“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” –Charles Darwin
In mid-March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States and the Central New York community in a way that would unapologetically and thoroughly alter the lives of all its people. Meals on Wheels of Syracuse (MOWS) had just successfully completed its 60th year providing meal service to its clients throughout the Syracuse area. Its Executive Director, Mason Kaufman, who has been at the helm of the agency for over 25 years (and has worked for the agency for over 35 years) knew that his life, the lives of his employees, and the lives of those that the agency serves were about to be adversely affected if he didn’t construct a plan and implement that plan immediately.
Employee to Owner During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The corona-virus pandemic has severely crippled the hospitality and food industries. While struggling to stay afloat financially, many small businesses have relied on their various loyal customer bases.
Offering take-out options has been an essential tool for these industries to maintain their cash-flows, until the public can gather once again and enjoy all the culinary options Syracuse has to offer. Hope seems nearly here as New York slowly re-opens in a strategically phased approach.
Mark Pawliw lived the food and restaurant lifestyle through his 25 plus years of experience in the industry, but he realized that something was missing - a connection to the producers, growers and chefs that brought the food to your plates, the drink to your glasses, and the art of cooking that ties it all together.
Sir Richard Branson, British business magnate, author, investor, philanthropist and billionaire owner of the Virgin Group of businesses once said, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” As concise a statement as that is by such a prominent business person, that statement is precisely what transpired with Dan and Debra Sidon in their quest to secure small business ownership.
As a property manager in Syracuse, NY during the late 1990s, Donna Glassberg noticed a problem that needed a solution. Renters struggled to find housing in an easy, accessible way.
While walking in her Syracuse University neighborhood, Donna would see cars pulled off to the side of the road, writing numbers off the for-rent signs plastered on the sides of the buildings. She thought this was a terribly inefficient way to find housing for students and faculty moving to the area. Since she was immersed in the industry and understood the process well, she knew she could create something that would help both her employers and her renters to connect in a more efficient way.
Everyone has a past—some are good, and some are not as good. But whatever you’ve gone through, translating your background and experience to shape and position your business can be transformative.
Eric Maliszewski was able to translate his skills and experience into ownership of the Canal Side Café & Bistro in the heart of the beautiful village of Baldwinsville. While Eric’s story may not be completely unique, it is a story about progression, perseverance, patience and opportunity.
As a business advisor for the Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC), I frequently encounter entrepreneurs with great ideas for new businesses.
Most often, they are convinced that they have a business model that will be successful in the marketplace. Whether it is high-tech or low, product, service, or a combination of both, they are convinced that it is a winner.
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.
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.
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.
The Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will offer clients the option to meet in person BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, following CDC Guidelines. Click here to get COVID-19 Resources.
Read articles and advice written by our very own Onondaga SBDC Business Advisors!