Tom Brett and Tomasz Dzido had been running 12GA, an IT and web services business, for 18 months when they turned to SCORE for help—and came away with a refined marketing plan and a more focused business strategy.
12GA (www.12ga.com) is an IT and web services company that helps firms create a new web presence or program, or improve the performance of existing applications. The management team at 12GA is comprised of a core group of individuals with strengths in a variety of business and technology concentrations. 12GA adds substantial value and profitability to small- to medium-sized business by providing cost-effective web and IT solutions.
SCORE is a non-profit association of successful business executives who provide free one-on-one counseling, teach low-cost workshops and supply other resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Tom met his business counselor, Al Grossman, at a SCORE workshop in 2004, which Al helped facilitate. Tom attended the workshop to brush up on his knowledge of business basics. After they met, Tom turned to Al for help on tweaking his marketing strategy.
“I had done some research and I realized SCORE has a wealth of knowledge that even the largest consulting companies would have trouble replicating,” says Tom, explaining why he turned to SCORE. “These are people who have lived a lifetime of business when you’re just starting out– it is a wonderful service they provide.”
Tom says before he turned to SCORE, 12GA’s message was not well defined. His meetings with Al focused on refining the message. “We boiled everything down to key messages and examples that reinforce the message,” he says. “We had a series of meetings and I brought our marketing materials, and Al shared a lot of his experiences.”
Over the course of the year, Tom and Al met to “look at what we’re doing, what we could be doing.” Al helped “shape our marketing direction and clean up our own message, so people can identify what we do,” narrowing
down his business message to two words: Effective websites.
“The other advice has been a broader understanding of how things like insurance and accounting play a role and how to choose those people and keep the business on track,” Tom explains.
Tom says Al has always been available for help. “He’s able to share what he knows, and he gives you feedback and followup,” says Tom. “The phone’s always ringing, and he’s always there for you. That’s what I give him a lot of credit for.”
After turning to SCORE, Tom says his business goals and projections have become more realistic, and he has learned how to run 12GA more effectively and efficiently. “We’re evolving with the help of the people at SCORE,” Tom says. Since his first meeting with SCORE, 12GA has seen a substantial increase in sales.
Al credits Tom’s business acumen for 12GA’s achievements. “He’s hardworking and responsive, and I’ve recommended his business a couple times to other SCORE clients,” says Al. “I would say he is somebody I would expect to be successful.”
Tom plans to continue his relationship with SCORE in the future by exploring SCORE’s email-based counselors. His 12GA business partner, Tomasz Dzido, is planning to sign up for SCORE workshops.
“Everything I had heard about and everyone I met at SCORE has really impressed me,” says Tom.