber art retail and catalogue store located in Bath, has been in business for over 45 years, serving the needs of weavers, knitters, spinners and other fiber artists. When the founder Halcyon Blake decided it was time to retire, her daughter Gretchen Jaeger sought to buy the business and keep it in the family.
By: Business Advisor Tom Leach
What is a marketing plan? What should it contain?
Of course the starting point is to understand what marketing is in the first place. Marketing starts with who the customer is and their needs and wants. That will vary depending upon which customer segment the company is targeting. Understanding the customer segment’s attitudes and wishes is critical and deserves careful thought. Products then need to be differentiated from competitive choices in order to best satisfy the segment’s desires. Pricing represents the value of the product and must match the product’s attributes and benefits and of course must be competitive. Where the product is sold should represent how the customer wishes to shop for it and acquire it. Finally, communicating the value of the product must take into account which media the customer follows and how the product is presented to them in terms of need satisfaction and how it is a better choice than competitive products. Product positioning is an important issue to consider. Positioning is the customers’ perception of the brand’s value in relation to the competitive choices. In other words, it is the mental definition of the brand in the mind of the customer.
A marketing plan is a document that outlines the situation or business environment that the business is currently operating within and then lays out the objectives, strategy and programs to accomplish the objectives going forward.
Written by: Business Advisor Peter Harriman
Congrats! You are thinking of getting into business! Or you are in business already but wondering if your business is operating under the right type of business! You are looking online to try to figure out the ins– and outs of which business entity formation is best for you, and you are coming to a road block. There are a lot of choices; sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), c- corp, etc. The complexity of the topic should prompt a call to some kind of legal professional to ensure you understand the decision and how it will affect you and your business.
One business entity you might want to discuss during this conversation is the LLC that is taxed like an S-Corp. This article will discuss some general pros and cons of this election, but (again) it is meant as a discussion point with a legal professional. Your accountant will also want to weigh in on the topic too, more on that later.