Sally Jaskold, then owner of “The Only Doughnut” in Belfast, came to the Maine SBDC feeling stressed and overwhelmed: Her successful farmer’s market bakery had morphed into a full-fledged brick-and-mortar operation with multiple employees, and she was feeling limited in her business-savvy skills. Connecting with Business Advisor Alison Lane allowed her to take a deep breath and think proactively about her next steps.
In their first phone conversation, Alison was able to resonate with how Sally was feeling because of a past experience owning and selling a similar establishment. Having felt that way before, Alison empathized and encouraged her to determine and evaluate her options, logically. After their first meeting, Sally reported a new peace of mind: “You listened, you heard me, you supported and encouraged, you reminded, you inspired, you educated, and you guided.”
Over the course of a year, they worked together to analyze numbers/cost percentages, improve her marketing strategy, and consider exit strategy options (as Sally had decided to either close or sell). When the pandemic started, they also worked to make sure she understood the mandated safety requirements, along with loans and financial support becoming available.
Later in the summer of 2020, while feeling out potential buyers, Sally discovered some uniquely interested parties and asked Alison for help determining and negotiating a fair sale price.
Sally commented, “I’d like to praise your superhuman valuation skills here! Even though the business was less than two years old, with spotty P&Ls and accounting, you were tactful about it with me, ever reminding me of the practicalities involved, yet you were still supportive and knowledgeable. You saw the big picture as well as the details, all the while acting as what I’ve called you, my business therapist.”
While Sally kept Alison updated throughout the sale process, The Only Doughnut was nominated by the Belfast Chamber of Commerce for the 2020 New Business Award. After successfully closing the sale in October 2020, the new owners received the news in December that their business had won the award. Sally has since stated that Alison and her expertise had been “invaluable,” and Alison was excited to have helped navigate Sally through what she remembered to be very challenging business experiences.
Business Advisor: Alison Lane
Stay updated on The Only Doughnut’s success through their website and social media pages!