FROM CARDIOLOGY NURSE
TO MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ENTREPRENEUR
Steve Miller was at a crossroads. On the one hand he was a very talented, hardworking cardiology nurse, and on the other hand he had observed something, and it was bugging him. He had this idea……
Steve wound up doing what hundreds of thousands of people do every year when they have an idea; they come to SCORE. At SCORE Steve met Herb Douglas, a very talented former business executive-turned-volunteer Counselor. And the journey from working as a nurse in a hospital to operating a multi-million dollar business began. Steve had realized there were a variety of ways to recycle certain used medical devices, which were discarded after a single use. The questions were: how does one acquire these devices, in what ways could they be recycled, who are the buyers, and who are the competition.
All of those questions, and many, many more, were answered and resolved as time went by and several SCORE mentors added their business talents to the emerging Business Plan.
Today Steve no longer works in a hospital, but is the CEO of a prosperous business, doing millions of dollars of business around the world. But he’d be the first one to tell you he could never have done it by himself.
STEVE MILLER’S ADVICE: “An idea is just the beginning. You need the business skills and experience of the SCORE Counselors to turn your idea into a profitable business. I will never forget all SCORE did for me, and it was free! Let them help you!”
"The Back Porch Conversation That Changed My Life"
"I was at that point when I obtained my Business Consultant Certification 6 months ago. I had set business goals for myself to reach the Business Consultant level, and knew it was time for me to develop the consulting side of my business. I just didn't know how I could possibly do more with everything else I was already doing. That all changed one evening while sitting on our back porch talking with my cousin Eric Mankuta, who volunteers for SCORE. (read his Bio on our Counselor Profiles page)
Eric asked, "Do you see the Big Picture of what having the Business Consultant Certification means?" I was only one of 19 in the country with that certification! The more we talked, the more excited I got! WOW! Could I really do some of the things he suggested?" The light bulb went ON! (Eric) gave me a totally new outlook on my business....and my future!
Do I have it all figured out yet? No....as with any business, mine is evolving. Thanks to Eric, though, our conversation on the back porch opened my eyes and propelled me into motion to make positive changes! I now have a clear direction where I'm going and a BETTER IDEA of how to get there.
At SCORE we encourage all our clients to try to work with each other. We do not recommend any client above another. And we remind each person that it is their responsibility to make their own determination before conducting business with anyone.
MEET ANKIT JAIN
2014 ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Our 31-year-old Entrepreneur of the Year, Ankit Jain, would be the first to tell you he loves being an entrepreneur. Coming from a very entrepreneurial Indian family, it was no surprise when he walked away from his Master’s in Computer Science to start his manufacturing company.
But being passionate about entrepreneurship and knowing how to execute your passion are two very different things, and that’s where SCORE came in. Ankit knew he needed a savvy business Mentor and he found the perfect fit at our office, where he met Herb Douglas, a retired nationally known marketer.
With Herb’s tutelage and Ankit’s energy and drive the business was successfully launched in 2010 with “cute and fun” earbuds, with initial sales of about $25,000. Five years later, with a host of additional home products including pillows, throws, and wall canvases, the company now sells over $1,300,000 yearly, and its products can be found in over 8000 stores worldwide.
ANKIT’S ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS: “You don’t know enough to do it by yourself. Team up with a great Mentor at SCORE. They have an amazing staff and they will help you achieve your dream. And it’s a free service”.
When Jennifer Suzuki left college and began her professional career working in the auto industry in 2003, little did she think that her observations would lead her to the creation of a proprietary training system for auto dealers, designed to sell many more cars on the Internet.
But that’s exactly what she created, and now effectively markets too many auto dealers across the country!
Of course coming up with a good idea, effectively finding a solution to how auto dealers could convert internet leads into real sales requires more than just a good training program, which Jennifer provides, at very substantial fees. It requires marketing, management, and a host of multi-disciplinary skills. And Jennifer was wise enough to realize those were the skill sets she lacked, and what brought her to SCORE initially.
Now, nine years after becoming a SCORE client, with an Entrepreneur of the Year Award among her trophies, Jennifer is still working with her Mentors here at SCORE. Jennifer operates a highly successful business, which has earned industry recognition at the national level. Her talents have even been recognized by the National Association of Auto Dealers of America, (NADA) and she was invited to speak at their national convention in Washington, DC, appearing before 18,000 dealers, on the same rostrum as former Pres. George W. Bush.
JENNIFER’S ADVICE TO ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS: “There is much, much more to a business than just an idea, even a good idea. SCORE helps you see the big picture, and their Mentors bring a world of real-life experience to help you achieve your dream. I LOVE SCORE!”