Check out the Dayton Daily News articles, Cradle of Creativity and Nature Zap, about SBDC client Jon Jackson, owner of Global Neighbor. Staff writer Tom Gnau explored the strength of invention and creativity in the Miami Valley through two pieces on March 22 highlighting Jon’s Nature Zap Smart Spray in his articles.
Jon has spent years designing and producing lawn care products that are environmentally friendly. He has developed Nature Zap products that use three types of light to eliminate weeds down to the root. There are several Nature Zap products including cordless or corded wands and the newest product, Nature Zap Smart Spray, which attaches to the back of a lawn mower to kill weeds as you mow. Visit his website g-neighbor.com and his fundable.com page for more information.
Adam Wik, SBDC client and owner of Galatune, a table top battle card game company, used his considerable marketing skills to great advantage exceeding his Kickstarter funding goal, raising $20,841 from 138 backers. The Galatune game involves two to five players who each control a champion warrior. They fight each other at the same time and get points by defeating their opponents (see video). Pre-orders are now being taken for the game on the Galatune website http://www.galatune.com/ with a December 1st release date.
Wik is a Wright State University Marketing graduate and is currently pursuing his MBA. Galatune is a game he developed as a child, perfected it through playing it with family and friends, and in 2015 he launched his business to bring the game to market. He was the 2016 winner of the Wright Venture competition; a business competition for Wright State students which allows them to present their ideas to a panel of potential investors.
Wik has advice for those launching Kickstarter campaigns:
- Make the campaign page perfect. Search for similar campaigns in your category with top levels of funding and use them as a template.
- Know that Kickstarter isn’t a magical lead generation tool. Its first a platform to collect funds, and secondly a lead generation tool. Every campaign will be a bit different, but from my personal experience and research I’d say a strong project should only expect around 35% of its funding to be generated through Kickstarter leads. That means that the remaining 65% needs to come from a combination of your existing network of followers and 3rd party advertising.
- Build your network first. I mentioned that most of your funding will be coming from your existing fan-base, so spend at least 3-6 months building a solid audience first before launching the campaign. This can be done through trade shows, social media, and face-to-face networking.
- Start Day One strong. The way Kickstarter’s search algorithms work, it is VITAL that day one of your campaign gets a sizable chunk of donors and funding. How do you do this? Make sure you have a line of loyal family, friends, and fans ready and eagerly waiting for that Kickstarter page to open. Stay in good contact with them and let them know how important it is to give on day one
- MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Don’t make your Kickstarter too long. Only set your window open long enough to cover your planned networking. For instance, if you don’t have any events or ads or networking planned, your Kickstarter might as well only be one or two days long. People will not magically flock to your Kickstarter without promotion, so each day of the campaign should be justified by your active marketing schedule.
Congratulations to Adam Wik and Galatune, truly a Client on the Move!
Centerville Knit & Crochet opened their doors August 23rd at 8018 McEwan Road. Owner and Navy veteran, Beth Thorowgood, had a vision to create an easy shopping experience for knitters and crocheters with a welcoming and relaxing space for them to interact with other knitters and crocheters when they have time to slow down. This full service yarn shop features high quality yarns and notions, books and patterns, classes, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff and a robust online presence so clients will have all the information they need before they arrive at the store.
Centerville Knit & Crochet welcomes yarn artists of all skill levels and hopes to introduce the art to a new generation. Their current class roster includes classes in both beginning knitting and crocheting.
For more information about the shop and their hours go to their website at centervilleknits.com or call 937-979-4130. For more information about the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business call 937-775-3503 or visit www.sbdcwsu.com.
Looking for a great cigar?
On June 8th, SBDC client, Robby Graham had his soft opening of The Stogie Smoke Stop; a fun, casual cigar and pipe lounge. It is located at 5789 Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights. The shop sells cigars and pipes, and provides a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere to smoke and socialize.
Robby renovated the building, built the walk in humidor and decorated the shop with a train theme. The front of the building has tables for dominoes, spade tournaments and other games; while the back of the building houses the Espinoza Lounge, a comfortable space for conversation hosted by Espinoza Cigars. The shop is equipped with free wi-fi and wide screen televisions.
The Stogie Smoke Stop is also a donation station for the Cigars for Warriors program which collects and disperses premium cigars and accessories to American Service Men and Women serving in combat zones. Robby himself is both an Air Force and a Huber Heights police force veteran.
On July 30th & 31st The Stogie Smoke Shop is holding its grand opening. Check their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thestogiesmokestop for more details.
The shop is open daily from 11 am to 9 pm daily. For more information, or general inquiries, call The Stogie Smoke Shop at (937) 938-1774 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business call 937-775-3503 or visit www.sbdcwsu.com.
Recently, the national Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of Veterans Business Development’s Boots to Business program featured local Air Force Veteran, Retired Lieutenant Colonel, and businesswoman, Cheryl Malone in their national curriculum video. Introduced by newly appointed, state cabinet official and SBA Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, this 9-minute video introduces the three-step, entrepreneurial Training Assistance Program, called Transition Goals, Plans, Success (Transition GPS). This program helps veterans to transition from active-duty to civilian life with tools, resources and methods to start their very own business.
Noting her leadership and advocacy for veterans, Malone discusses her experience from serving in the Air Force. With most veterans, these skills “translate in (how) we think strategically, then focusing on what our mission is, we execute it and go for the best.” Her previous experiences include working in the Pentagon with developing recruitment, promotion and evaluating policies, as well as Mission Support Squadron Commander at Misawa Air Base, Japan –where her squadron was the “Best Squadron in the Pacific Air Forces Command” for two consecutive years (2001-2002). Other awards include: 2003 #1 Lieutenant Colonel Personnel Officer in the Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command; recipient of the 1997 Best Air Force Installation Social Actions (EEO/Diversity) Office, while assigned at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea; recipient of the 1995 Tuskegee Airman, Inc. Officer of the Year; and the Meritorious Service Medal, among many others.
As an appointed representative for the Ohio Advisory for Women Veterans on the Ohio Department of Veteran Services Board, and co-founder of the Dayton Veteran Affairs Women’s Veteran Outreach Collaborative, she participates in relative subject matters affecting those who are maneuvering through the next chapter of their lives.
As current CEO/Director of Life Transition for Me, LLC, Malone strives to continue servicing her country and community as an advocate for veterans. Through their Coaching and Resource Connection Center, the company helps clients by offering in-depth insight and coaching on their goals and decision-making. Many of these stem from questions such as, “Where do I start?”, “What do I do now?”, or “Where do I go?” However, often these questions do not rely solely on veterans, but in everyday civilian life for military spouses, corporate consultations, or college students at a crossroad.
For more information, or general inquiries, call Life Transition for Me at (888) 504-8807, or (937) 516-8073, or check out their website at www.lifetransitionforme.com. For information about the SBA’s Boots to Business program, click here. For a schedule of upcoming Boots to Business programs, check the SBDC training schedule. For more information about the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business call 937-775-3503 or visit www.sbdcwsu.com.
Back in 2011, Small Business Development Center client, Dr. Danielle N. Rastetter, DVM, established Miami Valley’s only stationary, high-quality, spay and neuter clinic. A graduate of Ohio State University, Dr. Rastetter has devoted her life to merge compassion and owner education into a proactive lifestyle. Before starting off on her own, she spent more than 12 years working in private veterinary practices, five of which included helping at a non-profit shelter. During that time, Dr. Rastetter noticed an economic and financial niche in pet ownership – namely those could not quite afford the high-cost of private veterinary care, but did not quality for financial need. As a result, Rastetter works with area shelters, often getting referrals from them for pet owners who don’t qualify for need-based assistance as well a client referrals.
“I felt the community still had a population of people that didn’t’ qualify for the need-based assistance but still needed help,” she said. Her vision, Rastetter said, is to “reduce unnecessary euthanasia of adoptable” pets.
Another challenge to her growing small business is the challenges from other, traditional veterinary practices, which often imply she might offer a lower standard of care. However, she counters their negativity with patient’s positive-care online reviews – both on her own website, Google+ reviews, Yelp.com, and even on YellowPages.com. Pets In Stitches offer safe and affordable spaying and neutering for dogs of all ages and sizes, as well as the unique free-roaming cat program Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) program. She also offers vaccines, heartworm and micro-chipping under the umbrella of spay-neuter, but she refers clients to traditional clinics for booster shots or any other services.
Ultimately, “we’re trying to make this affordable for the community and encourage full-service relationships,” she says.
Information provided by DVM360 Magazine. For more information, or general inquiries, call Pets In Stitches at (937) 630-3320, or online at Petsinstitches.com. For more information about the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business call 937-775-3503 or visit www.sbdcwsu.com.
Ready for the next Starbucks? But this time with a little bit of kick? Sinclair Community College professor, Juanita Darden-Jones, is finally making her two-year dream come true. Collaborating with local business leaders, CityWide Development Corp., and the SBDC at The Entrepreneur Center, Darden-Jones is finally opening Dayton’s first coffeehouse and wine bar later this year in June. Excited from the new business challenges, she has prepared herself by researching and collaborating with other local coffee houses, getting licensing at a bartending school, while studying the nuances of being a barista.
Working with her own savings, and with additional funding help from CityWide, Darden-Jones plans to add to her store’s equipment with renovations on the corner shop at 46 West Fifth St., in Downtown Dayton. Darden-Jones picked up the 1,500 square-foot location because she wanted a nice, convenient coffee and eatery location for students and staff at Sinclair College. Additionally, the west-Fifth Street location is strategically located near the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, and Dayton Convention Center, for early morning coffee stops. But for those who want a late night cap, Third Perk will offer customized coffee, cocktails and wine for the downtown urbanite. An additional selection of homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods will round out the menu. For more details, see Dayton’s BizJournal.
Third Perk will open Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with Thursday, Friday, and Saturday hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, or general inquiries, call Third Perk at (937) 777-7375. For information about small business lending, click here. For more information about the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business call 937-775-3503 or visit www.sbdcwsu.com.