With the start of 2014, I’d like to reflect on a few of the past success stories that I’ve written for client’s that have received business plan funding from DVR. With the sensitive nature of the financial data, I’m not including the names of the clients. Enjoy reading!
Hot Sauce and Salsa
A success story still in the making (his case will close in the next few months)…a hot sauce and salsa company that sets up at street fairs; had gross sales for three months of $13,937 and has two full time employees. The client was able to fly to Maryland to meet with a National Manufacturer of three highly desired products and obtained the exclusive distributorship for the Southeast region of the United States. This will enable him to sell to gourmet shops and restaurants and diversify his customer base. This client was thankful and stated “VR has been extremely helpful in getting things off the ground” and “working with CBTAC Magee was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I feel that without her driving me and believing in me I would not be going to Maryland to speak with owners of Mama Vida.”
This case closed successful in April 2013. The client has been able to adapt to changes in the marketplace and has diversified her service offerings to bring in two additional revenue streams. One of the challenges for this client was working with her website. VR supported her with training to manage her own website and this client shared “in the managing of my website, I exercise my love of writing by blogging stories of remarkable animals and people I have met over the years. This in turn has stimulated my energy to complete my book on animal-human relationships in the coming year. For me, success is finding joy in using one's gifts to enrich others and one self in many ways.”
I worked with this client in 2008 to set up his drum manufacturing and repair business after he had already completed his business plan. The business got off to a really strong start landing a contract with the Hillsborough County School system to repair their drums and percussion instruments. However, in early 2013 the client’s back injury came roaring back and prevented him from working his business because he could not lift the instruments. Through fortitude and creative problem solving, the client was able to work out an arrangement with the schools whereby they give him students to teach while they do all the heavy lifting. Now he’s back in business and earning a living.
Lawn Maintenance and Landscaping
This client was a transition student whose business got off the ground in January 2013. One year after opening, he has four employees and is planning to hire one or two more for the summer’s busy season. With his $125,000 in gross sales for 2013, he purchased two more mowers and two work trucks. This client stated “I would like to thank VR and also you (Karen Magee) for all the help that you guys gave me. I would not be this far ahead and probably would not know more than half the stuff that I know today. Both of you have given me such a big drive and helped me bring my dreams to life. I’ve learned to never give up and don’t be scared to learn new things. My goals this year (2014) is to do way over $250,000 in sales and I am not going to stop till I get there!” What a drive this young man has.
This bookkeeper closed successful in 2013 and found the year to be a roller coaster. She had so much business that she took on a part time employee early in the year. Late in the year she lost her biggest customer. This roller coaster ride is not an uncommon occurrence in business and this client has sustained her resolve and continues to market her services and add additional customers. She has a very good business strategy and has maintained a diversified client base that continues to grow.
This client’s dog walking business got off the ground in 2011 with a strong start and has not stopped growing. After adding several part time employees over the years, she has decided that she prefers to work the business herself. One of the benefits of self-employment is being able to make decisions such as this that allow you to match your business to your personal preferences.
My very first VR self-employment client was this face painter. I have to admit that I had doubts about the viability of a face painting business but I let the process reveal the validity and she started her business in 2008. Now six years later there is no doubt of the viability and she says she is “living the dream.” She is working fairs in Florida in the winter months and up north in the summer months. She is working 10 months out of the year and when she is up north she is able to spend time with her family which is a desire that she had for some time. Her business was able to purchase a van and modify it so that she could live it when she’s on the road.
Karen Magee is available for a no charge phone consultation regarding your specific client. We encourage counselors to call prior to sending a referral for self-employment to discuss the client’s specific situation and business concept.
Read more about how Karen can assist you and your Self Employment Clientshere.
Other Success Stories
Karen has worked with hundreds of clients with dreams of starting their own business and becoming self-sufficient through business ownership. Read about more successes in VR Self Employment here.