Thanks to SCORE, Richardson Media Group of Amesbury has a banner year!
By Anne Richardson, founder of Richardson Media Group
Monthly conversations with SCORE counselors at the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce have led Richardson Media Group’s owner and lead project manager, Anne Richardson to report an extremely positive first year in business. Anne’s SCORE discussions have covered a wide range of topics: from moving out of a home-based office to a more professional setting where clients and colleagues are able to collaborate, navigating the risk-reward of hiring employees, to developing a set of new business objectives for the next year. Anne credits her company’s growth to the unwavering support she gained at SCORE.
Through these sessions, Anne realized that it was time to offer her clients a fuller spectrum of services across the marketing discipline. “Many clients, especially small businesses, are looking for a wider menu of offerings from their marketing partner. It was a natural fit for me to include copywriting, content development and other types of business writing in my company portfolio.” The SCORE team wholeheartedly agreed with Richardson Media Group’s service expansion.
Because she has stayed true to her independent spirit and been willing to explore new challenges, Anne has surpassed her initial expectations when opening the doors to Richardson Media Group. “As long as we always start out with a strategic conversation, there’s no limit to the size or scope of project we can handle.” Thanks to the expert guidance of Newburyport SCORE mentors, Richardson Media Group is poised for long-term success.
Personalized MONOPOLY Passes GO with SCORE's Help
By Nan Finkenaur, founder of My Life Games, LLC
I recently started a new business, My Life Games. The successful launch of Personalized MONOPOLY is due in part to SCORE’s expertise and guidance!
My idea for personalized games was born in early 2011, when I was on a popular photo website making a customized gift. I had an a-ha! moment: why not pair the world’s most iconic game brands with personalization: photos, backgrounds, captions, places and faces; in short — your life? I did a little research: amazingly there was nothing like it in the market! Almost all photo products are commodity-based — licensed brands were used for mugs or T-shirts, but no one made personalized games. I approached Hasbro for the license and they encouraged me to pursue this opportunity.
My core competency is branding and creative strategy, so there was a lot I needed to learn to build this business. I contacted SCORE in the summer of 2011 for their help. Dave Manley and his team in Gloucester provided invaluable input from that point through the launch of personalized Monopoly on CafePress.com in September 2013. From the start, the team at SCORE helped me assess the financial aspects of my project including viability, break-even points, possible expenses, and forecasting. They encouraged me to invest cautiously in My Life Games, which helped to conserve my personal savings. Dave and his team also advised on the negotiations essential to working effectively with my partners, both CafePress and Hasbro.
I consider SCORE to be part of my advisory team as I refine and expand the business going forward into 2014. I highly recommend their services. SCORE’s support provided education and advice in areas that have been critical to the successful launch of Personalized MONOPOLY, evidenced by our selling out of initial quantities during the holiday 2013 season, and continued development of new product offerings. Thanks, SCORE!
Screening Room in Newburyport Is Getting Help with Crowd Funding
Crowd funding is a new and innovative mechanism to finance your new business or grow your existing one. SCORE counselors are assisting clients who have chosen this new path. Laurie Christiansen from the Haverhill SCORE branch and Bahar Thompson from the Newburyport SCORE branch are working with new clients from Newburyport, MA: Andrew Mungo and Nancy Langsam, owners of The Screening Room, a small local arts theater in the historic downtown area of Newburyport.
The Screening Room has been in business since 1982 in Newburyport. They currently find themselves in the position of being required to update their projection equipment to the new digital formatfrom the current 35mm reel film method. New film releases on 35MM filmwill not longer be produced by the end of this year, so it means investing in the new equipment or going out of business.
Although this creates a challenge to smaller theaters, the change is a very positive one. The digital technology makes all movie theaters greener: much greener. The 35 mm film filled up land fills from the beginning of movies with reels and reels of celluloid from every movie ever made from every theater that ever showed it. The equipment may be nostalgic but is not maintainable. Andrew and Nancy were at a crossroads in their business due to the modernization of movie technology.
They determined the best way to raise funds for this costly investment in their business’s future is to use crowd funding, specifically the new internet fundraising platform called Kickstarter. Their goal is to raise $60,000 between September 4th and October 16th (the duration of their crowd funding project) which will cover the cost and installation of the new equipment. Once the conversion is completed, the new equipment will provide their customers museum quality projection of films with a clearer and crisper sound system.
The Screening Room is a beloved icon in Newburyport with loyal and dedicated moviegoers. This situation fits perfectly into the crowd funding model which suggests the highest level of success when a business has a passionate, dedicated and longtime customer base.
To find out more about their crowd funding project simply log onto the Screening Room’s website -www.newburyportmovies.com.
To make your own donation visit their project page on Kickstarter. The link will be available only from September 4th – October 16th, the length of the fundraising project.
Andrew and Nancy are very excited about the project and SCORE’s help and contribution: “Our experience with SCORE was invaluable. SCORE provides a depth of experience not easily available to a business. Their expertise was offered generously and without recompense. We deeply appreciate our SCORE conference.”
We look forward to Andrew and Nancy achieving their goal in this project and are here to lend support and help along the way. Other local businesses have found success using this new and innovative process. SCORE is gearing up to help clients for whom this as an alternative to traditional bank funding.