Multiple Small Business Owner
I’m by no means an expert at this game we call business. As a graduating senior majoring in Biotech at UCD, until recently my whole world was defined by the boundaries of the labs that I worked in, and the covers of the textbooks that I read. All of this started to change after I started my first business, Round 2 Labs inc.
We all here stories about how most businesses fail, so when I started my Round 2 Labs I was anxious to make sure that I did the research and set myself up to have the greatest probability of success. Twelve months have gone by since I started my entrepreneurial journey and reaching out to the SBDC remains one of the best decisions that I’ve made.
The wonderful staff at the SBDC have proven time and again that they support local entrepreneurial efforts by providing me with excellent advice and mentorship – sometimes at a moment’s notice. Panda Morgan has been especially amazing to have as a mentor. Over the past several months she has tirelessly guided me through the complexities of building my companies financial projections, along with the various other financial instruments that a young company needs to make if it hopes to attract investment capital. In the time that I’ve been working with the SBDC my company has been able to attract $20K worth of angel investment. We have also begun our incorporation process, and we have been able to negotiate an agreement with our product manufacturing partner to manufacture our product at cost! These have all been big wins for the company and the financial projections that Panda helped me build have gone a long way in helping convince people that my company is worth taking a shot on.
Working with Panda has been extremely rewarding, and I have learned a tremendous amount in the process. Even though I may not be an expert yet in the business world – I have the outmost confidence that by continuing to work with the wonderful people at the SBDC I am fast on my way to becoming one.
My success does not end there, as I am the owner of two business. My story for the second business continues.
A great business doesn’t have to start off with hundreds of thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars of investment. Many great businesses can be started for much less than the founders think they need if a fair amount of creativity and bootstrapping is employed. My co-founders and I recently started such a business, and the SBDC has been a terrific resource for helping us get the answers that we need when we have any business or financially related questions. Our business is called The Bag Girls, and we make pet themed reusable canvas bags. Since starting the business just under one month ago we have created our website, partnered with the Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Napa, Sonoma and Marin SPCA’s and Humane Societies, and have been accepted to the Woodland Farmers Market, as well as the St. Helena Farmers Market. We are currently working on getting accepted as a vendor at the Davis Farmers Market as well as the various other farmers markets in Sacramento and Yolo County. When we were first thinking about starting this business we wanted to know what kinds of financing opportunities were out there for us, so we reached out to Panda Morgan, the SBDC’s small business funding specialist. Panda proved to be a fantastic resource. During our first conversation with her she helped to save us over $1000 dollars by getting us to think in a more focused and creative way about our startup costs. Panda also helped us realize that we could start this business for much less than we initially thought. Once we saw just how little we actually needed to come up with to start selling we were able to self-finance the business without needing to take out a loan. We just made our first sale yesterday and are thrilled and excited about what the future has in store for our reusable bag business.
Edgar Atlasov, CEO