Bubble’s Q Sauce owners Marion and Linda Simmons might just have the best slogan for extending their brand and living the American dream. With over 25 years of experience cooking their favorite barbeque dishes and sauce, the couple now markets in over 80 stores throughout western New York.
For many years, Linda Simmons had a vision from God telling her to start a small business and sell Marion’s ribs and BBQ sauce. It was during her search that she came across a business exposition looking for vendors to sell their products. “We attended and before we knew it, less than three hours into the expo, we were sold out of our sauce,” Linda recalled. “After testing the market for 10-years, I guess we were on to doing something right.”
As their initial success continued, when it came to expanding their product the Simmons needed help. They found the assistance they needed at the annual U.S. Small Business Administration’s Straight Talk conference, where the contacts and training they received helped them successfully structure their business plan and gain the advice that would be essential to marketing their product.
“We attended the seminars and met with John McKeone, business advisor at the Buffalo State College’s Small Business Development Center. John supplied us with the necessary resources and contacts to shift our business from a concept to reality, Marion said. “Definitely show up at Straight Talk; finding the right network of resources can help your product business in a big way.”
With Bubble’s Q Sauce attracting more attention locally, Marion and Linda needed to take another look at marketing their product during the off season. ”As sales began to slow down, we recognized our competition and realized that we had a seasonal product,” recalled Linda. “Fortunately, we had John and the Small Business Development Center – our business advisor who provided assistance at no charge.”
Working with John, Linda came up with a vision that would inspire customers and others to see their product in a new light. “It’s Not Just for Summer Grilling; it’s also Good for Winter Chilling!” would become the new Bubble’s Q Sauce slogan that would signify the company’s approach to barbequing during every season of the year. “Americans love their barbeques and any good barbeque starts with the sauce,” said Marion.
Marion and Linda stay in touch with John and will forever be grateful. “We can’t say enough about him or Straight Talk.”
Straight Talk 2012 is the 17th annual presentation of this program which over the years has attracted thousands of participants. The upcoming half-day seminar will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2013. Available seminars include: “Show Me the Money”, “Business Basics”, “Make Yourself Credit Worthy”,“Accessing Business Opportunities through SBA 8(a), DBE and MWBE Certification”, “Business Assistance for Veterans”, “Navigating Your Business through Taxes & Permits”, “We Did It! You Can Too!” and “Marketing Your Small Business".
“I am convinced that this conference gives entrepreneurs essential tools needed to achieve small business success,” said SBA Buffalo District Director Franklin Sciortino.
To learn more about Straight Talk, please visit our SBA website at www.sba.gov/ny/buffalo or call us at (716) 551-4301.