Inspiring Small B...
Follow
658 views | +0 today
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Love What You Do and Success Will Follow

Love What You Do and Success Will Follow | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

Founded in 1996, Across the Floor has become one of New Jersey's premier dance studios, offering a range of classes for students of all ages... Right now, we have a little under 300 students. Now that we’ve expanded, we’re hoping to add a lot more students. We’re offering almost a hundred classes per week... One of the biggest challenges was figuring out what our true strengths were. When we first started, we were both doing everything. We learned how to separate what our jobs needed to be, who did what best, and then trust each other to do it... Facebook has become a big thing for us. We’re posting things very often on Facebook, we’re trying to send our clients to Facebook a lot more. We do a lot of email, and so those are our primary ways of getting the word out about what’s going on. Everything gets put on our website and on Facebook. But we’re also in more direct contact with people... You have to be flexible and adapt to what the climate is at the moment, but still stay true to what your business is.

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

Good example of developing a business out of your passion. Also, good advice on how to split the work among partners.

more...
Gareth Ellis's curator insight, September 5, 2013 8:40 AM

True words. Do work you love and never work another day in your life.

Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Small Business Success Story: From Artist to Entreprenuer

Small Business Success Story: From Artist to Entreprenuer | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

Homebody Boutique features a variety of handmade products from independent artists and designers. Owner and contributing artist, Kate Silver, tells us how she balances both the creative and managerial aspects of owning a business...I was inspired in the usual way—working way too hard for somebody who didn’t seem to appreciate it...After writing up a business plan, I quit my job, and then spent a few months decompressing, socializing and making art. It was a really great, much-needed break. I think the most effective way [to attract customers] has been simply asking customers to tell their friends!

 

What was the best advice in regard to managing your business that anyone ever gave you?
 - Don’t try to cater to everyone; stick with what you like.

 

What are your three keys to success?
 - I would say the top three are good customer service, money management, and keep the inventory interesting.

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

From artist to entreprenuer is a big leap. Here is the story of someone who made that leap successfully.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

“Going Strong and Growing Because of Social Media”

“Going Strong and Growing Because of Social Media” | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

Encore Unique Boutique owner Tamara Hudson describes the store as a “women’s boutique that dresses you and your home.” While many local downtown businesses struggle to compete, Encore has thrived – recently expanding in to an adjacent retail space to add a personal styling studio, selling their goods in five other locations in the Kansas City area, and creating a loyal online customer base...

 

In the interview published, small business owners will find encouragement, inspiration, and valuable insights and advice on the practical ways social media can help their business reach new customers, grow relationships with existing customers, help turn customers in to loyal brand advocates, and ultimately drive sales and grow business...Facebook has been good to us, and we have learned that with our clients (probably others as well) it has to be packaged short and sweet – a picture and a few words.

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

Detailed case study of a retail store using social media to spread the word.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Missouri Business Success Story: Magic Touch Cleaning, Inc.

Missouri Business Success Story: Magic Touch Cleaning, Inc. | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

The Walkers...made the decision to transform Magic Touch Cleaning into a completely "green" cleaning company in 2004...became almost obsessed with finding environmentally friendly cleaning products, dust mops, wet mops and vacuum cleaners...The Walkers eventually located firms that distributed green cleaning products in Kansas City and began to use them in all their work. And they've gone even further since, marketing more than 40 green cleaning products in a Lee's Summit retail store called Return to Green, perhaps the first green cleaning store in the Midwest. Return to Green products are now available in grocery stores throughout the Kansas City area.

 

Magic Touch has received many awards and honors. Walker even hosts a weekly radio show, "Going Green with the King and Queen of Green"...Over the years, Magic Touch has created more than 150 jobs..."It wasn't a big marketing gimmick. It was a cultural shift, changing how we conduct ourselves, considering why we recycle, why we use the chemicals we use, why we use the processes we use and why we are constantly trying to improve upon that process."

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

The inspiring story of a disabled veteran who not only built a successful business but also took on a strong social cause and made it work.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Small Business Success Story: Bread Euphoria Cafe

Small Business Success Story: Bread Euphoria Cafe | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it
According to Thomas Edison, genius is one part inspiration and two parts perspiration. The same could be said of small business success, and Mark & Gerri Pollard’s labor of love—Bread Euphoria—is a fine example. As co-owners of the bakery/cafe, they have been living the artisanal bakery experience for the past decade and, thanks in part to careful selection of a supportive community environment, they have made it work. Massachusetts’ healthcare insurance reform was also central to their survival in the early days. Today, the bakery’s 30 full-time employees have company-sponsored health insurance and are making a living wage. The combination of Mark & Gerri’s inspiration and perspiration has enabled Bread Euphoria to become one of the largest employers in the area… and their chocolate brioche is pretty darn good, too!
Ashok Ramachandran's insight:
Small business success is one part inspiration and two parts perspiration.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Small Business of the Month: Tyga-Box Systems Inc.

Small Business of the Month: Tyga-Box Systems Inc. | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

"In one day, I wrote out a check for the entire value of my 17-year pension and profit sharing plan at the law firm to pay for them."

 

Commercial moves are focused on getting lots of stuff through a chokepoint—the freight elevators—on a Friday night when employees aren’t there. The insight we were able to bring as outsiders was that the process of packing a box and loading it on the dolly were two separate moves. The employees would pack the boxes and leave them on the floor. Then on moving day, the movers would come and load them on the dolly. We thought, if you could combine the process of packing and loading, it could save time and money. So we came up with the design for a bottomless dolly where our boxes could be packed and stacked simultaneously. Then, once they’re transported to the new location, they can be unpacked right from the dolly. No one has to pick up a box unless it’s empty.

 

"We’re national and count many major corporations as customers. We also work with many moving companies who use our boxes for their customers."

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

The husband and wife team explain how they came up with the concept, what it took to leave lucrative careers to launch Tyga-Box, and how they kept the faith in their idea even through the darkest times.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Win a Business Plan Competition - Launch Your Business

Win a Business Plan Competition - Launch Your  Business | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

“Lead with your heart and the rest will follow” sums up Ray Li and John Vitug’s Heart Juice story. These two young guys, with a passion to make a difference, were inspired by a young professor’s heart attack, a family history of heart disease, and consumer desire for nutraceuticals. Enter Heart Juice, the first beverage containing hawthorn berries and resveratrol, formulated to promote heart health.

Following the often heard “don’t quit your day job” maxim, Ray and Li developed the product over a two year period. Throughout, they saved money and honed their business plan, eventually winning the prestigious Rutgers Business Plan Competition in 2011.

Now, Heart Juice is on the shelves of 200 stores, and they are on their way to commercial success—perhaps becoming the next Vitamin Water.

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

Winning a Business Plan Competition is one avenue to launching your small business successfully.


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Home Business Innovation: Hiromi Stone Ltd

Home Business Innovation: Hiromi Stone Ltd | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

My business is based in my kitchen. I started teaching Japanese home cooking as a way to introduce people to the simplicity of Japanese food and its emphasis on fresh seasonal ingredients.

 

I taught from home as it was the best way to give people the "home cooking" experience. During class, I served a roasted nut mix I made using Japanese seasonings. That proved extremely popular and my first product was born.

 

My second product is an all-natural high protein treat which is geared towards anyone with an active lifestyle. My products use excellent ingredients and are made without preservatives or additives, but they taste great.

 

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

Inspiring story of a home-based business that started in the kitchen!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Creating a New Image for the Repair and Salvage Service

Creating a New Image for the Repair and Salvage Service | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

A soul-searching trip to Thailand to visit a brother in the Peace Corps convinced Meyer to go where he’d already built some groundwork...he started PAM’s Auto in 1991 as a body repair shop...Using computer databases, the company manages and distributes an inventory of more than 100,000 coveted domestic and foreign parts...Meyer hopes to create a new image for the humble repair and salvage service. The company’s facilities are clean and welcoming, indicating to visitors that they can come in and do business without encountering the grime of the job...The “green” aspect is a crucial part of what PAM’s does: Its very business model is built on the environmentally sound triad of reduce, reuse, recycle.

 

Started in a humble two-car garage, PAM’s now employs 55 (with more hiring on the horizon), and is in the middle of a major expansion of its physical facilities.

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

A successful business that is "green" as well as trying to create a new image for the humble repair and salvage service.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Illuminated Skateboards with Motion-Activated Lighting

Illuminated Skateboards with Motion-Activated Lighting | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it


Wouldn't it be cool . . . if your skateboard lit up when you were riding? A question that launched a sports-equipment manufacturing firm poised to change the look of an entire industry...With growing industry buzz and interest among sports manufacturing heavy weights, Chris and his wife Jen, the company’s chief sales and logistics officer, sought assistance from the Texas State SBDC (Small Business Development Center) to scale their manufacturing operations and expand into new global markets...Chris devoted part of the half-million dollar total funds raised, which includes the couple’s life savings, to create a skate industry market-launch advertising campaign, to secure additional manufacturing equipment, and as working capital...On the verge of signing the first distribution agreement in Europe and the UK, Chris is also seeking licensing opportunities for his technology, is in serious talks about creating branded products for other companies and celebrity endorsers and is preparing for a second round of investor funding.

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

A cool idea. Implemented successfully with the help of the Small Business Development Center.

more...
Daren Ng's curator insight, June 25, 2013 11:39 PM

An article which speaks about the possibilities of creating a new idea or product starting from an idea. This success story also shows how these new illuminated skateboard products are able to create business for Chris Forgey and his family and eventually launched a sports equipment manufacturing firm. It all started from a question Chris Forgey asked his son about his skateboard lighting up while riding it. Chris then spent the better part of the next two years designing his line of patent-pending, illuminated skateboards, longboards and safety helmet designs, refining the production processes and securing first mass market retail sales. With growing industry buzz and interest among sports manufacturing heavy weights, this new product has gained much popularity and Chris and his wife scaled their manufacturing operations and expanded into new global markets. They have also sought to refine the business and marketing pitch for an investor / lender audience.

Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Gifts To Go: A Small Business Success Story

Gifts To Go: A Small Business Success Story | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

 - The best decision I made was to move into the retail business incubator.
 - I was able to get a site up and running fairly quickly, but it was far less than what I had imagined it to be...What did I learn? Spending large sums of money can be intimidating, but if it is spent on quality work, it is completely worth it.
 - I thought continuous effort would solve a problem; the gift that Gifts To Go has given me is the ability to stop working even in the midst of a problem. Most times a night’s sleep or a morning’s shower will produce the elusive answer.
 - Look for the least expensive way to start building a customer base, and getting both your name and your company’s name in the public arena. And don’t hesitate to talk to and help other business owners.

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

Valuable tips from a successful small business owner who has "been there done that".

more...
Wan Ting Wong's curator insight, June 26, 2013 1:40 AM

This article is about an entrepreneur who have put in the effort to set up her business and shares about how she made her buisness a success. I can see from this article that she puts in the effort to research on the factors needed to set up a business and set realistic goals as a form of motivation to meet the goals and make her business successful.I learnt from this article that it is possible for everyone to succeed only if one could put in the effort and have patience to carry on. Overcoming obstacles would be easy if one invests enough time and money on certain areas of the business. I wonder how people could have long term perserverance even if the business is off to a rough start.

Teoh Jun Fang's curator insight, July 5, 2013 9:22 AM

(See-Think-Wonder) From this article, I can see that this entrepreneur has worked very hard to achieve her goals. Although she did not know how to start a business at first, she still tried and got her business running quite well eventually. After reading this article, I think that being successful is not about how successful a person is. But it is about how a person overcome and face the difficulty and challenges he or she encounter in a business. When starting a business, I feel that one should also be patient in order to be able to see the results. Otherwise, not only the results will not be seen, but one will also lose its career. Hardwork will eventually be paid off hence i think that no matter how many times a person fail, he or she should keep trying. Similarly, in the article, the entrepreneur was not afraid to fail. She started the business with not having much knowledge about how to start a business. However with her determination, she succeed and excel in her business. I wonder how she overcome and endure through all these hardships?

Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Entrepreneur's 'Sweet' Success Story

Entrepreneur's 'Sweet' Success Story | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

Lauren Lilling started a baking blog, Keep it Sweet, in 2010 before deciding to turn her passion for desserts into a full-time business. Keep it Sweet Desserts launched in March and, according to Lilling, has already shipped homemade desserts to nearly every state. “I decided that I have a high standard for desserts and have something to offer the market,” Lilling said. Lilling, who studied finance and spent time working in Corporate America, says she uses that experience when assessing her business in terms of numbers. But the company’s most important goal, she said, is making customers happy. “I really enjoy seeing people eat my desserts or hearing from them,” she said. “My desserts are very high quality. I’m never satisfied with a just-OK product.”

Keep it Sweet Desserts also offers catering in the tri-state area. Lilling said her most popular desserts include triple chocolate chip cookies, black and white blondies and salted caramel butter bars.

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

Another success of someone who decided to turn her passion into a full-time business. And made it a success.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Ashok Ramachandran
Scoop.it!

Starting a Small Business: Entrepreneur Mom Success Stories

Starting a Small Business: Entrepreneur Mom Success Stories | Inspiring Small Business Success Stories | Scoop.it

 - Business: Sassy Signs (sassysigns.com), publicity for yard sales and celebrations, launched February 2006
 - Investment: $25,000 for initial manufacturing
 - 2009 earnings: Around $220,000 in sales
When women match a need in the marketplace with what's best for them and their families—while devising smart strategies to make it all happen—everyone wins...To put in the first order, they had to deplete savings and max out credit cards. "It was terrifying," says Tammy, "but we believed we'd get our investment back and then some." At first the sisters sent out orders from their basements, but the business grew so much that they now use a fulfillment center...Profits took a while. "In the beginning, nearly every penny of sales went toward production, advertising, and paying down debt," says Tammy. But by devising new lines for special occasions and landing a big catalog deal Tammy and Nycole were finally able to pocket $10,000 each in 2009. With more people holding yard sales because of the economy, the sisters expect that 2010 will be a banner year.

Ashok Ramachandran's insight:

Inspiring story of stay-at-home moms who started a business in the worst recession and made it successful.

more...
Hui Li's curator insight, June 30, 2013 1:10 AM

This article is an inspiring story of stay-at-home moms who started a business in the worst recession and made it successful. I feel really encouraged by this article as it shows that everyone can make it its up to them whether they are willing to hold on and made the impossible possible. You have to believe in yourself that you can and will achieve the goal. Motivation from your love ones contribute greatly as well.

Cheryl Toh's curator insight, June 30, 2013 9:48 AM

This is an inspiring story of stay-at-home moms who started a business in the worst recession and made it successful. I can see that they are really trying very hard to achieve what they thought was impossible. They did not give up even though 'it was terrifying'. I think that what made it possible was that they believed in what they will achieve in the end and that they have the determination to keep going. I wonder what made them have such determination?

Ming Ting's curator insight, June 30, 2013 11:16 AM

From this article, I see that two stay-at-home moms became rich by starting a risky business during the worse recession, which became successful then. I think that nothing is impossible, as long as one has the determination and perseverance to do something, it can be completed. I wonder what made both of them want to start the business in the first place.