Early this year, Westmoreland resident John Wills decided it was time to make a modest side business his new day job. Of Moose & Mountain (www.OfMooseAndMountain.com) creates unique graphic designs inspired by nature and New England. To more successfully grow his business, John enrolled in Hannah Grimes’ Business Start-Up Program.
John says that “While I have exposure to many sides of business I hoped the Business Start-Up Program would connect the dots and provide the motivation to write a more in-depth business plan.”
Led by entrepreneurial consultant and personal development coach Helaine Iris, the Business Start-Up Program is a six month program designed especially for new business owners. Participants learn the skills and receive the support they need to reach their business goals – in the company of other like-minded entrepreneurs. Each class meets monthly and is limited to 8 participants.
The Business Start-Up Program guides participants to an understanding of business fundamentals, including the creation of a written action plan, leading to a business plan. Instruction is focused on practical application. According to John, “My business plan is much more robust than it was at the beginning of the program.”
Unlike most business development programs, the Business Start-Up Program coaches you on personal development as well as business development. John notes that “Discussions in class have challenged me to look at various aspects of my business and myself to better focus the business plan.”
Along with mentoring from an experienced instructor and coach, everyone benefits from resource sharing with the other members of the group. “The value of the program went beyond what Helaine shared with us” added John. “We had a synergy between all the participants. We came from different backgrounds with different business ideas and goals. What we shared was passion and a desire to go to the next level.”
John’s group met for lunch discussions between formal sessions, and they plan to stay in touch after the program concludes. “Our group bonded” said John. “We have used our individual strengths to help each other.”
Of Moose & Mountain offers T-shirts, hats, posters, and more available on-line and in a growing number of select retail outlets in New England. John’s already seeing results:
“When I signed up for the program I was selling exclusively through print-on-demand sites like CafePress and Zazzle. I now have locally-produced shirts and sell at the Hannah Grimes Marketplace. In all but one month on-line sales have surpassed sales for the same month last year. I have also done more commissioned projects in the past 6 months than in the previous year.”
The next Business Start-Up class is scheduled to begin September 5. Limited space is still available. To register, review the information on the website, fill out an application and email to Jillian Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, of course, call us at (603) 352-5063.