I've been working with SCORE© since 2009, originally coming to them when I was faced with some pretty significant business decisions. This involved redoing my business plan in order to see whether or not it made financial sense to make a previous move. I was very fortunate to find a mentoring team that helped me understand all the issues and obstacles involved. The best thing about working with them was learning how to read my financials and use them as tools in making these sorts of decisions. Had I not been sharing my financials with them on a consistent basis, I might have lost my business. The SCORE© team caught things I never would have.
Throughout the years, the SCORE© team has guided me through three moves. Each time, they helped me evaluate all sides of the decision; forced me to do the necessary homework (evaluating the pros and cons of various sites, etc.); helped me identify the risks/rewards involved (as well as ways to mitigate those risks and capitalize on the advantages); and helped me with the lease negotiation. They even went with me to the sites! On my last move, I was able to negotiate a significantly reduced rate for five years, which I couldn’t have done without the team’s help. I’m really fortunate because the lower rate saved me a considerable amount of money each month, which covers the higher rent on my new downtown retail space. This gives me much greater exposure to the tourist trade, and as a result, allows me to build a much stronger retail business where the margins are considerably higher than wholesale.
Over the years, my SCORE© team and I have worked together to catch potential issues before they've become real problems. They've helped me with various inventory issues, HR challenges and thorny Accounts Receivable problems (particularly with some of the larger companies we deal with). I attribute a lot of my success to the help that the SCORE© team has provided me. It’s such a great feeling knowing that I always have a group of professionals to go to in any situation.
When I decided to shift the focus of my “lifestyle” clothing business from primarily wholesale to retail, my years of working with a fabulous SCORE© mentoring team gave me the confidence I needed to take the leap and open a new retail store on Galisteo Street in the heart of downtown Santa Fe. We celebrated our grand opening on Friday, January 23.