Martin Butts was burned out after seven years working long hours in the cramped and bustling aisles of the Syracuse Cooperative Market.
He was passionate about working with small scale and local food producers, but unsure about how to continue that work when he left. A chance encounter with a vendor from his time at the co-op in 2009 flipped a light switch and in a matter of days, Small Potatoes went live.
Sometimes start-ups take some time to pull together both technically and mentally, as was the case with Sarah Curtis who is now operating Syracuse Mom’s Blog, LLC as a home-based business.
In Sarah’s own words from the website at https://syracuse.citymomsblog.com/ – “Syracuse Moms Blog is a collaborative blog, parenting resource and community that strives to inform, empower and connect families in Central New York.”
So much these days is written about entrepreneurship, but perhaps too little is written about the entrepreneur. What is an entrepreneur exactly?
In fact the word itself has seen dramatically increasing popularity in recent years, probably due, in large part, to colleges adopting entrepreneurship programs of study. But how do we define entrepreneur in dictionary terms?
The 2018 Cayuga County Competition took place on October 25, November 1, November 8 (for 2 hours each night) with the final Competition held on November 15, where the following winners were announced.
Left to right: E.J. Onori, Brian Chappell, and Melody Johnson.
The 2018 Cortland County Competition took place on October 23, October 30, November 6 (for 2 hours each night) with the final Competition held on November 13 where the following winners were announced.
Left to right: Michael Sampson, Tina Minervini, Tammie Whitson, Jonathan Milton, Paul Brooks (judge), and Michael Rosanio (instructor).
Have you ever been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, dreamed of being your own boss, have a business you'd like to buy or start --- but don't know where to begin? The Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is the place to go.
The Onondaga SBDC is a group of seasoned business professionals based in Central New York that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with high - quality business consultants and workshops. Their services include offering help with choosing the correct legal structure (entity), preforming market research, developing a business plan, creating a financial plan, seeking financing, crafting a marketing plan, hiring employees, setting prices, and conducting business operations. The SBDC provides these services to both start-up and existing businesses at NO COST in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, and Seneca counties.
Eva Zaczynski had absolutely no experience running a restaurant when she first opened Eva’s European Sweets in in 1997. She picked a red brick building on Milton Avenue, just west of Syracuse, because she could afford the rent. As word got out in those pre-internet days, the staff kept written directions by the phone to help lost diners when they called.
Marketing is ideally suited for cooperative implementation among small businesses. Cost and time required are the two most obvious reasons that might make it harder for business owners to perform, hire, or contract for these tasks individually.
In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration reports, according to a study by Marketo, that only 56 percent of small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) have a marketing plan.
Stephanie McCall began her journey filling homes and businesses with custom, high-quality, quilts and art pieces, in 2006. An award-winning Master Quilter, Stephanie brought her creativity and skills to each residential or commercial installation.
She has her own dedicated studio, and she also teaches private lessons and project classes at her home studio in Auburn, NY and at Cayuga Community College.
Raise your hand if you can’t stop looking at your email when you are supposed to be on vacation.
As we all become addicted to our electronic devices and constant need for instant information, are we making things better or worse?
There is no doubt that being a small-business owner you probably put in more hours than the average 9-to-5 worker, but that is exactly why it is more important to be aware of the benefits of striking a work-life balance.
Brooks Mullahy started beekeeping in 1984 as a backyard beekeeper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with only 2 hives.
Life took many turns from there, including a 13-year stint in East Africa working in International Aid and Development. Upon returning to the United States in 2012, she embarked on an apprenticeship with a master beekeeper in Moravia, New York. After 4 years as an apprentice, Mary set out on her own to turn beekeeping into her livelihood and Sunswick Farm began to take form.
Entrepreneurs are innovative, self-starters and motivated beyond belief. We, in economic development, marvel at your tenacity and sheer will-power.
When starting a business, you have created a step-by-step plan on how to begin, when and where to start, detailed your business plan with extensive projections, and forecast the possible highs and lows of your new venture. You have detailed every phase of your project, and what needs to be done to make the next phase a success. This commitment to success is awe-inspiring. Often, you spend so much time and energy planning and cultivating your “baby,” but most times very little effort at planning for your exit.
Bill Smith, owner of Universal Step, Inc., has been in business for over 50 years.
As a self-proclaimed "grunt," he says he is more of a builder/inventor than a business man. It is the inventor in him, as well as a need to transition his business to be less labor-intensive, that inspired Bill to create a new modular step product.
The best days that Central New York has to offer us weather-wise are upon us. Now is the time to get out, soak up the sun, and step away from the daily grind.
No matter what stage of entrepreneurship you are in, it is far too easy to get sucked into wearing many different hats, working too many hours each day, and never allowing yourself time to recharge. After all, isn’t this the reason you chose to become an entrepreneur? —to make your own schedule, allow inspiration and creativity, and spend more time with your families and friends.
Cathie Perry already had a successful excavation business when she noticed a need in the market for a professional, clean, and reliable dumpster company.
Cathie contacted the Onondaga SBDC in early 2018 and was assisted in developing a business plan and financial projections for her new companion dumpster business. During the planning process she created a new entity, which she named 'Dumpster Diva,' that features her signature purple dumpsters.
Dr. Annette Otis started Compassionate Crossings of CNY, an in-home euthanasia and end of life care service for pets, in September of 2017.
'Compassionate Crossings of CNY' offers the opportunity to say goodbye to your beloved pet in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace.
Watch for the Five Ps in every small-business success story. This will not be the first time you have read about the importance of critical items to startup and early stage, small-business success.
After spending more than 10 years mentoring and coaching startups, I am equipped to opine on the most important Ps in early stage small businesses. These are things, in my opinion, that are essential to small-business success and I believe many of my associates would heartily agree.
The 2018 Onondaga Pitch Competition required a three week development of the business plan before the final elevator pitch competition/ presentation night.
The competition promotes existing and start-up entrepreneurs and small business development in the Syracuse Onondaga County area. Participants pitched their businesses to a live audience and panel of judges who provided expert feedback and awarded cash prizes.
Any business must make it a priority to focus on providing excellent customer service, along with an appealing presentation.
Several years ago, I remember sitting in a sales seminar and the speaker was making a point about the importance of presentation. He painted a vivid picture with his words, describing a favorite meal being served at a fine restaurant. He then told the class to imagine the waiter serving this fabulous meal on a garbage-can lid. Anyone hungry?
When we start to think about starting a business, there are so many things to consider. What are the steps to become legal? What are the proper filings I have to complete when established? How will I ever leave my job to go off on my own? Do I have what it takes?
There is so much to think about in order to be fully prepared to begin your venture. One thing you must evaluate is whether or not your business is part of a fad or a trend in the industry. This can be a difficult decision to make. That is why doing your research is so important to becoming a successful business operation.