Brian Bartholomew is the owner and operator of 'A Cozy Hearth Fireplace & Stove, LLC' located at 1086 State Fair Boulevard in Syracuse, NY.
With a background of over 15 years in the hearth industry, Brian knew he had the experience and knowledge necessary to help customers make the right choices for their homes.
Brian contacted the Onondaga SBDC in August of 2014 for guidance in pursuing his dream of opening and owning his own hearth retail operation after being downsized by his former employer.
Brian wanted to put his experience to work and states that "after being in the fireplace business for 15 years, 7 in retail and 8 as a manufacturer's rep, I decided to open my own store. My goal is to listen to people’s needs and then give them the information they need to make an informed decision."
Onondaga SBDC Advanced Certified Business Advisor Frank Cetera assisted Brian through the 20-hours of training to meet his Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) requirements. Brian successfully completed the Fast Track to Business Start- up workshop, which covers business start-up and operations from A-Z over 3 days and 20 hours of instruction.
Advisor Business Tip: Take advantage of the relationships that The Onondaga SBDC office and Advisors cultivate with various professional business-to-business service providers in the area.
Following his training, Frank met with Brian over two sessions to advise on his business plan, including reviewing his start-up finances, marketing plan, and additional components required to ensure an efficient and successful start-up.
Brian appreciated the guidance, stating that “having never operated my own business I went to the SBDC for help building my business plan. They helped me to define who my customers would be and how to reach them through different marketing avenues. They teach you to look at things from different angles to make sure you cover all of your bases before making any decisions.”
A Cozy Hearth has been open now since the fall of 2014. They provide sales and services for gas fireplaces and inserts, gas stoves, pellet stoves, and wood fireplaces. Their business also offers grills and smokers for all of your summertime fun cook-out needs, and they are a Big Green Egg and Green Mountain Grills authorized dealer.
Firmly established, Brian is now looking to growing his business. He recently reached out to the Onondaga SBDC to connect with a B.A.I.L. team of professionals. These Bankers, Accountants, Insurance agents, and Legal workers (the B.A.I.L. team) are often not only helpful but necessary to grow and develop any business. Brian is committed to constantly learning and growing to keep A Cozy Hearth Fireplace & Stove, LLC's future glowing bright.
Article published in the BJNN on June 6th, 2019
Article by Frank Cetera, an Advanced Certified Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Center located at Onondaga Community College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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