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Success Stories

From Flat-line to Full-time: Success in SCORE Strategic Planning

In 2014, Linda Lybert found herself in the unfortunate position of having her job within a medical company eliminated and was suddenly a woman in her 50s on unemployment searching for a new job. After months of searching with no success, she began to revitalize a consulting business she started in 2012 specializing in infection prevention as it relates to the acquisition and transmission of pathogens that cause deadly infections via surfaces. This was a highly specialized niche that no one had ever worked in, which meant there was no template for success. Her unemployment assistance was almost over when Lybert received a notice from the unemployment office with contact information for SCORE. SCORE is a nonprofit association and resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) dedicated to educating entrepreneurs through free business counseling and workshops.  Lybert jumped at the chance... Read More

Local Motorcycle Dealership Focuses on Relationships to Build Success

Julio Valdenegro made a career change when he began working for Steve Boone in 2001 at Northwest Harley, a motorcycle dealership in Lacey, Washington. He went from a job selling construction equipment, being outside every day to a position at the dealership in shipping and receiving. He worked his way through the parts and service center into the sales department, giving him the chance to learn intricate details about every aspect of both the motorcycles and the sales process until he became the general manager in 2005. Eight years later, he was presented the opportunity to purchase the dealership; but at a value of more than $5 million, he didn’t have enough saved to buy it outright.

Solution

Valdenegro turned to Columbia Bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration Loan Program for help. With the additional help of the loan amount, Valdenegro was able to purchase the dealership... Read More

From the Trunk of Her Car to Two Locations: Bellevue Therapist Builds Business Around Coaching Help

Stepping Stones Therapy Network is a team of occupational and speech therapists that helps children of all ages achieve their developmental milestones. Owner Jessica McMurdie, a pediatric occupational therapist, strives to help every child be as independent as possible. Stepping Stones helps more than 500 children and families in the Puget Sound area every year. 

In 2006, McMurdie started Stepping Stones out of the trunk of her car. Her business was all word of mouth, and she didn’t have enough funds to have a physical location. She was driving 100 miles every day, so she finally decided it was time to set up a shop. McMurdie needed guidance on how to build a foundation of success for her business.

Solution

SCORE, an SBA-funded resource partner, has been her go-to resource. She has been seeing the same SCORE mentor, Marta Schiffer, for more than 10... Read More

In 2009 Diana Ambauen-Meade was raising chickens in her backyard in Bremerton, Washington. She could not find organic poultry feed suitable to feed her flock so she decided to produce her own. As the backyard chicken movement started to take off, Ambauen-Meade was soon inundated with requests for her organic feed. This led to the decision to build a mill – together with husband Dennis Meade and son Bryon Meade - and Scratch and Peck Feeds was born. Business grew steadily each year but Ambauen-Meade wanted additional assistance to steer growth strategically.

Solution

Ambauen-Meade connected with SBA resource partner SCORE for free, expert and confidential business mentoring. Her SCORE mentor reviewed Scratch and Peck’s numbers and provided her with a toolkit of accounting ratios to measure the financial health of her business quickly. She also graduated from the SBA Emerging Leaders program, a seven-month executive education series designed for businesses on the brink... Read More

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